Move over, turquoise lakes. While Alberta has some amazing mountains and lakes, what you might not know is that the province is also home to the Prairie Badlands. These unbelievable Alberta boulders will remind you that it's okay to cancel those tickets to the Grand Canyon because the sights at home are pretty incredible. 

With the Rockies taking up so much of the terrain in Alberta, you might often be wondering what else there is to do outside of hiking to Lake Louise for the 50th time. 

These cool locations give off such strong desert vibes that you'll feel like you're in Joshua Tree. What's better is that Alberta's unique combination of canyons and mountainside attractions will let you taste the best of both worlds. 

Where else would you be able to hike through a boulder trail only to come upon an enchanting, lush waterfall? 

From the iconic and eerie Hoodoos to the much-beloved Johnston Canyon Trail, you can take a road trip every day in Alberta and not run out of things to see. 

So strap on your hiking boots and get ready to explore boulders that will transport you to a whole new dimension. 

Horseshoe Canyon

Address: Drumheller, AB

Why You Need To Go: This picturesque, U-shaped canyon is the site where some incredibly cool dinosaur remains were found, so you get a bit of historical value alongside those stunning views. 

Red Rock Coulee

Address: Forty Mile County No. 8, AB

Why You Need To Go: The name says it all. This wonderful prairie destination is full of massive red rocks that you won't believe exist in Alberta. Who knew a wealth of geographic formations were just chilling in our backyard?


The Hoodoos 

Address: Drumheller, AB

Why You Need To Go: You can't go through the boulders in this province without mentioning this one. These fascinating sandstone pillars make this a spot you cannot miss on your travels. 


Horsethief Canyon

Address: Munson, AB

Why You Need To Go: Seeing how this was literally a place where people used to trade stolen horses, you can unleash your true Wild West persona


Grotto Canyon

Address: Canmore, AB

Why You Need To Go: No better way to explore every nook and cranny of Alberta canyons than to go through this boulder trail. The smooth limestone walls alone are worth the walk. 

Hard Luck Canyon

Address: Woodlands County, AB

Why You Need To Go: Canyon lookouts are a spectacular sight of their own and magical waterfalls wedged between boulders is just the cherry on top. 


Johnston Canyon

Address: Banff, AB

Why You Need To Go: Only in Alberta will you find a big old boulder formation surrounded by sparkling blue water. The lookout is simply surreal and you'll be asking yourself whether you're in Alberta or in Greece. Just be sure to stay on the trail — visitors are no longer allowed to get up close to the boulder, but you can totally peep it from above. 


We strongly advise that before you go swimming or visit any location, you check the most recent updates on potential hazards, security, water quality, and closures. If you do plan to visit a location, respect the environment.


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