Alberta, Alaska and Washington2019-01-15T14:25:49+00:00

British Columbia is bordered to the west by the Pacific Ocean, and to the north by the US state of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory and Northwest Territories. The beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountains form BC’s eastern border with neighbouring Alberta, and bordering B.C to the south are the US states of Washington, Idaho and Montana.

Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon, between Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.
Upper Falls in Johnston Canyon, between Banff and Lake Louise, Alberta, Canada.

Alberta

Alberta is naturally beautiful, from the inland seas of prairie wheat to the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies to the eerily beautiful hoodoos. With 5 of Canada’s 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Alberta boasts five national parks and over sixty provincial parks, each one serving up breathtaking beauty.

Alberta is a world-class tourism destination, attracting millions of visitors each year. Alberta is naturally beautiful, from the inland seas of prairie wheat to the soaring peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Alberta boasts five national parks and over sixty provincial parks, each one serving up breathtaking beauty, and 5 of Canada’s 13 UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Dinosaur Provincial Park, Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, and Wood Buffalo National Park.

Alberta Central: Discover Alberta’s heartland, with lush agricultural areas and communities that take pride in their history and culture. Central Alberta is filled with stunning features: idyllic rolling foothills, expansive prairie vistas and the countless lakes that make this region an outdoor playground.

Alberta North: Northern Alberta’s grandiose lakes, mighty rivers, abundant wildlife and untapped wilderness are the backdrop for an outdoor adventure of a lifetime. Experience it with a rod and reel in hand, by horseback, canoe, kayak, dogsled or snowmobile. Famous for its native and migratory bird populations, experienced guides and interpretive programs, this region is an outdoor paradise for naturalists.

Alberta South: From its rippling wheat fields to the Hoodoos of the Canadian Badlands, southern Alberta has a surprising array of topography and offers a look at history as far back as the Cretaceous period. There are three UNESCO World Heritage Sites to explore, and all things prehistoric, from dinosaurs to ancient First Nations campsites. Hike, camp, paddle, horseback ride, or take a guided or self-guided tour.

Calgary: Amidst its towering tributes to the oil and gas industry, Calgary is bustling with museums, theatres, art galleries, fine restaurants and superlative shops. Famed for its entrepreneurial spirit and youthful population, the city continues to honour its western heritage, especially evident during the Calgary Stampede every July.

Canadian Rockies: Flanking Alberta’s western border with their rugged peaks and ranges, the Canadian Rockies are home to alpine meadows, emerald lakes, wild waterways, backcountry wilderness and some of the best hiking and skiing in the world. You’ll find villages with all the amenities from roadside campgrounds to five star resorts. Most famous are the national parks of Banff and Jasper, as well as the numerous provincial parks and recreation areas of Kananaskis Country.

Edmonton: Alberta’s capital city and international gateway lies in the geographic heart of the province. Known as the Festival City, Edmonton is loved for its cultural events, superb museums, vibrant arts scene, eclectic neighbourhoods and spectacular river valley. The city’s renowned folk music and theatrical fringe festivals are magnets for international visitors.

Moose on the Alaska Highway, British Columbia, Canada.
Moose on the Alaska Highway, British Columbia, Canada.

Alaska

Think of everything you’ve ever imagined about Alaska. Mountains so tall they seem to touch the sky, lush rainforests and narrow waterways, towering glaciers and cascading waterfalls, and all manner of wildlife, big and small. Alaska is a land so spectacular it simply takes your breath away. The call of Alaska has been heard by many whose lives will never be the same again.

Alaska is the largest state in the United States in land area, more than twice as large as Texas, the next largest state. Juneau is the capital of Alaska, and although it is located on the mainland, no roads connect Juneau to the rest of the North American highway system. Access is by sea or air only.

Traveling in Alaska is like traveling in no other place on earth. With 586,000 square miles to explore in Alaska, visitors can choose from wildlife viewing, sea kayaking, and guided glacier hikes, or relax aboard a one-day cruise, pan for gold, or bait a rod for Alaska’s world-famous King salmon fishing.

Special Alaskan delights include spotting a grizzly bear with cubs in tow, or the instant when the silence of a misty fjord is shattered by a pod of giant humpback whales, breaching high into the air, then crashing back against the sea. While your floatplane flies over crystal glaciers, toward the midnight sun, you are reminded that Alaska can provide the adventure of a lifetime.

San Juan Islands and Twin Lakes in Washington State, USA
San Juan Islands and Twin Lakes in Washington State, USA

Washington

The natural attractions of Washington are many: Glacier-capped volcanic peaks, plush rain forests, playful Orca pods and mineral-coloured canyon walls that rise from the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Many of Washington’s wonders defy comparison, hence the theme: So much of Washington is distinctly Washington.

Washington State is one of the world’s great travel destinations. Lying mainly along the 49th parallel, bordering British Columbia to the north, Washington is named after George Washington, the first President of the United States – the only state to be named after a US president.

Whether you favor the delights of the great outdoors or the great indoors, Washington offers everything for the visitor and resident alike. Outdoor activities and adventures are endless, with cycling, boating, river and sea kayaking, camping, fishing, golfing, hiking, and mountain climbing being amongst the more popular activities.

Western Washington supports dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rain forest, with the deep forests of the Olympic Peninsula being among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States. Eastern Washington, east of the Cascades, has a relatively dry climate with large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts lying in the rainshadow of the Cascades.

The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes; Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Mount St. Helens is currently the only Washington volcano that is actively erupting, although all of them are considered active volcanoes. Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the state, and is covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the lower 48 states.

There are three national parks in Washington; Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, and Olympic National Park. National forests in the state include Colville National Forest, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Okanogan National Forest, Olympic National Forest, and Wenatchee National Forest, among others.