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Calgary, one of Canada’s youngest yet most expansive cities, exudes modernity and vibrance. Nestled near the Rocky Mountains and the Alberta Badlands, Calgary boasts some of the most spectacular Canadian landscapes, making it an ideal base for both thrilling and awe-inspiring day trips.
Get Your Adrenaline Pumping
Calgary showcased itself to the world during the 1988 Winter Olympics, leaving behind the WinSport Olympic Park as a legacy. But don’t be deceived – the park is a hive of activity even outside the winter months.
Ever inspired by the Jamaican bobsleigh team’s story from Cool Runnings? Here’s your chance to emulate their adventure with a summer bobsleigh experience. Led by an expert pilot, you and three others will dash down the track at speeds exceeding 80 kph, navigating through 10 sharp turns.
For fans of Eddie the Eagle, another 1988 Olympics icon, you can ascend the same ski jump that launched him to fame. At 90 meters high, Calgary’s tallest point, you’ll also find North America’s fastest zipline, offering a thrilling descent alongside two additional ziplines.
Prefer controlling your descent? The Skyline Luge offers a gravity-fueled ride down a purpose-built track, featuring over 50 twists and a 1,800-meter journey, the longest of its kind globally.
Mountain biking enthusiasts will find a range of trails at WinSport Olympic Park, with rental options available.
Hunt for Dinosaurs
A mere two-hour drive east of Calgary transports you to the otherworldly Alberta Badlands, a treasure trove of dinosaur fossils. Dinosaur Provincial Park, amidst this stark landscape, has yielded over 150 complete dinosaur skeletons, making it a must-visit for paleontology enthusiasts.
The Explorer’s Bus Tour within the park grants access to exclusive areas, offering close encounters with the park’s geology and fossilized inhabitants. Advanced booking is recommended for this popular tour.
Royal Tyrrell Museum
For a deeper dive into the prehistoric past, the Royal Tyrrell Museum near Drumheller, about ninety minutes from Calgary, is filled with dinosaur skeletons, interactive displays, and hands-on activities for all ages.
The Badlands Interpretive Trail outside the museum provides a glimpse into the unique landscape, while the museum itself offers programs like fossil hunting and excavation experiences. Advance booking for these programs is advised.
Step back in time at Fort Calgary, the city’s birthplace, where the North West Mounted Police established a fort in 1875. The site has been a gathering place for stories, communities, and futures for centuries. Discover Calgary’s history through exhibits about the Native peoples, pioneers, and Mounties.
The Canadian Rockies
Calgary is the gateway to the Canadian Rockies, visible from the city and accessible within a ninety-minute drive. Banff National Park offers a plethora of activities, from hiking and soaking in hot springs to marveling at the beauty of Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.
The Icefields Parkway, stretching from Lake Louise to Jasper, is a breathtaking drive, with stops like the Columbia Icefield where you can explore the Athabasca Glacier up close.
For a unique stay, consider booking a Parks Canada oTENTik in Banff National Park for a comfortable camping experience.
Adventure in the City
Calgary’s urban parks, like the expansive Nose Hill Park, offer outdoor enjoyment without leaving the city. The park provides stunning city and mountain views, perfect for a picnic.
Summer days are ideal for floating down the Elbow or Bow Rivers, offering a leisurely or more exhilarating experience, respectively. Raft rentals and shuttle services are available for a seamless adventure.
In Calgary, the great outdoors is just a step away, whether you’re seeking city-based adventures or exploring the majestic landscapes that surround this vibrant city.