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Southern Alberta

Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo Jump is one of the biggest, oldest and best preserved of its kind in North America. For thousands of years, this was the most effective way for our First Nations to hunt bison. The Bar U Ranch National Historic Site is a tribute to the ranching history of western Canada, and the Alberta Prairie Railway from Stettler takes guests on a genuine Wild West steam train trip. 

Drive east across the endless golden prairies and the fertile land suddenly drops away into a strange moonscape of multicoloured, layered sandstone and otherwordly rock formations known as hoodoos. The Canadian Badlands - even the name is mysterious. A naturally occurring, dramatic carved amphitheatre rests in the heart of the Badlands and each summer, the Canadian Badlands Passion Play invites people to witness the power of an Alberta community and its volunteers. Some of the most important dinosaur discoveries in the world have been unearthed here and can be seen at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. Encourage your clients to travel to Dinosaur Provincial Park, where they will be amazed by the abundance of fossils, unusual wildlife and stunning vistas. 

Waterton Lakes National Park is tucked away in the southwest corner of Alberta and is part of the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The park is home to a rich variety of wildlife; sightings of bighorn sheep, mountain goats, elk and black bear are common. Visitors can explore Red Rock Canyon, take a guided hike, soak up the sun on Upper Waterton Lake or cruise across the water to Montana.

more info www.canadianbadlands.com

Key Points of Interest

Royal Tyrrell Museum
Royal Tyrrell Museum

Make plans for your clients to spend the better part of a day – or even two! Just seven minutes from the town of Drumheller, this world class facility houses one of the largest displays of dinosaurs on the planet. Learn why they call their T-Rex Black Beauty. Recommend a genuine archaeological dig.

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Drumheller
Drumheller

In the heart of the Canadian Badlands, less than two hours northeast of Calgary, lies the town of Drumheller. Dinosaurs are without doubt a major theme here, but your clients can also tour the Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site and catch the Canadian Badlands Passion Play in July.

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Dinosaur Provincial Park
Dinosaur Provincial Park

This UNESCO World Heritage Site is world famous for its dinosaur fossil finds. A mind-boggling number of species have been found here – 40 and counting – in bonebeds that have yielded more than 300 specimens, which grace museums around the world. Alberta Parks have put together a ton of cool things for your clients to do here.

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Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump

As your clients stand on the cliffs where the Blackfoot drove the bison to their deaths in the valley below for at least 5,700 years, they’ll feel the past come to life as the stories of the hunt are told in dance and song at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Waterton Lakes National Park
Waterton Lakes National Park

This UNISCO World Heritage Site is a hidden gem three hours south of Calgary or one and a half hours southwest of Lethbridge. On the back trails, your clients are likely to see more wildlife than people. A boat cruise on the lake takes them across an international border. Waterton Village offers all the amenities close at hand.

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Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions

Recommend a trip on board a real steam or diesel powered train for a day-long adventure your clients won’t soon forget. They’ll witness a shootout with robbers on horseback, meet a Mountie, solve a murder mystery and maybe even spy a coyote trotting across a farmer’s field. Plus a stop in Big Valley for a perfect prairie prime rib buffet.

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Bar U Ranch National Historic Site

The sprawling Bar U Ranch has stood as a living testimonial to ranching in Alberta since the late 1800s. Your clients can visit the Percheron horses and the blacksmith shop, watch a master saddle maker at work, and follow the aroma of fresh baked bread to a working ranch kitchen. And then stay for a cowboy lunch and pick up local western crafts to take home.

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Writing On Stone Provincial Park
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park

Petroglyphs and pictographs carved and painted on sandstone walls record the history of the Blackfoot and Shoshone, dating back 8,000 years. Your clients will feel the mystery of this sacred ground, a protected place containing the largest collection of rock art in North America. Book a guided tour with First Nations interpreters.

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