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Thread: Great Daytrips from Edmonton

  1. #1

    Default Great Daytrips from Edmonton

    Let's start a list. I always get asked by tourists what's good to see or where to stay within driving distance of Edmonton. Bonus points for putting together a Google Map and itinerary
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  3. #3

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    Did an incredible day trip this past Saturday:

    Departed 7:30am. Drove through Rocky Mountain House. Stopped at the Columbia ice fields and enjoyed the glacier tour, including Skywalk. Drove to Jasper. Had coffee and purchased pastries at Bear Paw. Bought chocolate at Candy Bear's Lair (formerly the Fudgery). Had a beer at Jasper Brewing Co. Finished with the always-incredible Fiddle River for dinner, including dessert and cappuccino. Rolled in the door at home around 1am.

    Absolutely awesome day trip.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    ^ Sounds like a great adventure. In July, I drove through Rocky Mtn House, hit the Forestry Trunk Road, snacked at Ram River Falls, got to Nordegg and decided to head to Abraham Lake just to see the blue colour. The forest fires in BC made visibility poor but atmospheric. Came home via Hwy 22.

    Two days later I headed back to Abe Lake for the day, drove down near the lake and watched the helicopters and planes carrying the water buckets. Back home vie Hwy. 22 again.

    I've always wanted to do the route you took but was afraid a full day wouldn't cut it. Maybe next time. I'm glad to know I'm not the only person who doesn't mind doing this now and again. I've driven down to Kananaskis numerous times on day long road trips, just to get out and have a small adventure. Most people think I'm crazy, not sure why.

  5. #5

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    I often go to the Nordegg area for a day trip. It's 3 hours from the west end of the city to Nordegg assuming not much in the way of traffic and you drive only slightly over the speed limit. There is lots to do in this area for outdoor activities: fishing, hiking, photography, etc. The cafe in the museum in Nordegg makes great sandwiches and cookies!

    I've done the route Edmonton - Nordegg - Icefields - Jasper - Edmonton as well. It's a long day, but not too bad if you don't stop in Jasper for dinner. However, if you do, Evil Dave's is a great place for dinner as well.

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    Took Sonny Boy to Aspen Beach at Gull Lake. I went in the water with him, it's a very nice spot and you can go far out. Cooked on my butane grill, had a great day.

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    Calgary! Hey just kidding there, folks!

    Lesser Slave Lake:
    About 2.5 hours north of the city. Just north of the town of Slave Lake is a provincial park plus some campgrounds, beaches and docks. So if you want to go fishing, zoom around a huge lake on a power boat, or just lie on the beach, go check it out.
    Last edited by Sonic Death Monkey; 19-08-2014 at 05:07 PM.
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    ^ ya that's beautiful there. I like those cliffs with all those steps coming down thru the trees to the beaches

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    The Reynolds Museum in Wetaskiwin and a picnic at By-the-Lake Park after. Use 2A from Leduc it's way shorter than 2 and 13
    Last edited by Drumbones; 19-08-2014 at 10:06 PM.

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    Elk Island National Park

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norender View Post
    ^ Sounds like a great adventure. In July, I drove through Rocky Mtn House, hit the Forestry Trunk Road, snacked at Ram River Falls, got to Nordegg and decided to head to Abraham Lake just to see the blue colour. The forest fires in BC made visibility poor but atmospheric. Came home via Hwy 22.
    Ya I was thinking Ram Falls as well, or somewhere in the area this weekend.
    www.decl.org

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    You could check out this book:
    http://www.amazon.ca/Trips-Edmonton-...dp/1770501843/

    Day Trips from Edmonton
    Alberta is host to some of Canada`s most stunning scenery, from aspen forests and farmland to wetlands and foothills. Many of the province`s natural wonders, cultural treasures, historical sites and recreational spots are within a two-hour drive of Edmonton. Day Trips from Edmonton is a comprehensive guide to Alberta`s best destinations-visit secluded, untouched natural areas or hotspots bustling with activities. Day Trips from Edmonton includes maps and photographs, and features an easy-to-follow format catered to suit the traveler`s needs. Helpful details include: Recreation information Historical tidbits Popular events Information on flora and fauna Opportunities for further exploration. Perfect for planning an afternoon outing or a weekend away, Day Trips from Edmonton is the ultimate guide to this stunning part of Canada.
    They're going to park their car over there. You're going to park your car over here. Get it?

