With the Rocky Mountains and Canadian Badlands, glittering lakes and lush mountain meadows, the province of Alberta is one of the most breath-taking places on earth – with thousands of miles of trails to explore.
Grab your hiking boots, it’s time for an adventure – here’s our pick of the five best Alberta hikes to take on (and where to stay in style too)
1 Plain of Six Glaciers, Lake Louise
Offering expansive views of the impressive mountain features that surround Lake Louise, the Plain of Six Glaciers is one of the most scenic hikes in the Canadian Rockies.
The 6.5-mile trail can be turned into a loop that includes walking up to Mirror Lake. Highlights include Mount Lefroy, Mount Victoria and the Victoria Glacier, and even a chance for a sweet treat at the historic Plain of Six Glaciers Teahouse.
Rest your head: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Originally built as a base for outdoor enthusiasts and alpinists over 100 years ago, the iconic 500-room Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise is a year-round luxury mountain resort that’s perfect for resting tired feet.
After a day’s adventure, head to the hotel’s spa for a relaxing pamper session or to one of the many on-site restaurants for locally inspired dishes.
2 Maligne Canyon, Jasper
Home to the area’s most sought-after adventures, Maligne Canyon is the deepest canyon in Jasper National Park.
Turquoise, glacial waters and startling canyon walls grow ever more impressive along the short trail, with multiple bridges spanning the gorge for spine-tingling views of the river below.
Watch for fuchsia fireweed and mountain bluebirds in a landscape shaped by fire, erosion and mountain-building.
Rest your head: Alpine Village Resort
With the perfect blend of comfort and seclusion, Alpine Village Resort is ideally located across from the sparkling Athabasca River with panoramic views of Mt Edith Cavell and Mt Tekarra.
Nestled in a beautiful forested area of the Canadian Rockies, there are a variety of cabins to choose from, including Heritage-style cabins that provide a cosy place to rest up for another outdoor adventure. The 16ft outdoor hot pool is also a must for rejuvenating tired legs.
3 Sunshine Meadows, Banff
Boasting carpets of alpine and wildflowers in summer and golden larches in autumn, Sunshine Meadows is a unique area on the Continental Divide.
The 5-mile loop extends from Rock Isle to Grizzly and Laryx Lakes, offering great views of the surrounding peaks, including Mount Assiniboine, the “Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies”.
Rest your head: Fairmont Banff Springs
Known as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies”, the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel is a year-round luxury mountain resort where hikers unwind and recharge after a day of exploring.
Few hotels in the world rival the majesty, hospitality and grandeur of the Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, which features an award-winning European-style spa for soothing tired muscles and authentically local dining experiences to refuel for another day of hiking.
4 Grotto Canyon, Kananaskis
Located just ten minutes from the town of Canmore, Grotto Canyon can only be accessed on foot.
Follow the trail through narrow-walled creek beds surrounded by limestone walls to discover a glistening waterfall and Hopi pictographs painted some 500 to 1,000 years ago!
Rest your head: Stoneridge Mountain Resort
Find all the comforts of home in one, two or three-bedroom condo-style suites at Stoneridge Mountain Resort, located just outside the town of Canmore.
With fully equipped gourmet kitchens, gas fireplace and king-sized beds, it’s a hiker’s dream to settle down for the night and rest up for more outdoor adventures.
Check out the extra-large soaker tubs and outdoor swimming pool and hot tub to relieve any aches and pains.
5 Tawayik Lake Trail, Elk Island National Park
Follow the Tawayik Lake Trail in Elk Island National Park near Edmonton and discover the lake, aspen forests and meadows.
At the southern-most point of the 10-mile trail is the narrows between Tawayik Lake and Little Tawayik Lake, a meadow area with beautiful views of the landscape and the occasional herd of grazing bison.
Plus, look out for the bench commemorating the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1984!
Rest your head: Fairmont Hotel MacDonald
Overlooking the lush Saskatchewan River Valley, the Fairmont Hotel MacDonald has been an iconic landmark in Edmonton for over 100 years.
A one-of-a-kind hotel that breathes dignified style and timeless grace, each guestroom and suite is luxuriously-appointed with every amenity and spectacular views of either the magnificent North Saskatchewan River Valley or the splendid city skyline.
To find out more and start the adventure, please visit www.travelalberta.com