8 Places to Explore While Attending UAlberta

From day-trips to longer adventures


Canada is the 2nd largest country in the world, spanning almost 10 million square kilometers (or 3.85 square miles), so there is a lot to explore! Here are some fun trips you can take throughout Western Canada, in your spare time, while you’re attending UAlberta.



Single Day Trips

Elk Island National Park

This park is located only 30 minutes outside of Edmonton and is home to free roaming wildlife, including bison (similar to buffalo). The park also features a lot of trails, so you can spend the day hiking and be back in Edmonton for dinner!


Sylvan Lake

Sylvan Lake is a popular beach located about 90 minutes from Edmonton. It’s the perfect destination for a last-minute trip on a hot summer day. The small town also has a lot of restaurants and shopping right off the main beach and even has a waterslide park.



This city is located a few hours South of Edmonton and is famous for it’s dinosaur bones and paleontological history.  It’s amazing desert-like landscape is filled with canyons and winding trails and is home to the famous Royal Tyrrell dinosaur museum.


Viewing the Northern Lights

Okay, so the Northern Lights are not a specific place, but they are a must-see while you’re attending UAlberta! Pay attention to local news or weather, it will usually be announced ahead of time that the northern lights or “aurora borealis” will be visible on certain nights throughout the year. On really clear nights they can be seen in Edmonton’s city centre, but are more often visible on the edge of town or just outside of the city.




Weekend or longer


The Rocky Mountains

You can drive or take a bus to explore Jasper or Banff national parks, only a few hours from Edmonton. There are a lot of outdoor activities to do in both summer and winter, plus both have really adorable town centres with shopping, dining and hotels! You can also join UAlberta’s ski and snowboard club, who regularly take students on trips to the mountains in winter.


Johnston Canyon & Lake Louise

Located in between Banff and Jasper, these magnificent natural attractions are a lot of fun to explore and equally beautiful in both summer and winter.


Athabasca Falls and Canyon

This waterfall is a picturesque and naturally occurring wonder that flows into a mossy canyon below. It’s also easily accessible, located about 30 KM south of Jasper, Alberta, and has a trail and bridge system that winds through the canyon below. This easy and peaceful walk is definitely a must-see while you’re studying at UAlberta!


Wood Buffalo National Park

This is Canada’s largest national park, spanning 44,807 square kilometers and is located in Northern Alberta. The park supports and protects many diverse ecosystems and rare species, as well as the traditional activities of it’s Aboriginal residents. If you want to experience and learn about the unique cultures, landscapes and rare wildlife of Canada, this is the place to visit!



Image credits: Elk Island image courtesy of Parks Canada. Royal Tyrrell Museum image from Canada.com. Johnston Canyon image by Dibble Photography. Frozen Johnston Canyon image courtesy of Trip Advisor. Athabasca Canyon image by AdventureFreelancer.com. 
Written by Alyssa Ott



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