Begin your day with a wonderful boat tour aboard the Prairie Lily on the South Saskatchewan River and let yourself be carried away by the beauty of this prairie city.
Begin your adventure in the vibrant city of Calgary. The day offers a perfect opportunity to discover Alberta's biggest town on a stroll through the city centre. Calgary is a modern city with plenty of cultural attractions. The downtown core features a mix of heritage and modern architecture, along with a tree-lined river walk. On a clear day, the mountains seem close enough to touch, giving you a taste of your adventure to come.
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Alberta's beautiful natural landscape will leave you spellbound today as you make your way to Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta's south. En route, pass through historic Fort Macleod, home of the first North-West Mounted Police settlement in western Canada. Take time to spot the local wildlife such as antelopes, coyotes, eagles and moose.
Campground wise, you have a choice of private and National Park campgrounds to make your base for exploring the park and its surrounds. The Townsite campground is handy to downtown Waterton but is popular and reservations are required in peak summer months.
With such beautiful scenery, you'll find it hard to decide which direction to head in today. Take a drive out on the Red Rock Parkway to Red Rock Canyon. Numerous interpretive pullouts along the way will provide an insight into the history of the area. Stop to admire the colourful roadside wildflowers and views of jagged mountain peaks and alpine meadows.
After visiting Red Rock Canyon, head out on the Akamina Parkway (Cameron Lake Road). It's a half hour drive each way but plan to spend time stopping along the way. At Cameron Lake, a number of short trails are worth discovering, including a 1.6 km walk around the lake. For the more adventurous, take the short, strenuous trail from the Waterton Visitor Resource Centre up Bears Hump or explore the various hiking trails in the area. If you have more time to spend in the area and are travelling in July and August, consider a trip across the border to Glacier National Park.
(Note that, due to rebuilding after a fire in the park in 2018, some roads may still be closed. Check the Waterton Lakes website for the most up-to-date information).
Today you cross the provincial border and drive into Saskatchewan, one of Canada’s prairie provinces. Evergreen splendor awaits you as you prepare to explore Saskatchewan’s Cypress Hills. The forested plateau vaults itself above the prairie, creating an unexpected mountain-like oasis. Enjoy tranquil accommodation in the comfort of your RV in this idyllic setting. Biologically unique, with lodgepole pine forest, rare wild flowers and animal species, the park sits at 1,392m and has some of the highest points East of the Rockies.
In the hilly Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park, enjoy days filled with hiking, canoeing, fishing, golfing, rides on horseback, swimming in the lake and zip lining through the forest canopy. If you wish to explore local taste and a bit of Canadian history, venture back to Maple Creek where quaint restaurants and coffee shops await and then proceed north on Highway 271 toward Fort Walsh National Historic Site.
Fort Walsh was another North-West Mounted Police site, built in June 1875, to curb the illegal whiskey trade and protect Canada's nearby border with the United States. Visitors can tour the Fort's buildings, the former townsite, cemeteries and the whiskey trading post. Fort Walsh is part of the Cypress Hills Dark Sky Preserve.
Today’s route ends with you arriving at Grasslands National Park, one of Canada’s most unique ecosystems. Carved out of the rolling prairie landscape is expansive land where mixed prairie grasses are preserved and endangered species are protected. Catch a glimpse of a black-footed ferret, short-horned lizard, black-tailed prairie dog or bison.
When night falls, gaze into the sky to enjoy one of nature's greatest star-light displays. With no light pollution, Grasslands National Park is one of the largest and darkest Dark Sky Preserves in Canada.
RV Camping is available at Frenchman Valley Campground and Rock Creek Campground.
From family-friendly interpretive walks to remote backcountry adventures for only the most experienced of hikers, Grasslands National Park has it all.
If you're more into driving and spotting wildlife, plan to do so around dawn and dusk when there is more likelihood of seeing animals. The Ecotour Scenic Drive will provide you with stunning landscapes through the Frenchman River Valley in the Park's West Block.
Travel to the East Block and discover astonishing dinosaur bones exposed in the eroding layers of earth. The East Block badlands are the richest resource for dinosaur fossils in Canada. You might like to overnight at Rock Creek Campground and experience a more rustic style of camping. Rock Creek is home to the McGowan Visitor Centre where you'll find a wealth of information about the area and things to do in the East Block. The campground offers amazing skies, both day and night, the leopard frogs' symphony at dusk and the meadowlarks' serenade at dawn. 50 Amp electric sites are available and we recommend reserving in advance.
Today you’ll be cruising through prairie towns as you travel north-east today to rejoin the Trans Canada Highway on your way to Regina. Take some time to explore the quaint city of Moose Jaw and walk the cozy downtown streets of this beautiful city. It boasts the highest number of tourist attractions per capita in Canada – surely you’ll find something to enjoy.
From Moose Jaw, it's only another hour's drive to your overnight destination at Regina. Overnight recommendation: Kings Acres Campground located on the outskirts of Regina - approximately 15 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
Regina, Saskatchewan’s capital city is located near the geographic centre of North America. The unique training academy of the “Mounties”, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, with its impressive ceremonies and parades, should not be missed. Choose the Wascana Centre for your evening stroll. The park is larger than Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park and offers shelter for many wild birds. If you’re looking for dessert, visit the Milky Way, a popular locals’ go-to spot for creamy ice cream treats.
We recommend overnighting at Kings Acres Campground. Be sure to check the CanaDream app for other recommendations and partner discounts.
On your way to Saskatchewan’s largest city, Saskatoon, stop in the Lumsden Valley where you can visit several farmers’ markets along Highway 6. As you travel north, this is a great opportunity to stock up on farm-fresh vegetables and homemade jams and pies.
