Waypoint Convenience’s Guide to the 4 Best Calgary Day Trips
June 27, 2022
Photo by Matthieu Pétiard
In Calgary and looking for a little adventure? Check out 4 of our fave destinations not too far from the city.
Let Alberta spoil you with unbelievable vistas, prehistoric artifacts, and some tasty local snacks. If you’re in Calgary, here are 4 of the most fascinating and most beautiful places to head to. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by one of 16 Waypoint locations in and around the city for some provisions for the road, including locally made favourites, Twigz Pretzels or some friendly tips to keep you busy on your summer of road trips!
1. This way to pre-historic Drumheller.
The colourful sedimentary layers of Alberta’s badlands in Drumheller (Photo Credit: Dan Tran)
WHERE IT IS: About an hour and a half, 135 km north east of Calgary
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: To find out why the region is known as the Dinosaur Capitol of the World! Junior paleontologists, young and old, will be blown away by the fossils, exhibits, interactive programs, and a T-Rex replica four times the size of the real thing. Not into dinosaurs? No worries. The breathtaking Alberta Badlands offer stunning vistas that everyone can marvel at.
WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS: Film buff? The unique landscapes for Drumheller have made it an ideal filming location for some of Hollywood’s most beloved films, including Unforgiven, The Revenant, and Brokeback Mountain. Use this handy guide to find the locations.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Stop by The Little Church, which, as its name suggests, is a little church that holds about six people at a time.
TRAVEL TIP: The unforgettable natural lookout point on the cliffs of the Orkney Lookout.
STOP AT WAYPOINT: With two locations in Airdrie ready to serve you!
2. This way to scenic Kananaskis.
Three Sisters Mountain Range, Kananaskis, Alberta (Photo Credit: Charlie Gallant)
WHERE IT IS: About an hour, 74 kms west of Calgary.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: The breathtaking mountains of the Canadian Rockies give the region a feel uniquely its own. The Three Sisters are the most visually arresting with three jagged peaks; Ha Ling is a favourite with hikers both amateur and experienced alike; and the towering Mount Lawrence Grassi, amongst many others.
WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS: A view unlike any other with a spectacular helicopter ride over the mountains.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: The Vault is an unfinished man-made cave in the side of Mt. McGillivray, built by three brothers during the Cold War as a place to safely store documents.
TRAVEL TIP: Hiking the mountains is gonna require sustenance. Stock up on protein bars, water, and energy drinks at Waypoint.
STOP AT WAYPOINT: At Signal Hill on your way out of the city or Cochrane if you want north a little off your path.
3. This way tolegendary Banff and Canmore.
Grizzly Paw Brewery, Canmore, AB
WHERE IT IS: Northwest of Calgary, it’s 105 km to Canmore, and 127 km to Banff, about an hour and a half.
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: For Albertans, Banff is an obvious go-to, but Canmore, along the same highway offers less-travelled delights. It’s easy to forget that such awe-inspiring wilderness is only two hours from the city. Banff National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1984) is your gateway to mountain hikes, canoe rides and paddle boarding on pristine lakes, horseback riding, and relaxing hot springs. And Canmore is a designated wildlife habitat for bears, wolves, cougars, and elk. Both areas have great food scenes to discover. Do a hike in the morning and then go for a well-deserved lunch at (Waypoint partner) Grizzly Paw Brewery.
WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS: The area’s natural hot springs filled with therapeutic minerals.
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: Bankhead, a once-bustling mining town in the early 1900s, now lay in ruins in the mountains of the national park.
TRAVEL TIP: Want to stay overnight? Check out Airbnb for some stunning lakeside lodges.
STOP AT WAYPOINT: With one location in Cochrane.
4. This way to surreal Lake Moraine.
Lake Moraine’s famous “20 Dollar View” (Photo Credit: Patrick Hodskins)
WHERE IT IS: 196 km from Calgary (about 3 hours)
WHY YOU SHOULD GO: Already been to Lake Louise? Or want to avoid the crowds? Lake Moraine, nestled in the Valley of the Ten Peaks, is a deserved alternative. The Instagram-friendly waters, surrounded by mountains, are so blue they feel like a CGI creation.
WHAT YOU CAN’T MISS:Take the Rockpile Trail to the top for a stunning view known as the Twenty Dollar View, (famously featured on the Canadian $20 bills from 1969 and 1979!)
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: The Lake Agnes Tea House, only reachable on foot, has been serving tea to thirsty hikers since 1905.
TRAVEL TIP: The waters of the lake reach their most brilliant hue in late June. Plan accordingly!
STOP AT WAYPOINT: with one location in Cochrane.
About this Blog
Every great adventure needs convenience.
This blog is for those who believe the journey is just as fun as the destination! Whether to visit family, adventures with friends, or classic family fun, no road trip is complete without the perfect snacks to fuel the good times! Like this blog is the stop at the start of the adventure, a Waypoint convenience store is a stop along the way to a lifetime of memories.