13 incredible natural wonders you have to check out in Alberta (PHOTOS)

Apr 17 2023, 7:00 pm

Alberta is gifted with an abundance of natural beauty, and we’ve rounded up 13 incredible natural wonders to check out across the province.

From a massive rockslide that changed a landscape forever to gorgeous spots nestled in the Rockies, hit the road to check out these natural wonders of Alberta.

Mount Edith Cavell

 

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It’s a gem of Jasper National Park; Mount Edith Cavell will wow you with its stunning beauty and awesome views of the mountain and Angel Glacier. It’s a true natural wonder, with the mountain face having skiffs of snow for most of the year.

Maligne Canyon

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Equally stunning in the summer and winter months, Maligne Canyon is a natural wonder in Jasper due to the underground cave system that feeds the area. Upstream from the canyon is Medicine Lake, which fills with spring meltwater during the summer months but come fall, it starts to drain, and by winter, it’s completely empty. The falls in Maligne Canyon absolutely rage in the summer, but come winter it dries up and you can do wicked ice walks. It’s incredible!

Frank Slide

Alberta natural wonders

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Situated in Crowsnest Pass, Frank Slide is a jaw-dropping scene and the result of a massive rockslide off Turtle Mountain during the early morning hours of April 29, 1903. More than 90 people were killed in the town of Frank when the wall of rock came crashing into the eastern side of the town. Today, more than 100,000 visitors pass through the area and visit the interpretive centre to learn more about the slide.

Red Rock Coulee

Alberta natural wonders

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It’s one of the most peculiar landscapes in Alberta; you’ll almost feel like you are on a different planet when you visit the Red Rock Coulee natural area. Located approximately 50 kilometres south of Medicine Hat, it contains large red spherical sandstone concretions that have eroded out of the softer bedrock, the best example of spheroid rock formations in Alberta.

Concretions measure up to 2.5 metres across and are believed to be among the largest in the world, according to Alberta Parks. There are also hoodoos in the area, so get to some exploring down there!

Johnston Canyon

Johnston Canyon

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Johnston Canyon is a mere half an hour from the Banff townsite and provides some pretty stellar dramatic natural beauty. The water drops a dazzling 40 metres to a pooling below and you can get a great look at the upper falls from two vantage points: a viewing platform looking over to the bottom of the falls and a platform overhanging the gorge. Stunning!

Dinosaur Provincial Park

 

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This UNESCO World Heritage Site is just two hours east of Calgary and transports you back to prehistoric times. Dinosaur Provincial Park has striking badlands and is overflowing with fossils to be discovered. It’s a neat spot to escape to a landscape that makes you feel like there is no way you are still in the country, let alone Alberta.

Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park

 

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About 100 kilometres southeast of Lethbridge, the Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park holds the greatest concentration of rock art on the North American Great Plains. Hoodoos are also scattered throughout the park’s coulee and prairie landscape.

Athabasca Dunes

 

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This area contains part of Alberta’s largest active sand dune system, nestled in the Maybelle River Wildland Park, 200 kilometres north of Fort McMurray. It features 12-metre tall sand dunes and 60-metre high kames, among the world’s largest. It’s a sandy wonder that can’t be found on this scale anywhere else in Alberta.

Moraine Lake

 

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Stunning blue water and towering mountains? Post a photo of yourself visiting this spot in Banff National Park, and you are guaranteed to have people asking where the heck that is. Moraine Lake is world-famous for its turquoise water, which you can rent a canoe and go paddling on (we highly suggest doing so). It’s a rare place that must be visited and certainly is up there when it comes to natural wonders in Alberta.

Okotoks Erratic

Alberta natural wonders

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Standing out against its prairie surroundings, this massive rock is thought to have been left behind when the glaciers retreated. It weighs more than 18,000 tons and is broken into two pieces. It can be found west of the city of Okotoks, and pictures simply don’t do it justice on just how MASSIVE it is. You must see it for yourself!

Ice Bubbles at Abraham Lake

 

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This artificial lake on the North Saskatchewan River west of Nordegg creates the most stunning views in the winter, with ice bubbles forming on the lake, allowing for them to look like they are floating in the blue colour of the water due to runoff from the Rocky Mountains. It’s stunning and makes for the best Instagram photos. You can grab your skates and make a TikTok gliding on the icy, bubbly surface. It’s a natural wonder that comes each year in Alberta.

Crescent Falls

 

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Stunning year-round, Crescent Falls is just outside of Nordegg and can be hit while you are on your way out to Abraham Lake! The cascading fall itself is stunning, and a short 2.5-kilometre trail whisks you to the Bighorn Gorge Lookout for spectacular views of the falls and the Bighorn River Valley. Mamma mia, that’s sure a beautiful waterfall!

Hard Luck Canyon

hard luck canyon

Woodlands County

The Hard Luck Canyon near Whitecourt was carved out by the Hard Luck Creek through the sandstone layers of the Paskapoo Formation. Oh, and there is a waterfall too, making the area even more gorgeous. A bridge spans the falls, with the water typically running at its fastest during the spring melt. It’s stunning in all seasons, from an ice-encased waterfall and snow-kissed canyon walls in the winter to lush greenery surrounding the waterfall during the summer months, with a bright green moss usually blanketing the rocks around the falls.

Laine MitchellLaine Mitchell

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