More of Alberta.....

Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:26 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 16
More of Alberta.....

Me and a friend are looking to see some of 'prairieland' whilst we are in Calgary.. staying 2/3 nights Calgary before we do the Rockies...
Is this at all possible? or unrealistic?
Many thanks for any replies.
horseybreeze is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 08:55 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
Posts: 603
Head east and visit Drumheller. Not only will you see prairies but you can visit the Tyrell Museum. But if you just want to see prairie, drive south, east or north and within 30 minutes you will have seen enough prairie for you.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 01:21 PM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 959
There's a number of wonderful places to view the prairie landscape, which I think is very beautiful and well worth seeing.

As Cruiseryyc suggested, you could to Drumheller and you will drive through prairie as you head into the badlands. The badlands aren't stereotypically prairie; the area not good for agriculture or ranching (hence the name) but, are a really interesting area to visit and the museum is top-notch.

Other suggestions are:

Bar U Ranch National Historic Site
"Set in the rolling foothills, the Bar U Ranch commemorates the history and importance of ranching in Canada. The site has 35 buildings and structures, illustrating various stages of ranching development, and is rich in cultural landscape features."

Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump
"...where the foothills of the Rocky Mountains meet the great plains, one of the world's oldest, largest and best preserved buffalo jump's known to exist -- Head-Smashed-In. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, Head-Smashed-In has been used continuously by aboriginal peoples of the plains for more than 5,500 years."

Writing On Stone Provincial Park
(this would be better as an overnight trip versus a day trip from Calgary)
"It is one of the largest areas of protected prairie in the Alberta park system, and serves as both a nature preserve and protection for a large number of Indian rock carvings and paintings."

If you go to any of the sites south of Calgary, make sure you take highway #22 (not the #2). It's very scenic drive, right through the heart of ranching country and with the prairies on the east and the mountains on the west, one of my favourite drives.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Apr 3rd, 2008, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
I fully agree with Sheila's suggestions. The Royal Tyrrell Museum is a World Heritage Site, and worth every penny it takes to get there.

The badlands are interesting. Before you get to Drumheller when driving from Calgary you will pass through good wheat country.

There is more to Alberta than just the Rockies as many a dinosaur buff will be quick to tell you!!

In driving around eastern Alberta, most any paved road that shows on a map will do just fine. I have deliberately taken off on "little" roads just to see what I could see.
Fun, and I was not delayed in getting to my destination other than by the time required to drive the extra kilometers involved when I deviated from the most direct route.

And if you want more fun in the Rockies, look up the Forestry Trunk Road on a map. It is marked, but the sections I drove were graded but not paved. You will be virtually alone in the wilderness!!
bob_brown is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 12:08 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 16
Many many thanks for your replies. I really wanted to see 'ranching country' so your suggestions were great....

I found a website absteamtrain... a steam train that does day trips Eastern Alberta way... does anyone know of this and is it any good?

If not I think we should drive to drumheller and buffalo, I think that should be enough prairie for me!!!!
horseybreeze is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 07:53 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 959
I haven't taken the steam train trip myself, but would like to. My mother did a few years ago and she enjoyed. it.
ShelliDawn is offline  
Apr 4th, 2008, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,019
In years past I have gotten good information from Travel Alberta.
The have a good web site at

There is quite a bit to see in Alberta and don't underestimate its size. It is a big province in land area - 255,541 square miles - with a high level of variety.

In the US, Texas is comparable in size but has many more people. Needless to say, parts of Alberta, particularly north of Edmonton, are sparsely populated.

Speaking of the population of Canada, I am reminded of a very funny incident from my adult son's high school days. The daughter of a neighbor was far more interested in the social aspects of high school life than anything else. In some class she was taking the teacher required a term paper. When it came time to set words on paper, this socialite was hardly a model of erudition.

She wrote a pretty bad essay on The Population of Canada. I heard about parts of it from some of the other teenagers in her class who were friends with my son. She started off by saying that in Canada there was not much population. Most of what there was lived in the south because of the United States. In northern Canada there was not much population because it was too cold.
What population there was stayed inside most of the winter.

At any rate, you get the idea.

Well, her younger brother was very much like the nerdy youngest child in the comic strip Foxtrot who bedevils his older sister.

The brother convinced his sister that if she changed "population" to "copulation" her paper would seem much more learned.

Good brother that he was, he even showed her how to use the find and replace feature of Microsoft Word. Being somewhat lazy as well as linguistically challenged, the sister changed ALL occurrences of population. So when her teacher begin reading the paper, the title was The Copulation of Canada.

Her father found out about his daughter's wonderful magnum opus in the coffee lounge of his academic department at the college where he was a professor.

I am happy to report that both children are healthy adults today although there was reasonable cause for doubt at the time.
bob_brown is offline  

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