Jurassic Adventure in Southern Alberta Road Trip
Discover the remarkable terrain of the Canadian Badlands and combine it with the Canadian Rockies on this 9-night Southern Alberta road trip.
Dig for dinosaur bones, explore Cypress Hills Provincial Park, Waterton Lakes National Park and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Plus, take your choice of tours in Banff from sightseeing on the Banff Gondola, cruising Lake Minnewanka, paddling rivers by canoe or exploring the Bow River by horseback.
This is the perfect hands-on itinerary in Alberta's most beautiful and historical regions.
Itinerary at a Glance
Day 1 Arrive in Calgary Welcome to Calgary! This vibrant city is awash with eclectic neighbourhoods, world-class cuisine, and outstanding shopping. Its farming heritage is still evident in its laid-back residents and locally-sourced gastronomy, but there’s an edgy vibe to the city that’s testament to a thriving arts and music scene. Visit the Calgary Tower to gain a bird’s-eye perspective, and stroll the shores of the Bow and Elbow rivers that run through the city. Step back in time at the largest living history museum, Heritage Park Historical Village, with yester-year exhibits including a fur trading post and an 1880s pre-railway settlement.
Day 2 Calgary to Banff | 115 km/72 mi Take the short drive from Calgary to Banff on either the Trans-Canada Highway or the more scenic 1A Highway. Once in Banff proceed to your selected hotel to check in and the rest of the day is yours to explore at your own leisure.
Day 3 Banff | Freedom of Choice - Choose 1 of 4 Excursions Today you can personalize your day by choosing one of four excursions Option 1. Banff Gondola Maximize your views of Banff National Park with minimal exertion on a round-trip gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountain. Option 2. Lake Minnewanka Cruise Admire views of the Canadian Rockies by boat as you cruise across the turquoise-hued Lake Minnewanka and over to Devil’s Gap. Option 3. River Explorer Canoe Tour Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River and marvel at the surroundings. A fun & interactive way with your guide to explore the waterways of Banff National Park. Perfect for families. No paddling experience necessary. Option 4. Bow River Horseback Adventure Saddle up for a journey through the celebrated landscape of Banff National Park on this guided horseback riding adventure.
Day 4 Banff to Drumheller | 251 km/156 mi Depart Banff, heading east toward Drumheller. There is nowhere quite like the Drumheller Valley; Dinosaur Capital of Canada! Being here will take you into another world - the world of startling contrasts between the deep past and the exciting present. Rolling fields suddenly give way to steep, dry coulees ridged with the strata of hundreds of years of erosion by time, wind and water. Don’t miss the Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology (included) - Canada’s largest dinosaur museum where you can journey through time and come face-to-face with incredible creatures that lived millions of years ago.
Day 5 Drumheller to Cypress Hills Provincial Park (336km/208 mi) From Drumheller, travel two hours to Dinosaur Provincial Park, where you will have a chance escape the ordinary and venture into the rugged Canadian Badlands. Two interpretive displays allow you to see what a dig site really looks like. Check out the bones of a “duck-billed” dinosaur still partially encased in the sediment that buried them. Or, a full body (articulated skeleton) of a Corythosaurus, the “helmet headed lizard”. Continue to Cypress Hills Provincial Park – the hidden gem of Southern Alberta
Day 6 Cypress Hills Provincial Park Exploring At Cypress Hills Provincial Park, you can visit the Interpretive Program Schedule to book an interpretive hike or Dark Sky Planetarium experience to learn how to navigate the bright stars and constellations. Enjoy an array of outdoor adventures for any activity level; head over to the Interpretive Centre in Elkwater, where you can rent a bike, canoe, paddleboard, kayak, pedal boat, and GPS system for geo-caching scavenger hunts. Try dinner at the Camp Cookhouse for a rustic gourmet experience with dishes prepared by one of Canada’s top chefs and made with local ingredients (activities and admissions not included).