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    If you're going to Ram Falls you might want to stop by Crescent Falls on the way. It is between Nordegg and Bighorn Dam about a mile or so off of Highway 11.

    Perhaps stop by the sculpture of Francis the Pig in Red Deer too
    http://www.reddeer.ca/about-red-deer...ancis-the-pig/

    FYI: you can find more about Red Deer's walking tours here
    http://www.reddeer.ca/about-red-deer...eritage-tours/
    Last edited by sundance; 20-08-2014 at 12:59 PM.

  15. #15

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    ^I've been to Crescent Falls, but not Ram Falls. Will probably do both.
    www.decl.org

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    Wabamun - CN Rail oil spill is a distant memory, power plant is demolished. There's also Seba Beach on the west side of the lake.

    I would have mentioned Sylvan Lake since it's been a popular draw for those living in the Edmonton-Calgary corridor. But if the beach is still underwater then no point!

    Ukrainian Village
    http://www.history.alberta.ca/ukrainianvillage/
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    Badlands close to Edmonton tour

    Just south of Gwynne,AB (near Camrose) are the northern leg of Alberta's Badlands. Most beautiful near the town of Donalda and at Big Knife Provincial Park. Desert plants like sagebrush and cactus still have a home here this far north.

  18. #18

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    Cold Lake for the day.

    Or just point the car in one direction and drive for an hour or 2 and see what you find.

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    There is always the Big Stuff loop. Mundane, Vegreville, St. Paul, Vilna, Andrew, and any number of side trips to others along the way.

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    There is always the Big Stuff loop. Mundane, Vegreville, St. Paul, Vilna, Andrew, and any number of side trips to others along the way.
    Heck it's worth the trip to Mundare for the Stawnichy's alone.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    There is always the Big Stuff loop. Mundane, Vegreville, St. Paul, Vilna, Andrew, and any number of side trips to others along the way.
    Heck it's worth the trip to Mundare for the Stawnichy's alone.
    I just realized the rather on-point autocorrect in my last post and chuckled. Stawnichy's is good, but growing up in the area I find it's not all that everybody makes it out to be.

  22. #22

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    I grew up in the area too. I have not found a sausage that comes even remotely.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

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    Slave Lake - hit the beach, check out a fire tower on top of a mountain, go fishing.
    www.decl.org

    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  24. #24

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    A bike ride along the valley from one end to the other along the city. Pack a picknick and just liesurely ride and explore.

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    Drive to Entwhistle, float down the Pembina

  26. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Drive to Entwhistle, float down the Pembina
    Spend 4 timess longer than reasonably expected to get downstream on a river that has more turns than Millwoods.., get hopelessly lost in the dark wondering where you are, spend a miserable night in the dark somewhere on a damp bank in dense forest surrounded by cliffs battling mosquitoes, horseflies, even bloodsuckers?! and pelting rain under the tarp you brought along just in case..Never manage to find the way back to the second stationed downriver vehicle . Run out of Rum and smoke way too early..can't find dry matches anyway, everybody forgot the bic lighters in the car and everything is wet, so no fire either...Stay awake all night wondering if you hear banjos playing..knowing you hear wolfpacks howling nearby, arguing for hours about whoever thought this was going to be a good idea...arguing about who's most at fault and who is most going to carry the canoe up the cliff at daybreak while we search for civilization.. .
    Last edited by Replacement; 22-08-2014 at 07:58 AM.
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  27. #27

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    Holy **** replacement.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Medwards View Post
    Holy **** replacement.
    WE were young and stupid...Now I'm just older..

    In our defence Cellphones, GPS were not invented and when you got lost on a river in the woods you were REALLY lost back in those days.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    Or just http://www.pembinarivertubing.com/ and let them worry about the logistics

  30. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Or just http://www.pembinarivertubing.com/ and let them worry about the logistics
    I was just jk around Alex about a decades ago jaunt. Its great that theres somebody out there facilitating this type of thing now. Sounds like fun.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Alex.L View Post
    Or just http://www.pembinarivertubing.com/ and let them worry about the logistics
    I was just jk around Alex about a decades ago jaunt. Its great that theres somebody out there facilitating this type of thing now. Sounds like fun.
    I figured as much, but wanted to post the link just incase someone took it seriously.

  32. #32
    Let's make Edmonton better.

