Spring has sprung! As the snow is replaced by colourful blooms and the trees sprout lush green leaves, it’s time to make the most of Alberta’s natural wonders, roaming wildlife, and vibrant urban communities. Here’s our top pick of things to do in Alberta during this spell-binding season.
Bike Kananaskis Country
The highways and campground roads of Kananaskis are quietest in May, making spring the ideal season to explore this natural wonderland on two wheels. Bike part of the 80-kilometre stretch of the Trans Canada Trail from Goat Creek near Canmore to Elk Pass on the border of British Columbia. Whether you’re after a relaxed ride or an epic downhill excursion, this is the epicentre for mountain biking in Alberta. Think rolling hills, alpine meadows, deep valleys, and jagged peaks that will leave you breathless.
Take an ice walk – at night!
Exploring Johnston Canyon during winter, with its enormous pillars of ice and frozen waterfalls, is the stuff of bucket-lists. But once you’ve ticked it off, you need to do it all over again during spring – making it a night tour this time. There’s something about witnessing the yawning canyon with its mysterious caves under a dark sky strewn with stars that stirs the heartstrings and leaves you mesmerised.
Hit the slopes
Now that the crowds have dissipated, make the most of the last few weeks of the ski season in Jasper at Marmot Basin, or in Banff National Park at Lake Louise, Mt Norquay, and Banff Sunshine. Grab a SkiBig3 pass to visit all three and take a guided snowshoeing tour to explore the snowy terrain under a radiant blue sky.
Go on a culinary adventure
During the end of April and early May, Canmore Uncorked is a foodie festival with all the flavour and none of the pretention. The authentic mountain town of Canmore hosts the ultimate gastronomic experience with local chefs presenting mouth-watering creations with innovative combinations of locally-produced ingredients and fine wines, ciders, and craft beer. Join the long table events and find out why Canmore is fast becoming known as the culinary cornucopia of Alberta.
Golf from on high
Practise your swing during spring when teeing off is at its cheapest. Head to Silvertip Golf Resort where panoramic views of the Canadian Rocky Mountains are the perfect backdrop to a world-class course spanning 7,173 yards and boasting an elevation change of 600 feet. This is what it feels like to be on top of the world. With views like this your only challenge is keeping your eye on the ball.
Explore Edmonton’s parklands
The Edmonton River Valley is the largest stretch of urban parkland in North America, 22 times the size of New York City’s Central Park. Spring is the perfect time to cycle, walk, or jog any one of 145 kilometres of trails. Feeling lazy? Take a Segway tour along the riverside or head out on the North Saskatchewan River, winding through the valley by canoe, kayak, or paddleboat cruise.
Be proud in Jasper
The tiny town of Jasper puts on a Pride Festival of epic proportions every April. The wildly fun events cater to all interests, from ice-climbing to muppet-making. Go on a glacier adventure on the Ice Explorer, sign up for a guided hike to the scenic Valley of the Five Lakes, take a food tour, or join the Pride Motorcycle Tour where you can ride your own bike or jump in the side car of a Harley. And that’s just for starters – celebrating Pride in the stunning mountain town of Jasper is an experience you’ll never forget.
Hit the waterways
In spring, Alberta’s famous turquoise lakes transform from ice to glittering liquid. Beat the summer crowds and hire a kayak at Lake Louise or Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. As you glide across the surface, you’ll find it hard to believe the water is even more blue than the postcards. Chasing that adrenaline rush? Check out a Snake Indian Valley river rafting experience in Jasper National Park. Hold onto your hat as you tumble down a roaring river and hike through meadows where big horn sheep, mountain goats, moose, elk, and bears roam free.
Take a hike
Alberta is a world-class hiking destination and the new growth of spring makes it even more special. With thousands of trails spanning mountains, badlands, and forests across the province, the possibilities are limitless. If you’re staying near Banff, check out Fenland Trail, a simple two-kilometre interpretive loop that winds through magnificent old growth spruce forests and along 40 Mile Creek. For something a little longer, the 11-kilometre trail to Sundance Canyon in Banff National Park can be accessed at the Cave and Basin parking lot.