Saskatoon is a picturesque city full of restaurants and cultural attractions. In the evening, stroll along the riverside walkway to enjoy the sunset. Our overnight recommendation is Gordon Howe Campground located within city limits - approximately 5-10 minutes’ drive from the city centre.
A walk through Saskatoon’s city centre offers many shopping opportunities as well as cultural attractions. Wanuskewin Heritage Park, located approximately ten minutes outside of Saskatoon, interprets over 6,000 years of Northern Plains Indian culture. Taste authentic First Nations cuisine in their onsite restaurant and view dance performances daily during the summer months.
And, don’t forget to check out the CanaDream app for discounts and partner recommendations.
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The transitional landscape of Prince Albert National Park will take your breath away as aspen parkland changes into boreal forest and pockets of grasslands. The grasslands are considered ecologically important due to their rarity as, outside of the park, most of the fescue grasslands have been lost to farming and urban development. Call in at the visitor centre, located close to the Waskesiu Heritage Museum and learn about the tranquil surroundings and the wildlife that call this area home. Take part in interpretive programs, guided hikes and outdoor theatre presentations.
The park offers both serviced and unserviced camping at five front-country vehicle-accessible campgrounds in the park.
The Park offers countless recreational opportunities for both adventurous and more sedentary travellers. With six well-serviced beaches, you're sure to find a spot to spend the day swimming, paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Or, spend an afternoon on horseback to view Plains bison in their natural habitat. And, for golfing enthusiasts, the Waskesiu Lobstick Golf Course offers one of the finest golf experiences in Saskatchewan.
Nineteen trails in the park offer short and long hikes from easy to difficult. An easy climb to the top of the Height-of-Land Lookout Tower will put you 100 metres higher than Waskesiu. Here you will have interrupted views of King Island, Shady Lake and Beartrap Creek. One of the more popular, but difficult, trails is the 20 km hike to Grey Owl's Cabin. The trip can also be made by canoe or kayak, with portages being necessary on some sections.
It's a full day of driving today as you head westward along the southern border of the boreal forest right across Saskatchewan.
Join Highway 3 and meander west through small prairie towns before joining the Yellowhead Highway (16) just east of Lloydminster.
Further west on Highway 16, you'll reach the town of Vegreville, home to the largest Ukrainian Easter egg in the world. From Vegreville, it's only another hour's drive to reach Alberta's capital city, Edmonton, your home for the next two nights.
Welcome to Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton. Especially worth seeing is the Royal Alberta Museum, Whyte Avenue and West Edmonton Mall.
A short drive east of Edmonton will take you to the Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village, an open-air museum recreating life in a turn-of-the-20th-century Ukrainian immigrant village. Nearby is Elk Island National Park, home to the densest population of hoofed mammals in Canada. Year-round resident wildlife include coyote, bison, moose, deer, lynx, beaver, elk and porcupine. While bears and wolves roam in the park, they are not commonly seen.
For shopping lovers, an excursion to the West Edmonton Mall is an absolute must. The largest shopping mall of North America wows with its countless shops and its indoor amusement park with an indoor river, swimming pool with artificial waves, and bungee tower.
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The Yellowhead Highway continues west from Edmonton, the flat prairie land giving way to the spectacular mountains in Jasper National Park.
The eastern entrance to the Park is just past the town of Hinton but it's still another hour's drive from there into Jasper townsite. Consider a diversion to Miette Hot Springs en route and relax in the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies.
Campgrounds within the park, particularly those close to Jasper, are generally booked out in peak summer months so it's important to reserve ahead. Check out the CanaDream app for recommendations and partner discounts.
Spend the late afternoon and evening exploring Jasper. If you don't feel like cooking, there are some great dining options available in the town.
Today you can take some time to discover the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Hiking, mountain biking, canoeing or rafting – there are endless opportunities and adventures to choose from.
Take a short drive up the Pyramid Lake Road in early morning for a peaceful beginning to your day and mirror reflections of the sunrise on the lake. Take a 90-minute boat ride on Maligne Lake to Spirit Island. Close to Jasper itself, a trip on the Jasper SkyTram will take you 1258 metres above sea level for some of the best views in the Canadian Rockies.
The journey from Jasper to Lake Louise and Banff is packed with scenic highlights and must-stop places. Allow a full day to appreciate all this iconic road trip has to offer.
Athabasca Falls, just outside of Jasper, is not to be missed. Also be sure to stop at the Columbia Icefields. They are the largest glacial fields south of the Arctic Circle. Look out for the turnoff to Peyto Lake. This lake is the most visited and photographed lake in the Canadian Rockies and is best seen from Bow Summit, the highest point on the Icefields Parkway. Close by Peyto Lake is Bow Lake and the Crowfoot Glacier. As you return to the Trans Canada highway, you’re only a short distance to Lake Louise. This pristine lake, overlooked by the Victoria Glacier, is the most popular tourist destination in Banff National Park.
Your final destination today is the picturesque township of Banff. Parks Canada operates a campground close to the town on the Tunnel Mountain road. It's possible to park your RV here and take public transport downtown and this is strongly recommended during the peak tourist season. Check out the CanaDream app for our partner discounts in this area.
With only a short driving distance today, you might like to spend more time exploring Banff and surrounds before heading back to Calgary.
If you'd rather just head out, how about an alternative route back to Calgary? Highway 1A is slower but offers more picturesque views of the surrounding mountains with plenty of places to stop for photographs. Whichever route you choose to take, we recommend staying tonight at Calgary West Campground on the city's western fringe. From here it's a short trip back on Stoney Trail to drop off your RV in the morning.