  33. #33

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    I've never been to the Devonian. I really need to go.
    "Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction" - Blaise Pascal

  34. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chmilz View Post
    Did an incredible day trip this past Saturday:

    Departed 7:30am. Drove through Rocky Mountain House. Stopped at the Columbia ice fields and enjoyed the glacier tour, including Skywalk. Drove to Jasper. Had coffee and purchased pastries at Bear Paw. Bought chocolate at Candy Bear's Lair (formerly the Fudgery). Had a beer at Jasper Brewing Co. Finished with the always-incredible Fiddle River for dinner, including dessert and cappuccino. Rolled in the door at home around 1am.

    Absolutely awesome day trip.
    Me and a couple buddies used to do that on motorcycles in a day, bloody sore ***** after but a great ride!!
    Excellence is a continual Journey up a staircase where there is NO top step...

  35. #35

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    Today we daytripped to Big Knife Provincial park after stopping in the small town of Heisler. Nice little one main street german town. A few antique shops around and they always seem more interesting in rural locales. Typical to a small town one antique shop didn't even have anybody in it at the time. More of a door open trust system going on.
    Big knife Provincial Park is situated on the Battle River and is really neat for those that haven't been there in that its badlands. Really nice cliffs, hoodoos, river, good paddling type river for a lazy day in the sun. Campground and Picnic sites in this provincial park are awesome and other than pit toilets everything is very well set up. Camping stalls impeccable. Around 30 day use picnic sites with fires. We were the only ones lighting a fire and cooking up lunch. This is a beautiful camping area and half the stalls were sitting empty on a Friday. Even when the campground does fill up the overflow is well situated and amenities are there. For group camping its what you'd want anyway. Nonstop it would take just outside of 1.5hrs to get there (from Millwoods) and definitely a place that is not as utilized as it should be. This place is much more interesting than say Miquelon or Wabamum which are ALWAYS full.

    After lunch we took one of the great trails there. River Trail. Amazed to see small Cactuses all over the place, heard about this but never seen such an abundance of them before. All sorts of vegetation you don't see much of in Alberta. Also this park is unique in that it is deciduous and coniferous habitat. Boreal/grasslands/aspen parklands/badlands. This place is crazy unique and a real gem.
    You could explore here for a week if you have any kind of nature interest. Alas we both had to work tomorrow or we'd be camping there this weekend instead of just a daytrip. Sad to leave the place, we'll be back.
    Next went to Donalda. Nice little town right in the badlands, very picturesque surrounding and a few things to see there in town and tomorrow they have a Drive In Movie show Right in the Coulee. Its going to be showing "Bucket LIst" They do this a few times a summer and have a drive in setup right in the Coulee. We wished we could stay for it. Saw it online and it looks like it would be memorable. A good highway burn and people could get there in 1.5hrs easy from Edmonton.

    http://www.village.donalda.ab.ca/events/index/#event-81

    After that tripped over to Buffalo Lake Provincial Park. Never get out that way much. Beautiful Lake, beach, sand. Got our feet wet, water seemed half decent but it was getting late and cooling down. headed back to Camrose, walked around the lake in town and had an ice cream cone. Saw the Swans on the lake amidst sun which took on a golden pond hue. Camrose is a nice town to visit. Downtown Camrose interesting as well but we didn't have time on this trip.

    Rolled back into town. Put in over 400K, not too bad as we were gone for about 14hours.
    Last edited by Replacement; 23-08-2014 at 12:08 PM.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  36. #36

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    ^ See post number 17...

  37. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rseven View Post
    ^ See post number 17...
    I did actually. It was the inspiration for our daytrip. Thanks for specifically mentioning it. I should have cited your post and sorry for not doing that.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  38. #38

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    ^ No problem... it is a cool area, I'm glad you enjoyed it there

  39. #39
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    I might also have to make my way out there. Always looking for a new, less busy campground. Thanks for the suggestion guys!

  40. #40

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    Following on from the "Badlands close to Edmonton tour" and Big Knife PP mentioned above, I would also suggest going a little bit further south to Dry Island Buffalo Jump for more Badlands - it is about an hour short of Drumheller - accessed off Hwy 21.

    Bring a picnic, as there are no shops/concessions nearby.

  41. #41

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    Belated thanks to Rseven and Replacement on their earlier posts mentioning Big Knife Provincial Park - went there today, and despite the indifferent weather it was lovely! Well worth a visit.

  42. #42

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    ^ A belated you're welcome! .... I will post some more of my favorite day trips later on, will try and keep this thread going.

