Spring, summer, fall

Spring begins in Alberta in April and summer is from late June until early September. The long hours of daylight and warm weather allow lots of outdoor activities to be enjoyed well into the autumn months of October and November. Below is some information about some warm weather activities you might like to try.

For more warm weather activity ideas visit the Spring, Summer, Fall page of Travel Alberta.

Camping

Camping is a popular activity in Alberta in the summer, particularly in the national and provincial parks. Campgrounds in Alberta vary in range of services. Some campgrounds provide full power and sanitary hook-ups for recreational vehicles (RVs) and even hot showers and flush toilets. In contrast, backcountry campgrounds cannot be reached with a vehicle, so you walk or horseback ride in with your tent and cooking equipment.

Campgrounds can be very popular so it is a good idea to book a site in advance.

Provincial park campground reservations

Many provincial parks allow you to reserve camp sites online. Others require you to phone for reservations.

National park campground reservations

To reserve campgrounds in national parks, visit the Parks Canada campground reservation service.

All campgrounds in Alberta

To view information about all campgrounds in Alberta, including those in and around cities and towns, visit the Alberta Hostel and Lodging Association campground listing on Travel Alberta.

Camping safety

If you are camping in an area where bears live, you will need to safely store your food and take other precautions. See Bears and Outdoor Recreation for more information.

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Hiking

Alberta offers many opportunities for hiking, with well-maintained trail systems and breathtaking scenery. There are many half-day or full-day hikes available, or you could go on an overnight hike and camp out on the trail at a backcountry campground. Many parks have information centres where you can find out the latest trail conditions and get suggestions of where to go.

See the hiking page on Travel Alberta for some suggestions of hikes to try.

There are also guided hikes available. Visit the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides to hire a guide.

Hiking safety

Remember that weather can change rapidly, especially in the mountains, so always take protective clothing such as a rain jacket and some additional layers of clothing for warmth. It is important to take some water and food, even if you just plan on going out for a few hours. Hiking boots are ideal footwear, but sturdy sports shoes and walking sandals are adequate for many trails.

Always stay aware of bears if you are hiking in a region where bears live. You might want to carry bear spray and travel in a large group, making lots of noise to let a bear know you are in the area.

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Biking

Alberta offers ideal terrain for road riders and mountain bikers of all skill levels. There are thousands of trails and wide-shouldered roadways. Alberta's cities have hundreds of paved bike paths winding through scenic river valleys and municipal parks, as well as nearby venues for mountain biking.

See the cycling and mountain biking page on Travel Alberta for more information.

Biking safety

It is always a good idea to wear a helmet and children under the age of 18 are required to wear helmets by law. If you will be on the road after dark, make sure you have front and back lights, a back reflector and reflective clothing.

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Canoeing and kayaking

Alberta has seven major river basins and a number of smaller lakes to paddle. Canoes and kayaks are available to buy or hire in most cities and towns. Places to try if you are a novice paddler include Dinosaur Provincial Park, Lakeland Provincial Park, sections of the North Saskatchewan River in Edmonton or Bow River in Calgary.

See Paddle Alberta for difficulty ratings of places to go canoeing or kayaking in Alberta as well as river guides.

Paddling safety

Before heading out always know the difficulty rating of where you are going and the current weather forecast and water level. You must wear an approved personal flotation device (PFD) or lifejacket when you are on the water. See Paddle Alberta Safety Brochure for more safety tips.

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Horseback riding

Did you know that a third of all the horses in Canada are in Alberta? With so many horses, there are a lot of opportunities to go horseback riding. Some cities provide equestrian trails in surrounding park areas or you can organize to go trail riding with an outfitter. Visit the Alberta Trail Riding Association for more information.

Another popular activity is to go on an Alberta Prairie Wagon Train trek near Stettler to see what travel was like for the early pioneers.

Riding safety

Always wear an approved riding helmet, sturdy shoes and avoid wearing loose clothing, jewelry and scarves. See horse safety on Healthlink Alberta for more information.

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Golfing

Alberta has more than 300 golf courses, including some of the best courses in the country. Golfing in the Rocky Mountains brings spectacular scenery to the game and there are numerous courses designed by noted golfers throughout the province. Find a golf course in your region.

Golfing safety

When you are on a golf course, always look out for flying golf balls and check behind you before taking a swing to avoid striking anyone.

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