- Provincial capital » Edmonton
- Located north of Calgary near the geographic centre of the province
- Largest city » Calgary
- Population » 4,067,175 (2016 census)
» Canada’s fourth most populous province after Ontario, Quebec, and British Columbia
- Area » 661,848 sq km (255,500 sq mi)
- Alberta is also one of only two landlocked provinces in Canada, the other being Saskatchewan.
- Alberta is bordered by the provinces of British Columbia to the west, Saskatchewan to the east, the Northwest Territories to the north, and the U.S. state of Montana to the south.
- Alberta’s southern border is the 49th parallel north.
- Alberta’s northern border is the 60th parallel north with divides it from the Northwest Territories.
- Vehicles parked at provincial park and public land sites in Kananaskis Country and the Bow Valley need a “Conservation” Pass. The Alberta government would have you believe this is to support “conservation efforts in the area”, however the current provincial government is a huge proponent of huge oil companies, coal mining, they deny climate change, and are against any meaningful conservation efforts. So just another tax.
- Most of Alberta’s western border consists of national and provincial parks » Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Peter Lougheed Provincial Park, and Waterton Lakes National Park. Crossing the border into British Columbia also is covered in provincial parks – Mount Robson, Yoho, Kootenay, and Height of the Rockies Provincial Parks.
- This leaves little room for dispersed camping in these areas, as there are many designated campgrounds to choose from and freedom camping is frowned upon, and well-patrolled by conservation officers and rangers, and carry hefty fines.
- Depending on the park, you may be able to purchase backcountry camping permits which would allow you to camp in the wilderness, far from any road or town.
- Tourism destinations in the Alberta include: Banff, Canmore, Drumheller, Jasper, Sylvan Lake, and Lake Louise.
- Alberta is home to six UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks (includes Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks, as well as Hamber Provincial Park (B.C.), Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park (B.C.), and Mount Robson Provincial Park (B.C.))
- Dinosaur Provincial Park
- Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
- Waterton–Glacier International Peace Park
- Wood Buffalo National Park
- Writing-on-Stone / Áísínai’pi
- Highwood Pass is the highest paved pass in Canada.
- Located in Kananaskis Country
- It lies within the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Alberta Highway 40.
- Caution » Watch out for grizzly bears this area of Alberta.
UNESCO World Heritage Sites
- Waterton Glacier International Peace Park (UNESCO)
- In 1932 Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta, Canada) was combined with the Glacier National Park (Montana, United States) to form the world’s first International Peace Park. Situated on the border between the two countries and offering outstanding scenery, the park is exceptionally rich in plant and mammal species as well as prairie, forest, and alpine and glacial features.
- Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park is now certified as an International Dark Sky Park, after meeting lighting requirements set by the International Dark Sky Association. (Source, August, 2021)
- Waterton Lakes National Park and Glacier National Park now hold four joint designations: International Peace Park, Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, and the first transboundary IDA International Dark Sky Park.
- On Sept. 14, 1907, Jasper Forest Reserve (now Jasper National Park) was created.
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park (Site / Wikipedia)
- Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park is a designated dark-sky preserve.
- Map (.pdf)
- Wildlife includes moose, elk, deer, and the occasional cougar.
- Entry into Alberta’s Provincial Parks was free for Alberta residents until 2021.
- It is illegal to fly a UAV or drone in Alberta’s provincial parks and other protected area unless approved through a special permit. Permits are rarely issued in these areas. (Reference)
- Alberta Parks » a resource with lots of information on campgrounds and sites that are both reservable and non-reservable
- Public Land Use Zones » Offers information and maps on public land use zones in Alberta
- Rural areas are politically very conservative and at times to the far-right with their ideas and policies (human rights, anti-abortion, LGBT rights, etc.). This is out of step with most of Canada.
This page was updated June 15, 2023