With more than 25,000 square kilometers of wilderness, Alberta Provincial Parks in Canada are some of the most popular destinations for outdoor recreation.
Hike the trails, camp in the backcountry, and explore the shores of glacial lakes in these popular provincial parks.
Keep your eyes open for wildlife: black bears, elk, grizzly bears, and moose are often spotted in the parks’ remote backcountry.
1. When to Visit Alberta Provincial Parks
Visit the Alberta Parks website to find the park closest to you, and then plan your trip!
Most people visit the Provincial Parks section for more information on visiting the parks, including tips for planning your trip and finding the best place to go hiking, camping, fishing, or biking in a provincial park. You can select their Facebook profiles to check for more options from a range of outdoor and recreational activities.
You can also check out the list of activities to do in Alberta’s provincial parks for more ideas on where to start.
Alberta has four provincial parks and protected areas that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
1.2 Dinosaur Provincial Park
The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Dinosaur Provincial Park covers more than 70 square kilometers of wilderness and is situated in the Red Deer River Valley.
The park is best known for its extensive fossil beds, which are some of the best-preserved in the world.
The fossils date back to the Cretaceous Period, more than 100 million years ago when the area that is now Dinosaur Provincial Park was much warmer and wetter than it is today.
Hike the Coulee Viewpoint Trail to explore the area’s many hidden gems or the Prairie Trail and visit the museum for a quick fossil learning tour or camp at the base of badlands hills.
1.2 Canadian Rocky Mountain Park
The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks are a group of seven national parks in western Canada. Each park has its unique characteristics, with a wide variety of landscapes, habitats, and wildlife.
The parks range from Canada’s largest national park, Banff, which features ice fields, remnant valley glaciers, canyons, mountains, and lakes, to The Burgess Shale Cambrian fossil sites and nearby Precambrian sites, which are known for their exclusive and rich collections of marine fossils.
Each park offers a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking and camping, and each has several lookouts and viewpoints that offer stunning views of the surrounding area.
1.3 Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park-
The Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is home to more than a thousand petroglyphs, or rock carvings, many of which date back at least 10,000 years.
The carvings, which may have been carved by indigenous peoples, depict animals, humans, many spiritual carvings, and geometric shapes. These carvings are just one part of the incredible cultural and natural history of the area.
Alberta’s provincial parks are some of the most beautiful places to visit in the province. Each park offers its unique landscape and natural beauty, making each one a favorite spot for visitors:
1.4 Crimson Lake Provincial Park
One of Alberta’s most popular provincial parks, Crimson Lake Provincial Park is well known for its beautiful lake and wetlands. The park’s twin lake is a popular spot for water sports, including fishing, sailing, Canoeing/Kayaking, and waterskiing.
The lake is surrounded by beautiful forested hills, making it a popular spot for hiking, camping, and mountain biking.
Hiking in the park offers access to several different ecosystems, including aspen parkland, rocky outcrops, and open glacial valleys.
1.5 Bow Valley Provincial Park
The Bow Valley is a spectacular and rugged landscape on the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains. The valley was formed by the confluence of the Bow and Kananaskis rivers, which have cut a deep canyon through the area.
The park is famous for its scenic beauty and is a popular destination for travelers mainly for trout fishing and a host of outdoor activities including hiking, mountain biking, camping, canoeing, and wildlife viewing including elk, grizzly bear, moose, birds, etc.
1.6 Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is one of the largest and most famous national parks in Alberta. Jasper National Park offers some of the most stunning views in the province.
The park, which covers more than 11,000 square kilometers, is best known for its impressive array of natural features, including the Athabasca River and Maligne Lake, which are the deepest in the Canadian Rockies, the Columbia Icefield, which is the largest glacier-fed by the Columbia River, and Mount Edith Cavell, which is the highest point in the Canadian Rockies.
The best way to explore the park is on one of the many hiking trails that pass through the park. The Superior Hiking Trail, which passes through Jasper National Park, is one of the most popular hiking trails in the Canadian Rockies.
1.7 Waterton Lakes National Park
Southern Alberta’s Waterton Lakes National Park is home to some of the best hiking in the Canadian Rockies. The park, which covers more than 500 square kilometers, is best known for its impressive array of natural features.
The park is renowned for its deep, crystal-clear lakes, which are surrounded by beautiful forested hills. The best way to explore the park is on one of the many hiking trails that pass through the park such as the Crypt Lake trail and Carthew-Anderson trail.
1.8 Peter Lougheed Provincial Park
Peter Lougheed Provincial Park is one of the most beautiful parks in Alberta and is home to some of the best hiking in the Canadian Rockies.
So it is no surprise that it is a popular destination for hikers and campers from all over the world. Hiking also provides access to several ecosystems, including lakes, rocky ridges, and trails.
1.9 Castle Provincial Park
One of the province’s most popular provincial parks, Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park is located in southwest Alberta. The park is home to some of the best stunning locations, including the hills, and forests.
The Castle Provincial Park is also known for its beautiful meadows and watersheds. It is home to some rare wildlife including alpine poppy, grizzly bear, wolverine, trout, birds, and harlequin duck.
1.10 Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
This park, located in the Rocky Mountains, is famous for its glacier-carved lakes and deep canyons.
The park was originally designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in 1978 but was expanded to encompass the Waterton townsite in 1990 and the adjoining areas in 1995.
The Waterton townsite is one of the most visited areas of the park and features several camping grounds. The Waterton townsite is also home to the Waterton International Peace Park, the largest international peace park in the world.
Alberta has some of the most breathtaking provincial parks in the country. Each one offers a unique experience, with natural wonders, diverse wildlife, and more.
whether you are looking for great recreation areas, designated fire pits, or wilderness areas, these Alberta parks got everything you need.
Also for the visitors hoping to see the beautiful Alberta’s parks are a great way to get out into the great outdoors, see some of nature’s wonders, and enjoy all that nature has to offer.
wildfire risk remains across the province, much as it did in Kananaskis Country, despite the lifting of many fire bans. Check the current bans and restrictions at the Alberta parks system official site before planning to have a campfire this weekend.