Surrounded by prairies, historical sites, and the Rocky Mountains, Pincher Creek often gets left out of a traveller's itinerary. That can happen when there are so many beautiful sites nearby – like Alberta’s newest provincial park – Castle Wildland. People stop for gas and keep driving, but they shouldn’t because there’s lots going on here. You just have to walk around town, talk to the locals, look a little deeper, and you’ll be in the know.
Use your horseless carriage to visit the World's finest museum of horse-drawn carriages
Cardston, AB – Until about 1910 or so, getting from A to B required a bit of horse power – literally. In fact, for hundreds of years, even centuries, travelling via a horse-drawn vehicle was the preferred way to travel significant distances on land. (A wooden ship might work if you lived near a major river or sea port.) So not surprisingly, there is a treasure trove of ancient carriages that still exist. The place to see them? Witness one being restored? Even ride in one? The Remington Carriage Museum in Cardston, Alberta.
It’s been a few years since I lived in “The Hat” as we used to call it. So, when the chance came along to go back and experience Medicine Hat on a brewery tour, I was pretty excited. It would be interesting to see how much the city has changed. One thing’s for sure, there weren’t any craft brewers like Hell’s Basement Brewery and Medicine Hat Brewing Co around when I lived there. Today, they’re putting the small southern Alberta city on the international craft beer map.
It’s often the little things that make the heart grow fonder in relationships, but that, I discovered, can also apply to your old home city. I recently made a return visit to Medicine Hat where I hadn’t lived in more than two decades only to find the city had changed – a lot.
The term “hidden gem” is used to describe something that is outstanding and but not necessarily obvious to most people. That’s what I wanted to learn about Medicine Hat, so I met up with Attiya Fune and her parents to explore the city and learn about the more off-the-beaten-path places for visitors.
One pedal stroke after another, we work our mountain bikes to the top of Old Baldy Trail in Cypress Hills Provincial Park. The climb is less than a kilometre but we are rewarded with stunning views of Elkwater Lake below, shimmering in the late-afternoon light and embraced by thick forests around it.
A lake in southeastern Alberta is a pretty rare thing, especially one this size where you can boat, water-ski, kayak - and swim. The number of water activities is as long as an Alberta summer day.
The mighty Canadian Rockies thrust themselves upward abruptly from the soft rolling landscape of the Alberta prairies as we turned into the Waterton Lakes National Park driving from Lethbridge. Honestly, the anticipation of rounding the corner and laying first sight on the iconic Prince of Wales hotel.
Purple wildflowers carpet the grassy hillsides as the morning sun warms the Waterton Lakes valley. In the distance, we see a mother bear carefully watching over her three frolicking cubs on a closed trail below Bears Hump on Mt. Crandell.
Not sure what I expected when I selected Level 2 on the power mode switch. Helmet strapped on, I took my first pedal stroke and with a surprising burst of energy my electric assist mountain bike burst to life. Now that’s more like it.
This was going to be a fun way to tour the Crowsnest Pass area, which borders on Alberta's newest protected area - Castle Wildland Provincial Park.
Rolling prairie hills and grasslands abruptly give way to the montane forest and mountains of the Canadian Rockies as we drive westbound. The Castle wilderness almost appeared as a line across the land where it was decided the prairie would become towering mountains. It was here drove into, Castle Provincial Park.
Southern Alberta has so much to explore. Grab an awesome itinerary here.
Learn how the oil industry came to be in Alberta. Take a walk through time with this awesome trip planner.
Castle Provincial Park is full of adventure for any and everyone. Learn more here.
Splish, splash and have an incredible time in Lethbridge with this awesome itinerary.
Lethbridge is home to some incredibly cool areas to explore. Learn about 5 ways to enjoy the city.
It's hard not to think back to the "old west" days when driving through the coulees of Lethbridge. They're almost like a canyon cutting through the prairies, dry and rugged, with rattlesnakes and scorpions on the lam. I can see the odd cactus still holding on to their spring flowers.
Our two-day itinerary has you using Pincher Creek as your hub for winter activities.
Crowsnest Pass is a region that has been home to the Piikani and Ktunaxa First Nations dating back 10,000 years. Alberta’s Southwest region, and specifically the region of the Crowsnest, is home to the most concentrated collection of First Nations Archeological sites – over 380 of them. It’s also home to Canada’s largest mining disasters, which is now a tourist attraction that welcomes over 100,000 people each year to experience this massive rock slide.
Hook yourself into Lake Newell for the chance to land yourself a new way to achieve winter zen. In this story, we take to the ice to see if we can hook some lunch during our ice fishing adventure.
Enjoy the great outdoors on the ice at Lake Newell and try your hand at ice fishing, then head to Brooks to enjoy the craft beer and coffee scene.
Get to know Canada’s sunniest city filled with cafes, breweries and a winter wilderness only minutes away
Downtown Medicine Hat is a delightful mix of old and new with restored historic buildings and vibrant murals brightening brick walls. Eateries and pubs celebrate Medicine Hat’s rich history with equally colourful names.
Pincher Creek, AB – As we rode higher and higher up the mountain on the Huckleberry Chair, the views just kept getting better and better. (Opened in 2006, this fixed quad chair is the newest lift at the legendary Castle Mountain Resort.) To our right, across a deep ravine, the snow-smeared South Chutes – one of the most revered advanced skiing zones in the country – plunge down the steep, pine-peppered fall lines.
Pincher Creek, AB – Shortly after 10 a.m. on a frosty, fresh-powder morning, we reach the newly-marked trailhead for the Drywood Creek recreation area in Castle Provincial Park. Not surprisingly, we have the parking lot to ourselves.
Pincher Creek, AB – Some of the people you meet you will never forget. For me, Conrad Little Leaf, a Blackfoot cultural guide at the world-renowned Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in southwest Alberta, is one of those people.
If you are heading to Pincher Creek over the next several weeks to get in some great snowshoeing at Castle Provincial Park, pad some time in to visit both Frank Slide and Head Smashed-in Buffalo Jump while you are in the area.
Our two-day historic tour takes you to some of Southern Alberta’s most spectacular historical sites, but one thing is missing – the summer-time crowds. The centres are yours to explore at a leisurely pace.