Travelling the USA, Canada and Australia



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Alberta and Saskatchewan – Through the Rocky Mountains and the Prairie

Alberta is well known to travelers – world-famous Banff and Jasper national parks are located here in the middle of the Rocky Mountains. But what on earth do you want as a tourist in Saskatchewan? Prepare to be surprised, the province is definitely worth a trip.

After a first night in Calgary we begin our tour in Banff. We take the cable car up Sulphur Mountain and climb Tunnel Mountain in the afternoon. Coffee is served at the Fairmont Banff Springs – one of the luxury hotels still missing so far in our collection. On the beautiful Bow Valley Parkway, we reach Lake Louise, the tourist heart of the Canadian Rockies.

The hike from Lake Louise up to the Lake Agnes Tea House is a must, as well as a visit to the noble Fairmont Château Lake Louise. The following drive along Icefields Parkway (about 230 km) is certainly one of the highlights of this tour; this time we experience the deep blue lakes, the incredible mountains and the glaciers in bright sunshine. At the end of the scenic road is Jasper, the northern gateway to the parks.

We turn east and drive on the Yellowhead Highway through a lonely landscape to Edmonton; two days are quite reasonable for Alberta’s capital. After a trip to Elk Island National Park (with a large herd of bison), we continue to Vegreville, a most interesting small town of Ukrainian origin. In Lloydminster we reach the province of Saskatchewan, which is still unknown to us; the city lies exactly on the provincial border.

Behind North Battleford begins Canada’s breadbasket with its historic grain elevators, the “cathedrals of the prairies”. A little later we reach Prince Albert National Park – we have never been that far north in North America. Next destination is the largest city in the province, Saskatoon. We are pleasantly surprised by the beautiful city on the South Saskatchewan River, which is also called “Paris of the Prairies”. The Wanuskewin Heritage Park, the Meewasin Trail along the river or a range of public artworks are just some of the destinations worth a visit.

And already the next provincial capital is waiting for us. Wascana Lake forms the heart of Regina; almost all of the city’s important buildings are located on its banks. From now on we head west again on the Trans-Canada Highway; Moose Jaw, Swift Current and Medicine Hat are the names of the few larger towns that break the loneliness of the huge grain fields about every 200 km. Short detours take us to Saskatchewan Landing Provincial Park and Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park.

Once again we leave the TCH and drive deep into southern Alberta; Waterton Lakes National Park is located right on the border to the United States. Via the World Heritage Site of Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump we finally return to Calgary, where we spend the last two days of round trip.

Route Description

01Calgary Airport (YYC)Calgary000 km
02CalgaryLake Louise210 km
03Lake LouiseLake Louise040 km
04Lake LouiseJasper240 km
05JasperJasper040 km
06JasperEdmonton400 km
07EdmontonEdmonton000 km
08EdmontonElk Island NP120 km
09EdmontonNorth Battleford410 km
10North BattlefordPrince Albert230 km
11Prince AlbertPrince Albert NP200 km
12Prince AlbertSaskatoon200 km
13SaskatoonSaskatoon000 km
14SaskatoonRegina380 km
15ReginaRegina000 km
16ReginaSwift Current370 km
17Swift CurrentMedicine Hat320 km
18Medicine HatWaterton Park310 km
19Waterton ParkCalgary290 km
20CalgaryCalgary Airport (YYC)000 km
Total3.760 km

The Journey in Pictures