The wild and rugged Alberta Northern Rockies region is just three hours west of Edmonton on the Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16). Intersected by the scenic Highway 40 route to Alaska, it extends from the forested foothills east of Edson past Jasper National Park to the Continental Divide separating Alberta from British Columbia. Its northwestern reaches include the vast Willmore Wilderness Park and Kakwa Wildland Provincial Park - the last undisturbed ranges of many iconic wildlife species in Alberta.
The mountains, meadows, lakes and forests of this largely unsettled region provide protected habitat for bears, wolves, moose, elk, caribou, mountain goats, bighorn sheep, cougars and wolverines. Alberta’s Northern Rockies offer some of the best wildlife viewing opportunities in Canada. About half of Alberta’s grizzly bears and the world’s largest bighorn sheep make their home here. The region also shelters hundreds of species of birds and plants, including rare orchids.
Well-treed and uncrowded camping destinations abound in Alberta’s Northern Rockies. Camping experiences range from rugged backcountry adventures to fully serviced campgrounds with power, water and shower facilities. William A. Switzer Provincial Park offers four top-notch front country campgrounds. Further north up Highway 40, Pierre Grey’s Lakes Provincial Park offers powered sites beside pristine lakes stocked with trout for your next fishing adventure. Campgrounds in Rock Lake Provincial Park are surrounded by stunning mountain views and provide a gateway to explore the legendary Willmore Wilderness. The options are endless. Here is a listing of more campgrounds in Alberta’s Northern Rockies. Each destination offers a truly unique camping experience.
William A. Switzer Park is the hub of Alberta's Northern Rockies. Camp, fish or paddle along its chain of five lakes. Bike or hike its spectacular trails. Or borrow an adventure backpack at the visitor centre and take the kids on a nature quest.
If you want to get off the beaten path, pitch your tent at Watson Creek Campground and catch your dinner in the creek. Try some whitewater rafting at Sulphur Gates. Or hike the steep trail to the top of the waterfall in Ogre Canyon.
You can beat the crowds and set your own pace in the pristine paradise of the Northern Rockies. Wherever you go, take the time to stop, watch and listen to the many creatures who call this region home. Get your own Passport to the Northern Rockies to help you explore the natural wonders of the area.
For more information on travel in the area, check Travel Alberta.
The Alberta Northern Rockies area is an outdoor-lover’s paradise. Thousands of kilometres of trails entice hikers, mountain bikers, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, snowshoers and backpackers. Choose a short interpretive walk or a take a week-long trek in the backcountry. Or try some camping, fishing, paddling, rock climbing, hang-gliding or just plain sightseeing.