Alberta
Off the beaten track

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Our most recommended Alberta Off the beaten track

From Jasper: Jasper National Park Wildlife Discovery Tour

1. From Jasper: Jasper National Park Wildlife Discovery Tour

Join this daily tour to discover Jasper National Park and its wildlife. Take a 3.5-hour scenic drive in a comfortable sightseeing vehicle to explore the park with a knowledgeable driver/guide. Learn the history, geology, and ecology of the area, as you keep a look out for the diverse wildlife that inhabits the region. Be amazed by the beautiful scenery and see the rich diversity of the national park. Your guide is trained to seek out the park’s most iconic creatures, so you can view animals in their natural habitat. Have your camera ready to capture some amazing photos. At the end of your tour, you'll be dropped off back at your hotel in Jasper.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

2. Banff: Johnston Canyon Evening Icewalk

Get picked up by your friendly guide from the meeting point in Banff, then enjoy the drive in a modern minibus. Take the Bow Valley Parkway to Johnston Canyon, a scenic drive through a wildlife-rich habitat. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the easy 1.1km hike with 65m elevation gain to the lower falls, walking along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way, your guide will highlight unique features by powerful flashlight and pause for moments of darkness and quiet to foster an appreciation for spending time in the canyon at night. At the turn around point, your guide will illuminate the expanding ice that encases the rushing water. Have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view of the lower falls while also enjoying a refreshment break with hot chocolate and a maple cookies snack. The return journey is your opportunity to travel without your headlamp (should you wish). Be amazed as to how quickly your eyes adjust to the darkness, enough for you to travel through the pine forest guided only by the ambient light of the moon and the stars above your head. At the end of the tour, your guide will then transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

3. Banff: Morning or Afternoon Johnston Canyon Icewalk

Start with pickup from Banff and travel in a modern minibus along the Bow Valley Parkway to the Canyon. On arrival at the Johnston Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on ice cleats over your winter boots, as well as give you some tips on winter hiking. From here, start the moderate 2.7 kilometer hike with 135 meter elevation to the Upper Falls. Walk along the steel catwalks built into the canyon walls which allows a spectacular view down the canyon walls to the ice and river below. Along the way you'll learn the clues to how Johnston Canyon was formed and stop at the Lower Falls, where you'll have the option to walk through a natural cave feature for a unique view. At the Upper Falls, enjoy a brief stop on the upper deck with a small refreshment break to enjoy the views. These gigantic pillars of ice are the tour highlight and ice climbers can often be seen scaling the frozen columns. Once you've finished your hot chocolate, hike back down and your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

4. Canadian Rockies: Abraham Lake Ice Bubbles Helicopter Tour

Start the day at the base with a hearty hot buffet that might include stew, chili or soup with freshly made bread, dessert and a side salad, veggies or fruit. Then, embark on your helicopter flight over Abraham Lake. Fly over the Canadian Rockies to Landslide Lake for breathtaking views and an experience you will never forget. Admire the impressive fierceness of the massive mountains as you fly close to them. Pass over 6 different astonishing glaciers surrounded by frozen lakes and waterfalls.  After landing at Landslide Lake, go on a guided snowshoe tour with complimentary hot chocolate and Irish cream. Then, head back to base by Helicopter taking a different route back with equally spectacular views of the Rockies and valleys. When you return to base, take a seat around a fire to warm up your toes. Roast some marshmallows as you enjoy complimentary coffee or tea. Finally, take a guided tour of the Bubbles on Abraham Lake. Marvel at this natural phenomenon of methane gas getting trapped in the ice, a mesmerizing sight that makes for great pictures and attracts a lot of attention on social media platforms.

Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

5. Banff: Johnston Canyon Hike to the Ink Pots

Hike up through Johnston's Canyon on walkways extended into the canyon. Enjoy beautiful views while passing waterfalls or icefalls, depending on the time of year. Walk through the home of the migratory and endangered Black Swift. Learn about the flora, fauna, and geology of the Canadian Rockies. After hiking through the canyon enjoy the quiet hum of the forest before arriving at a cool spring, the Ink Pots, with great views of Mt. Ishbel. Enjoy some time to relax at the Ink Pots before returning back to the carpark.

Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

6. Banff: Marble Canyon Snowshoeing in Kootenay National Park

This is an excellent trip for beginners as it covers mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain, and also suits anyone wanting a pleasant activity outdoors in the majestic Kootenay National Park. Your guide will pick you up from Banff in a modern minibus and take you along Highway 93 South, a scenic drive that takes you into Kootenay National Park. On arrival at the Marble Canyon trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots, as well as give you an introduction on the art of snowshoeing. To start the tour, you'll hike along the bridges around Marble Canyon’s 40-meters deep gorge, worn away over centuries by the rushing waters of Tokumn Creek. Look down over the railings at the frozen falls below. Then, take a 3 kilometre winter walk along the nearby trails and search for snowshoe hare, moose and wolf tracks while exploring how the landscape is changing and animals are adapting. After this crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. At the end of your  adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at the meeting point or your hotel.

Calgary: City Tour by Vintage-Style Sidecar Motorcycle

7. Calgary: City Tour by Vintage-Style Sidecar Motorcycle

Discover Calgary, in a unique and engaging way as you tour through the city in a vintage-styled sidecar motorcycle. Enjoy 360-degree views and perfect photo angles during this stylish and comfortable ride. Meet your expert driver-guide at the downtown hotel or at the base of the Calgary Tower to begin your tour. Your first stop will be at the Fort Calgary - the birthplace of Calgary at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow Rivers, where you will discover the heritage connection between the northwest Mounted Police and the Indigenous Peoples. Then, head to Scotsman’s Hill, from where you will be able to see the Stampede Grounds, the Saddledome, the National Music Centre, and the Calgary Tower. From there, enjoy the ride through the rejuvenated East Village to highlight the art and community engagement strategies of this progressive city. Next, make a stop on Crescent Road for views of Downtown and the Rocky Mountains that anchor our horizon. Drive down Centre Street to experience the diversity of the city, and glimpse the iconic Wonderland art installation, while you wave up at the visitors on the glass floor of the Calgary Tower. Finally, return to your pick-up location where your tour will end.

From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

8. From Banff: Snowshoeing Tour in Kootenay National Park

Once your guide has picked you up from the meeting point, take a scenic drive in a modern minibus along Highway 93 South from Banff into the neighboring Kootenay National Park. Upon arrival at the Paint Pots trailhead, your guide will show you how to put on snowshoes over your winter boots and give you an introduction to the art of snowshoeing. Then, start down the easy 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) winding forest trail, perfect for beginners as it covers a mainly flat terrain with minimal elevation gain. Cross a bridge over the frozen Vermilion River to the fascinating Paint Pots, mineral deposits once used by First Nations people for rock painting. As you explore this cultural treasure within the Kootenay National Park, learn about the history of the fur trade with your guide. Throughout your snowshoeing tour, hear stories of Banff’s indigenous people, explorers, and fur traders who lived in and traveled through the Rockies. After the crisp winter walk, enjoy hot chocolate and a uniquely Canadian treat: hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert. What's more, try a crazy carpet slide down the hill while the maple taffy is being made - kids and adults alike love this part of the tour! After your snowshoeing adventure, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you at your hotel.

Frequently asked questions about Alberta Off the beaten track

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Other Sightseeing Options in Alberta

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What people are saying about Alberta

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 7 reviews

Rob, our guide, was knowledgeable and kind. The geography is breathtaking. Need to be in decent shape to handle the vertical and the cleats they give you are key. I'd recommend.

The walk was well organized and the guide was excellent and kept a good pace. The scenery was breathtaking

Jeff was a great tour guide. Very informative and engaging. Our family enjoyed it.

Tylor was an excellent guide. Very knowledgeable and kind. Highly recommended!

Gina was fantastic a great guide and a great morning