With restrictions currently in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, Albertans are being encouraged to travel within the province this summer and explore what’s in their own backyard. While not all attractions may be open and some adjustments have been made to ensure safety, there is still much to explore in Alberta!
Canmore and Kananaskis
Time from Calgary: Approximately 1 hour
Keep your distance in the great outdoors by exploring any of the scenic hiking and biking trails throughout Canmore and Kananaskis. Whether you are visiting for the day (the short drive makes it easy!) or staying for a few days, there is so much to explore. Check out this list of trails, camping and safety resources before you head out! Many of the shops and restaurants in Canmore have also opened with restrictions, and visitors are encouraged to call ahead to book reservations and learn more about current safety procedures. Getting around downtown Canmore is even easier now as Main Street is only open for pedestrian traffic.
To see what else you can expect when visiting the Canmore and Kananaskis area, read this post.
Banff and Lake Louise
Time from Calgary: Approximately 1 hours and 24 minutes
Banff and Lake Louise also offer excellent opportunities for visitors to get back to nature while maintaining their distance from others. There are endless trails and lakes that are perfect for hiking and paddling. Right now, hikers and cyclists have the unique opportunity to explore the Bow Valley Parkway, as sections of the road have been closed to vehicle traffic to allow for better distancing. Banff Avenue will also be open for pedestrian-only traffic, and one lane of the Minnewanka Loop will be open for cyclists only.
All visitors are reminded to follow current guidelines in place and be aware of other individuals while in the area. Learn more about what you can expect when visiting this area here.
Time from Calgary: Approximately 1 hour and 36 minutes
The Sylvan Lake and Jarvis Bay Provincial Parks provide lots of space for visitors to enjoy the summer weather and water outside. Visitors can enjoy time at the lake and explore the expansive parks, including Centennial Park right on the lake shore. Sylvan Lake is also close to the Meadowlands, Lakewood and Top of the Hill golf course where visitors can hit the greens while keeping a safe distance from others. The town’s close proximity to Calgary makes it a great day-trip option or a quick weekend camping trip.
See what else there is to explore safely in Sylvan Lake here.
Waterton Lakes National Park
Time from Calgary: Approximately 2 hours and 52 minutes
Waterton Lakes National Park is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year! Visitors are now able to access some of the trails, day use areas and green spaces at the park with restrictions. Areas like Cameron Falls, Emerald Bay, Driftwood Beach and Red Rock Canyon are open for visitors, and some services like the washrooms and picnic tables are open for certain areas. A full list of what is currently available for guests can be found here.
Camping has opened at the park but services are still limited for people with existing reservations only. New reservations may be accepted in the coming weeks but individuals are encouraged to visit the website for the most current guidelines. Find the latest information on what to expect when visiting Waterton Lakes National Park here.
Time from Calgary: Approximately 4 hours and 46 minutes
With hotels and hostels open and following the current health and safety recommendations, visitors have the opportunity to explore all Jasper National Park has to offer for a weekend or longer summer getaway. From perusing shops in the townsite to taking in the view on the Jasper Skytram and getting active outdoors on a hike, biking trail or lake, there is something for everyone to enjoy in Jasper.
Some camping locations are also open for individuals with previous reservations and new reservations are now being taken for back and front country. Most of the trails, beaches, washrooms and picnic areas are also open but all visitors are encouraged to check here for the latest updates on what is open in Jasper National Park here.
Read more about what you can explore in Jasper here.