Summer Road Trip Ideas Near Calgary Alberta

Summer-Road-Trip-Ideas-Near-Calgary-Alberta

Things to do this summer near Calgary

15 Awesome Alberta Destinations to Bring the Family this Summer

Summer road trip ideas near Calgary Alberta are on my mind as the snow is melting and the sun is shining in southern Alberta. Here is a list, in no particular order, of road trip ideas with the starting point of central Calgary, worthy of a day trip! Whether you want to hike, bike, swim kayak, do some off-roading, or simply have a picnic, start planning your summer now with these awesome 15 day trip ideas!

Summer Road Trip Ideas Near Calgary - Park Lake Provincial Park - 2 hours

Summer Road Trip Ideas near Calgary Alberta. Park Lake. Photo Credit- ehcanadatravel.com
Park Lake Provincial Park Photo Credit- ehcanadatravel.com

Park Lake is a great family friendly summer destination. Enjoy a day of swimming, exploring the walking trails, fishing, eating at the concessions, relaxing on the dock, stay cool with all the trees for cover from the sun. Additionally, you will find a campground with a playground. Located just 2 hours south of Calgary towards Lethbridge.

Little Bow Provincial Park - 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Beautiful Sunset on Travers Reservoir Photo Credit- Andrea Horning
Travers Reservoir is an enjoyable summer destination Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

A great destination located on the beautiful Travers Reservoir in southern Alberta. Come spend a relaxing day on the lake swimming, camping, spending some time on the playground, hide from the sun under the trees. Additionally, you'll find a nice big beach, as well as great fishing opportunities. Find this gem 1 hour and 45 minutes south of Calgary, east of Stavely

Mount Lorette Ponds - 1 Hour

Fishing in Kananaskis Photo Credit- Andrea Horning
The water reflections of Mount Lorette in Mount Lorette Ponds Photo Credit- Andrea Horning
Summer road trip ideas near Calgary Alberta includes this beautiful mountain destination featuring beautiful ponds, walking trails, personal day use areas, beautiful scenery, fire pits, picnic tables, and even fishing. Hiding just 1 hour west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country past Morley Alberta.

Buffalo Lake - 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Buffalo Lake is home to the 6 meter long Northern Pike Photo Credit- Andrea Horning
Buffalo Lake Beach Area Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

A whole lot of fun to be found here at Buffalo Lake. Enjoy some swimming, fishing, watersports, walking trails, campgrounds with playgrounds, summer villages around the lake, as well as great opportunities to find some wildlife. Only 2 hrs 45 minutes northeast of Calgary, east of Red Deer near Stettler Alberta.

Porcupine Hills Public Lane Use Zone - 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Views from Porcupine Hills Photo Credit- Andrea Horning
Quadding in Porcupine Hills Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

So much backcountry fun to be found in Porcupine Hills. A rugged area, come enjoy hiking, off-roading, crownland camping, fishing, and wildlife viewing opportunities. Only 1 hr 45 minutes southwest of Calgary, west of Claresholm.  

Chain Lakes Provincial Park - 1 Hour 20 Minutes

Sunset on Chain Lakes Alberta Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Chain Lakes Provincial Park is a great year-round destination, but this place is fantastic in the summer months. Come down for a swim, go paddleboarding, try your luck at fishing, stay awhile at the campground, explore all the trails, and find some wildlife. Don't forget to check out the playground and available concession booth for some ice cream. Only 1 hour and 20 minutes southwest of Calgary, west of Nanton.  

Willow Creek Campground - 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Willow Creek Beach Photo Credit- Cary Horning

This little campground on Willow Creek has a day-use parking area. It features a fun little river beach, playground, tubing opportunities, as well as camping. Close by and found within 1 hour 30 minutes of Calgary, west of Stavely.  