Day 7 Cypress Hills Provincial Park to Lethbridge | 297 km/185 mi Travel west on the Red Coat Trail toward Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park to experience the largest concentration of rock art on the plains. Explore this National Historic Site with an interpreter, lounge by the bubbling Milk River and hike the hoodoo trails. Visit the Interpretive Centre for a behind the scenes guided experience with a local aboriginal guide to explore the Archaeological Preserve. Drive approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes from Writing-On-Stone to Lethbridge where you’ll spend the night.
Day 8 Lethbridge to Waterton Lakes National Park | 119 km/74 mi On your way out of Lethbridge, you may wish to stop in at Fort Whoop-Up, an old fort and outlaw trading post, allowing visitors to step into life at a frontier outpost on the Great Plains, to discover exhibits about Canada’s first Mounties, whiskey and firearms traders and Blackfoot history and culture (not included). In Waterton, stroll through the town to shop, dine at the restaurants, visit the beach or hike the trails that start from the town site. You may wish to visit the Prince of Wales Hotel – a National Historic Site – for afternoon tea and lots of opportunities to take amazing photographs.
Day 9 Waterton Lakes National Park Exploring The day is yours to discover the wonders of this beautiful region. You may wish to travel to Montana’s Glacier National Park (the U.S. half of this International Peace Park) via the famous Going to the Sun Road, an astonishing feat of engineering and spectacular scenery as well. A popular activity is the 16-km drive from the Waterton town site to Red Rock Canyon - a colourful canyon of red, green and white banded rock cliffs, green alpine forests and bubbling white waterfalls.
Day 10 Waterton Lakes National Park to Calgary | 290 km/180 mi Travel north for 1 hour and 10 minutes to experience Head-Smashed‐In Buffalo Jump (included), a UNESCO World Heritage Site that tells the story of the hunting practice of the native people of the North American plains for the past 6000 years. A native guide leads you through the exhibit and out to the cliff jump, sharing the history and lifestyle of the first people. There may even be drumming in the plaza. Continue north for 2 hours to Calgary where your tour ends.
- 1 night accommodation in Calgary
- 2 night accommodation in Banff
- 1 night accommodation in Drumheller
- 2 night accommodation in Elkwater | Cypress Hills Provincial Park
- 1 night accommodation in Lethbridge
- 2 night accommodation in Waterton Lakes
- Admission to Calgary Tower
Banff | Freedom of Choice - Choose 1 of 4 Excursions
- Banff Gondola
- Lake Minnewanka Cruise
- River Explorer Canoe Tour
- Bow River Horseback Adventure
- Admission to Royal Tyrrell Museum
- Admission to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre
- Calgary - Alt Hotel Calgary East Village | King River View Room
- Banff - Buffalo Mountain Lodge | Lodge Double Room
- Drumheller - Canalta Jurassic Hotel | Standard Room
- Elkwater - Elkwater Lake Lodge & Resort | Standard Suite
- Lethbridge - Coast Lethbridge Hotel | Coast Room
- Waterton Lakes - Bayshore Inn | Standard Room
- Rental Car
- Road Tolls
WANT TO KNOW MORE?
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DATES & PRICING
Departs from Calgary: Daily(Tour Code: SD115)
30 Apr 22 - 11 May 22
12 May 22 - 24 May 22
25 May 22 - 06 Jul 22
07 Jul 22 - 18 Jul 22
19 Jul 22 - 13 Sep 22
14 Sep 22 - 28 Sep 22
29 Sep 22 - 01 Oct 22
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"Thanks again for a well planned and hassle free vacation. We will look forward to future vacations with Discover Holidays. "
We wanted to thank Jasmine Wong and Discover Holidays Inc. for our great fly and self-drive vacation traveling to Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Edmonton & Drumhiller AB from July 24th to August 1st 2018. We had a great time. Good accommodation. Great venues - Banff Sulpher Mt. Gondola, Banff Hot Springs, Columbia Icefield excursion and Tyrell Museum. The weather was perfect, the scenery was breathtaking and the wildlife sightings in and around Jasper and Elk Island National Park were an extra special bonus. Thanks again for a well planned and hassle free vacation. We will look forward to future vacations with Discover Holidays.
Ross Ontario, Canada
Jurassic Adventure in Southern Alberta Road Trip
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