Alberta is Canada's fourth-largest province, bordered on the west by British Columbia, on the south by the state of Montana, on the east by Saskatchewan and on the north by the Northwest Territories. Summer or winter, its splendour and rich history makes it a fantastic destination for an RV road trip.
Alberta's contemporary cities are Edmonton (the capital) and sophisticated Calgary, both of which are ideal bases from which to rent a motorhome to begin your explorations.
Think of the raw and rugged beauty of the Canadian Rockies, probably Alberta's most recognised geographical feature. But there’s also the prehistoric desert of the Alberta Badlands, where you can take your RV to unravel the mysteries of the dinosaurs.
You can also retrace the paths of the Plains Indians on their hunt for buffalo in your motorhome, stopping along the routes of the fur traders, whiskey smugglers and explorers who formed the Canadian version of the Wild West.
Alberta is home to no less than five National Parks for you to explore by RV: Banff, Elk Island, Jasper, Waterton Lakes, and Wood Buffalo. There are also several other options to check out as part of a motorhome road trip:
- Shop till you drop at West Edmonton Mall, the largest of its kind in the world.
- Calgary is home to the Calgary Stampede, a Wild West festival in July of rodeos, live music, turn-of-the-century exhibitions and an old-fashioned downtown parade.
- Banff, Jasper and the Lake Louise area offer champagne-powder slopes for arguably the world’s best skiing and most breathtaking scenery.
Banff National Park and the Rocky Mountains are only 120km away and with its wide variety of attractions, events and exciting atmosphere within the city, Calgary is a fantastic base for your RV road trip from which to explore Alberta and beyond.
Cowboys and cowgirls, bulls and steers, horses and wagons, that’s what the Calgary Stampede is all about. Known as the ‘Greatest Show on Earth’, the show kicks off with the Stampede Parade, a foot tapin’, hand clappin' extravaganza, with riders, music and highly decorated floats - more than 750 horses and 3000 people take part. The ten day event is jam packed full of events, displays, rides and music, there’s something for everyone, even the little ones.
The natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies is unparalleled and on this route you’ll be able to see such gorgeous spots as Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise as well as the Athabasca Glacier. Start by exploring downtown Calgary and then head to Banff and Jasper where you can enjoy fine dining, an excursion on the Columbia Icefield, or head to Vermillion Lakes and Bow Falls in Banff National Park. You can check out the summit of Sulphur Mountain in Banff for fantastic views or the truly stunning Athabasca Falls and River in Jasper. Then take the Icefields Parkway to Lake Louise where you can walk, hike, horseback ride or canoe—or just stand back and let the wonder of nature wash over you. On your way back to Calgary you can hit Yoho National Park where there are such gorgeous sights as the Takakkaw Falls, Emerald Lake and a fun natural rock bridge.
This is a great one for kids or Dinosaur Buffs. Visit the Dinosaur Capital of the world in Drumheller Canada. But don't this roadtrip is just for Dinosaurs - there are heaps of other things to do here from skiing to white water rafting.
Most people who have heard of Edmonton before will have done so in reference to the famous West Edmonton Mall - a retail behemoth that has long worn the crown for largest shopping mall in North America. However, anyone who has traveled there knows that Edmonton is more than just a mall and the picturesque city has gained many fans in the RV community for its buzzing atmosphere and proximity to the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park.
From the fun and exciting city of Calgary make your way to the gorgeous Lake Louise area in Banff National Park. Ski here in winter and swim in the summer, enjoying activities for all ages including spas and fine dining. A five hour drive away you will find Sun Peaks, a family friendly resort where you can park your motorhome rental and decide between a myriad of activities from taking the chairlift to the top of the mountain to shopping, spas, swimming pools and enjoying various restaurants and cafés, not to mention outdoor activities like biking and hiking. In Jasper hike up Mount Edith Cavell, take the tram for a great tour of the Canadian Rockies or head to the seriously breathtaking Athabasca Glacier. Banff is another great spot for all weather--in the summer you can hike and participate in other outdoor sports while in the winter this is a perfect spot for skiing and snowboarding. Back in Calgary you can choose to make a day trip to Prince's Island Park or, if you're in town at the right time, participate in the Stampede.
Alberta is a province of big cities and smaller towns, oil and unpredictable weather, rich history and cowboys. One of the region's most famous events is the annual Calgary Stampede and it is also known for the immense West Edmonton Mall. Another interesting draw in the province is The Boomtown Trail, which can easily be accessed in large city centers like Edmonton or Calgary. Both of these cities have great RV rental depots that can provide the ideal vehicle to complete the Boomtown drive in. So what, exactly, is Boomtown? Read on to find out! Written by by Connie Limoncelli