6 awesome Insta-worthy destinations in the South Canadian Rockies that you won't find anywhere else

Apr 19 2023, 5:30 pm

If you’re already contemplating your next outdoor escape now that the weather is getting warmer, you definitely need to add the South Canadian Rockies (SCR) to your list of dreamy and action-packed road trips from Calgary this spring and summer.

You won’t be battling other tourists for vantage spots in these stunning South Alberta surroundings, with lots of chances for adventure in the region, whether you’re looking to hike, bike, climb, canoe, camp, swim, engage in history, or anything else under the sun.

Beyond its awe-inspiring scenery and unlimited potential for outdoor fun, the South Canadian Rockies has a number of alluring local spots to stop in for a coffee, a meal, a drink or a chat, but also a range of remarkable vantage points that make for the perfect backdrop for your next Instagram or TikTok shoot.

Here are just a handful of the places you’ve got to see for yourself when you’re in the area to get the perfect profile pic, though really, virtually anywhere in the South Canadian Rockies is sure to wow.

Frank Slide in the town of Frank

While stunning natural beauty abounds in the SCR, there are also some sights that are breathtaking for quite another reason — such as Frank, which was the location of the deadliest rockslide in Canada more than 100 years ago.

At the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, visitors can learn all about how 110 million tonnes of limestone careened down Turtle Mountain in 1903 and destroyed a portion of the city below, and can hike around the epic scene of the accident and see the century-old debris in person.

Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village in Pincher Creek

This pioneer village nestled in the mountains is home to a whopping 30,000+ artifacts housed in 31 historic buildings on six acres of land.

Most of the pioneer-era structures are authentic, fully restored and filled with furnishings and items from the time period.

Walk through pioneer schoolhouses, barns, homes and ranches, a doctor’s office, a quarry car, a wedding parlour, a hermitage, bath and outhouses; the bank, pharmacy, bakery, blacksmith’s and more, all while learning about the entire history of the South Canadian Rockies through the detailed research and resources provided.

The grounds are the ideal setting for a photo op, whether in one of the heritage buildings or around the stunning gardens that decorate the property.

Heritage Acres in Pincher Creek

This working museum showcases the centuries of SCR agricultural culture, and has a large collection of old farm machinery, heritage buildings and other artifacts that immerse visitors in the pioneer lifestyle of the region’s early residents.

Similar to the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, Heritage Acres will transport you back in time, with restored vintage steam-powered tractors, horses and buggies, charming barns, a working grain elevator and more. You can also host and attend events, and picnic and camp on-site!

Crowsnest Pass Public Art Gallery in Blairmore

Not only can you take in local art and photography at this quaint gallery, but you can also buy some original pieces to take home to keep, courtesy of over 50 local artisans.

The gallery promotes education in the arts, and hosts hands-on workshops and events, including movie screenings shown at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. You can take drawing classes to hone your skills or learn how to paint specific items and scenes.

Plus, art always makes for a good photoshoot, especially if it’s featuring something you made yourself!

Castle Falls west of Pincher Creek

While the entirety of the South Canadian Rockies is teeming with jaw-dropping vantages of mountains, forests, wildlife and more, Pincher Creek has some of the most picturesque natural features to take in, including the iconic Castle Falls waterfall and river.

The provincial recreation area named for the falls offers lots of opportunities to camp and explore, and also to spot local flora and fauna in its serene meadows and on its mountain paths.

Hike to one of the park’s lookouts to stand in awe of the region, which includes dozens of alpine lakes and headwater streams for swimming, fishing, canoeing, kayaking and more.

The nature here — and all of the activities it offers — are perfect for photos and videos of you having the ultimate summer trip in nature!

APP Barracks and Historic Downtown Coleman

The Alberta Provincial Police Barracks is a must-do activity for any history enthusiast or true crime buff, as they were the site of Canada’s most notorious rum-running murder: that of a local constable, whose life and death you can learn about in the very barracks he slept and worked in.

As part of the Crowsnest Museum‘s exhibits on the history of the region, you can learn all about how life was back in the Prohibition era, as well as before and after, with thousands of archival materials and artifacts to peruse in real buildings from the time.

Now that you know the hotspots, start planning your trip to the South Canadian Rockies for unbelievably scenic, social media-worthy photo opportunities and more, and sign up for the newsletter to stay up-to-date on all the latest from the SCR.

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Becky RobertsonBecky Robertson

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