  43. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by IJM View Post
    Belated thanks to Rseven and Replacement on their earlier posts mentioning Big Knife Provincial Park - went there today, and despite the indifferent weather it was lovely! Well worth a visit.
    Glad you enjoyed it. Didn't see your post right away. Its a great area that is not all that well known.

    Last week we did the Vegreville/Elk Island jaunt. Anybody that hasn't been out to Elk Island should and its never better than this time of year. Aspen parkland and unbelievable colors. Bison seem out and visible right now as well. So much to do and see there, great hikes, beautiful relaxed and quiet vistas. A charm that doesn't get enough attention.

    Vegreville, went to visit the egg for the first time in decades, explored the park, they have one of those outdoor work out areas I like right next to the kids playground. Edmonton needs some of these. Adults can exercise as their kids are getting exercise. Several smalltowns have these. Why not Edmonton?
    Strolled around Downtown Vegreville looked at the shops, bought some garlic sausage, cabbage rolls for a take out feast. Ukrainian village is closed this time of year but another great thing to visit in the area.

    This neck of the woods is good as a weekender trip or a full day trip. Lots to do out that way and especially if one has not explored it before.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  44. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Replacement View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by IJM View Post
    Belated thanks to Rseven and Replacement on their earlier posts mentioning Big Knife Provincial Park - went there today, and despite the indifferent weather it was lovely! Well worth a visit.
    Glad you enjoyed it. Didn't see your post right away. Its a great area that is not all that well known.

    Last week we did the Vegreville/Elk Island jaunt. Anybody that hasn't been out to Elk Island should and its never better than this time of year. Aspen parkland and unbelievable colors. Bison seem out and visible right now as well. So much to do and see there, great hikes, beautiful relaxed and quiet vistas. A charm that doesn't get enough attention.

    Vegreville, went to visit the egg for the first time in decades, explored the park, they have one of those outdoor work out areas I like right next to the kids playground. Edmonton needs some of these. Adults can exercise as their kids are getting exercise. Several smalltowns have these. Why not Edmonton?
    Strolled around Downtown Vegreville looked at the shops, bought some garlic sausage, cabbage rolls for a take out feast. Ukrainian village is closed this time of year but another great thing to visit in the area.

    This neck of the woods is good as a weekender trip or a full day trip. Lots to do out that way and especially if one has not explored it before.

    You're right that Big Knife is not very well known, just about everyone I mentioned it to had never heard of it. It was very quiet when I was out there - although I suspect that the cooler/damper weather didn't help.

    Good call re Elk Island - a nice variety of walking trails and other stuff to do. Friends of mine did a moonlight canoe trip last Saturday on Astotin Lake (the main lake in the park) and loved it.

    Maybe a good opportunity to also mention the nearby Cooking Lake/Blackfoot Provincial Recreation Area to the south - fairly similar to Elk Island - 4 trailheads and loads of nice walking trails. No park pass required!

  45. #45

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    ^One of the things I adore about Astotin lake is no power boats allowed. Nice Canoeing lake with some islands to explore and not being harassed by seadoos and boaters.

    Agreed with Blackfoot recreational area just be careful out there as I've seen hunters out there. Really wish there wasn't hunting there as it detracts from enjoyment as a hiker whenever you hear a shot.

    I get pretty nervous around that. Its beautiful country though and even more remote. I try to make a lot of noise when I'm out there just so people know your around.
    "if god exists and he allowed that to happen, then its better that he doesn't exist"

  46. #46

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    A great option for a serious stretch of the legs are the trails by Devon - start by the boat launch alongside the Hwy 60 bridge, head east along some (relatively new) paved trails and work your way by the golf course and campground to a nice section through a ravine, rising up to a point in the SE part of Devon. The trails are about 7-8km each way, and there are a lot of steep sections in each direction - so a good workout! The Fall colours looked wonderful today.

    Chickakoo Lake Recreation Area north of Stony Plain is also a pretty area, with a nice trail network:
    http://www.parklandcounty.com/Recrea...ation_Area.htm

  47. #47

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    Here's another good one close by......Tawatinaw Valley

    This is a most beautiful valley connecting the towns of Tawatinaw, Rochester, Perryvale, Meanook, and Colinton. Just head up highway 2 north towards Athabasca. Then turn at Tawatinaw or Rochester and follow the old well maintained gravel road that connects these towns.

    This is a nice drive in spring or fall, but you must get on the old road. If you stay on highway 2 you wont see anything, probably why many don't know about it.

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