Waterton Lakes National Park - 3 Hours

Waterton Lakes National Park Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Waterton Lakes National Park of Canada is a stunning area and less crowded than Banff National Park. With so many things to do you'll want to stay longer than a day! Waterton is my go-to mountain destination even if only for a few hours. Get outside and do some hiking, fishing, shopping, or camping. Wander around and check out the many restaurants, walking trails, scenic views to be found, and a ton of wildlife. The maximum distance for me for a day trip at 3 hours. Found south of Calgary on the Canadian-USA border. Avoid the crowds of Banff and check out Waterton Lakes National Park.  

Police Outpost Provincial Park - 3 Hours

View of Chief Mountain from Police Outpost Lake on a smokey afternoon Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Police Outpost Provincial Park is a relaxing destination featuring a lake and beautiful walking trails. Take a hike to the USA border, catch a fish, take some time and do some wildlife viewing, or stay awhile at the campground with a playground. Consequently, it is only a 3 hour drive south of Calgary on the Canadian-USA border.

Castle Provincial Park - 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Families enjoying Castle waterfall during the summer Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Castle Provincial Park is a beautiful rugged area with waterfalls, camping, hiking, fishing, and swimming opportunities. Not to mention the vast amount of wildlife in this area. One of my favourite areas to explore, and only 2 hours and 30 minutes south of Calgary near Pincher Creek.  

Beauvais Lake Provincial Park - 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Beauvais Lake Provinvial Park Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Beauvais Lake is a quiet small lake with a campground, and playground, as well as hiking and biking trails. Bring your fishing rod, and watch for wildlife in the area. 2 hours 30 minutes south of Calgary near Pincher Creek.  

Chinook Lake Provincial Recreation Area - 2 Hours 45 Minutes

Chinook Lake Provincial Recreation Area Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Chinook Lake is a beautiful Crowsnest Pass destination, featuring a lake, with hiking, biking, nearby waterfalls, camping, fishing, and paddleboarding opportunities. An absolute gem of the south, find Chinook Lake only 2 hours and 45 minutes southwest of Calgary.  

Lundbreck Falls Provincial Recreation Area - 2 Hours

Lundbreck Falls Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Lundbreck Falls is a large, easily accessible waterfall with trails, fishing, camping on-site, and swimming opportunities. You'll find Lundbreck Falls just 2 hours south of Calgary near Pincher Creek, Alberta. 

Big Hills Springs Provincial Park - 30 Minutes

Big Hill Springs Provincial Park Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Big Hill Springs is a fun destination close to Cochrane with hiking, small waterfalls, beautiful bridges, BBQs, picnic tables, and lots of tree coverage. Located 30 minutes northwest of Calgary, an easy destination to bring the kids to. 

Many Springs Trail - 1 Hour

Many Springs Trail View Photo Credit- Andrea Horning

Many Springs Trail is in Bow Valley Provincial Park and is a quick easy and fun hiking trail. Featuring the beautiful springs, mountain views, wildflowers, wildlife, and interpretive trail signs. Nearby to a few other destinations worthy of a stop if you find the time after doing this quick hike. Found 1 hour west of Calgary in Kananaskis Country. 

There you have it! 15 Awesome Day Trip Ideas Near Calgary Alberta

I hope this list of 15 beautiful destinations, all within a 3 hour drive of Calgary, helps you find a new awesome summer destination in southern Alberta! They're all  just waiting for you to come and spend a beautiful summer day. Hopefully, this helps get you outside with the upcoming summer adventure season!


Alberta Parks Trails and Destinations

Summer Road Trip Ideas Near Calgary Alberta

Travel Guide

  • Andrea Horning
    • Attraction, Tour
    • RV Park or Campground
  • Calgary
  • Alberta

Canada Parks

  • Calgary
  • Alberta
    • Waterfall
    • Wildlife Watching
  • Various
  • Various
  • Easy - Family
  • All locations are within a 3 hour drive of downtown Calgary

Location (Map)

Alberta, Canada
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Maligne Canyon Icewalk in Jasper National Park
Buffalo Lake Fishing Derby
 

Comments 14

Cary Horning on Friday, 24 March 2023 23:39

Great road tripping ideas Ange! I've checked a few off this list already and will for sure check out the others.

