The 11 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta, Canada

The 11 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Alberta, Canada


Canada’s province of Alberta might be our favorite place in the country, with jaw-dropping scenery and picture-perfect landscapes around every corner. These twelve must-see spots have proven to be some of the most beautiful places in Alberta!

1. Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake has the best of everything: crystal clear water, towering glaciers, and picturesque Spirit Island. While you can always splurge a little on a cruise around the lake and to the island, we recommend renting a kayak and seeing the sights on your own.

Spirit Island - Maligne Lake - Alberta, Canada
Spirit Island – Maligne Lake – Alberta, Canada – Source :

Visit early to avoid the crowds and for a better chance of catching a glimpse of wildlife!

2. Town of Banff

Banff has the historical charm of a small mountain town, with all the amenities you need to have a fun, lively stay. Authentic saloons with mechanical bull riding are a plus for visitors looking for a taste of the local culture, as are the many farm-fresh restaurants and cool shops downtown.

Banff Gondola View - Alberta, Canada
Banff Gondola View – Alberta, Canada

Banff Gondola View – Alberta, Canada – Source :

While in town, make sure to get outside. Take the gondola for stunning views of the city, or ice skate at Banff Community High School rink downtown. Banff is also known for their awesome Upper Hot Springs and National Park’s Cave and Basin, so be sure to check them out.

3. Sunwapta Falls

Sunwapta Falls, Alberta, Canada - Source :
Sunwapta Falls, Alberta, Canada – Source :

Another set of falls with an impressive backdrop; Sunwapta and its accompanying lower falls aren’t known for their height but for their powerful force. For the best view, cross the footbridge that stands above the actual main waterfall itself.

Visit in the springtime when the snow is melting and water flow is at its peak!

4. Lake Louise

Lake Louise is one of the most photographed lakes in Canada, and for good reason! About an hour east of the town of Banff you’ll find yourself at this vibrant blue water lake, which comes about as close to a postcard picture as you can get.

Lake Louise Sunrise - Alberta, Canada - Source :
Lake Louise Sunrise – Alberta, Canada – Source :

Rent a canoe at the Lake Louise Boathouse, or hit the trails and take in the views from above. One of the most popular (and rewarding) hikes is the moderate “tea house hike” from the lake’s shores to Lake Agnes Tea House hidden in the mountains over the smaller – yet still beautiful – Lake Agnes.

5. Moraine Lake/Larch Valley

Moraine Lake is a surreal-blue lake backed by the Valley of the Ten Peaks. You can easily spend a day here, hiking around the lake or Canoeing through the glassy water — if visiting in warmer months. I also highly recommend a hike through Larch Valley.

Moraine Lake Sunset - Alberta, Canada
Moraine Lake Sunset – Alberta, Canada – Source :

Fall is the best time to hike; the wildflowers and golden fall foliage amidst the evergreens is an exceptional view!

6. Two Jack Lake

Just north of Banff is Two Jack Lake — a small lake on the eastern end of larger Lake Minnewanka. Spectacular pink and purple sunsets make this a favorite photography spot, and an easy place to capture great time lapses!

Two Jack Lake Sunset - Alberta, Canada
Two Jack Lake Sunset – Alberta, Canada – Source :

Hike the shore-side trails, take a drive around the lake, or try your hand at cross-country skiing. The two well-maintained campgrounds to the east and south of the lake make this an easy place to spend a couple of days relaxing in the outdoors.

7. Athabasca Falls

Voted 2nd best waterfall in Canada by Reader’s Digest, Athabasca Falls might just be the crown jewel of Jasper National Park. The falls and limestone gorge it’s created are even more stunning before the Mount Kerkeslin backdrop!

Athabasca Falls in Winter - Alberta, Canada
Athabasca Falls in Winter – Alberta, Canada

There are many platforms to view the falls, but be sure to stay on the trails and never venture off to get a better look; the surrounds are slippery and often icy, making anything off the paved trails very dangerous.

8. Maligne Canyon

This spot is beautiful year round, with lush green trees and waterfall views in summer and massive ice formations in winter. The safest way to view Maligne Canyon in colder months is with a guide, so come prepared with warm winter gear and a good camera!

Maligne Canyon Ice Walk - Alberta, Canada
Maligne Canyon Ice Walk – Alberta, Canada – Source :

 Read our Canada Winter Packing Guide for tips on what to bring if you’re planning a winter visit.

9. Johnston Canyon

Winter offers the most breathtaking views, as the catwalks through the canyon give you an up-close-and-personal look at the ice formations among the limestone cliffs.

Johnston Canyon Waterfall - Alberta, Canada
Johnston Canyon Waterfall – Alberta, Canada – Source :

Book an ice walk if visiting during the winter — the frozen falls make for a spectacular experience!

10. Peyto Lake

Peyto Lake photos need no filters — the water really is THAT blue. The lake gets its vivid color from glacial rock flour that has settled from melting winter snow, and we can’t get enough of it!

Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada
Peyto Lake, Alberta, Canada – Source :

Head to Bow Summit for the best viewing point of the entire lake; if summer crowds overwhelm the lookout you can hike to a separate, remote overlook via a trail from the wooden viewing point which leads into the forest.

11. Lake Minnewanka

This scenic glacial lake stretched beneath the Canadian Rockies is ideal for outdoor activities at any time of year — hiking and canoeing in summer, and snowshoeing in the winter. In warmer months you can even go scuba diving!

Lake Minnewanka, Alberta, Canada
Lake Minnewanka, Alberta, Canada – Source :

Try to plan your trip for winter months when the aurora borealis is at its peak; Lake Minnewanka is known to have the Northern Lights make an appearance in late winter through spring.

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