Great road tripping ideas Ange! I've checked a few off this list already and will for sure check out the others.
Andrea Horning on Saturday, 25 March 2023 01:05

Yay for summer getting close!

Yay for summer getting close!
EH Canada Marketing Group on Friday, 24 March 2023 23:58

How many park destinations in Alberta have others Seekers checked off on this Bucket list shared by Andrea Horning? 8 for Bro and I.

How many park destinations in Alberta have others Seekers checked off on this Bucket list shared by Andrea Horning? 8 for Bro and I.
Andrea Horning on Saturday, 25 March 2023 01:05

That is awesome! You guys sure saw a lot during your big tour!

That is awesome! You guys sure saw a lot during your big tour!
Cary Horning on Saturday, 25 March 2023 00:06

EH Canada Marketing Group l am tied with you guys with 8 checked off this awesome list

EH Canada Marketing Group l am tied with you guys with 8 checked off this awesome list :)
Diana Mohrsen on Saturday, 25 March 2023 04:17

Your beautiful pictures have me longing for summer and road trips. I think I've just put Waterton Lakes on my list for this summer. It certainly looks appealing.

Your beautiful pictures have me longing for summer and road trips. I think I've just put Waterton Lakes on my list for this summer. It certainly looks appealing.
Andrea Horning on Saturday, 25 March 2023 21:03

Waterton is beautiful and very well laid out. Signs that are clear and easy to read, easy access to some pretty awesome spots, tons of waterfalls, I love the restaurants and shops. And it's looking very uniquely beautiful since the wild fire years ago as it's regrown nicely. I hope you make it out this summer! It would be a wonderful place to meet for a coffee and an adventure if you're game

Waterton is beautiful and very well laid out. Signs that are clear and easy to read, easy access to some pretty awesome spots, tons of waterfalls, I love the restaurants and shops. And it's looking very uniquely beautiful since the wild fire years ago as it's regrown nicely. I hope you make it out this summer! It would be a wonderful place to meet for a coffee and an adventure if you're game :)
Janel Coe on Saturday, 25 March 2023 16:00

Andrea - you always manage to find the most stunning places. These are incredible road trip ideas!

Andrea - you always manage to find the most stunning places. These are incredible road trip ideas!
Andrea Horning on Saturday, 25 March 2023 21:10

Thank you very much Janel! Southern Alberta just keeps surprising me with its hidden beauty.

Thank you very much Janel! Southern Alberta just keeps surprising me with its hidden beauty.
Sonya Richmond on Sunday, 26 March 2023 02:05

These are such fantastic ideas! Southern Alberta was one of our favourite areas during our cross-Canada hike, but we didn't make it any of these fantastic looking places! We will definitely have to go back and check out some of these incredible looking parks!

These are such fantastic ideas! Southern Alberta was one of our favourite areas during our cross-Canada hike, but we didn't make it any of these fantastic looking places! We will definitely have to go back and check out some of these incredible looking parks!
Andrea Horning on Sunday, 26 March 2023 19:59

Thank you! I tried to make it a lesser known list for sure. A lot of gems hiding in this beautiful area and so much to do

Thank you! I tried to make it a lesser known list for sure. A lot of gems hiding in this beautiful area and so much to do:)
Cora Lee Rennie on Sunday, 26 March 2023 08:41

Great article Andrea! Love love all the photos but they are making me miss Alberta! There is just something about the Rockies that has my heart! After living in Alberta for 5 years I still have so much left to see and do!

Great article Andrea! Love love all the photos but they are making me miss Alberta! There is just something about the Rockies that has my heart! After living in Alberta for 5 years I still have so much left to see and do!
Andrea Horning on Sunday, 26 March 2023 20:03

Thank you very much It's certainly like the never-ending adventure in Alberta, eh!?

Thank you very much :) It's certainly like the never-ending adventure in Alberta, eh!?
Cora Lee Rennie on Monday, 27 March 2023 03:13

I regret not making it to Waterton Lakes while I lived in Alberta! Road trips are the best! Great article!

I regret not making it to Waterton Lakes while I lived in Alberta! Road trips are the best! Great article!
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