#12 best destination in the world

The Vault (Kananaskis)


  • Originally built into the side of a mountain in 1969 by Rocky Mountain Vaults and Archives, in order to protect the Royal Bank of Canada’s bank records, in the case of a theoretical apocalypse, due to heightened fears of the Cold War
  • Royal Bank of Canada pulled out of the negotiations, causing the company to go bankrupt, and abandoned the structure
  • Now a place for amateur hikers and cavers to explore

Bankhead Ghost Town


  • Once a bustling mining town operated by the Canadian Pacific Railroad, now abandoned up in the mountains of Banff National Park
  • Labor strikes and walkouts resulted in workers winning higher wages but exacerbated the coal rail company’s cashflow problems, which caused the company to close in 1922
  • Also called “the twenty year town”

Banff Springs Hotel


  • Hotel that overlooks a valley towards Mount Rundle, both of which are situated within the Rocky Mountain mountain range
  • Opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, as one of the earliest of Canada’s grand railway hotels

Banff Gondola


  • Scenic cableway ride to viewing decks and hiking trails at the summit of Sulphur Mountain

Banff National Park


  • #23 of the top 25 national parks in the world
  • Canada’s oldest national park established in 1885
  • Located in the Rocky Mountains with glaciers and ice fields, dense coniferous forest, and alpine landscapes
  • The mountains were formed from sedimentary rocks that were pushed over newer rock strata, between 80 and 55 million years ago
  • Erosion from water and ice have carved the mountains into their current shapes
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Moraine Lake

Moraine Lake - Alberta, Canada - Travel photography

  • Glacially fed lake in Banff National Park,
  • Elevation 6,181 ft
  • The lake, being glacially fed, does not reach its crest until mid to late June. When it is full, it reflects a distinctive shade of azure blue
  • The unique color is due to the refraction of light off the rock flour deposited in the lake on a continual basis by surrounding glaciers

Athabasca Falls


  • Class 5 waterfall known for its force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge, which can be substantial even on a cold morning in fall, when river levels tend to be at their lowest
  • The river falls over a layer of hard quartzite and through the softer limestone below, carving a short gorge and a number of potholes

Heritage Park Historical Village


  • Historical park whose exhibits span western Canadian history from the 1860s to the 1950s
  • Many of the buildings are historical and were transported to the park to be placed on display
  • Others are re-creations of actual buildings
  • Most of the structures are furnished and decorated with genuine artifacts
  • Staff dress in historic costume, and antique automobiles and horse-drawn vehicles service the site
  • Opened in 1964
  • The Park has two operating seasons: the Historical Village is open from May to October, but Gasoline Alley Museum is open year-round

West Edmonton Mall


  • Largest shopping mall in North America
  • Was the world’s largest mall until 2004
  • Over 800 stores and services including nine attractions, two hotels and over 100 dining venues in the complex
  • More than 24,000 people are employed at the property
  • The mall attracts between 90,000 and 200,000 shoppers daily, depending on the day and season

The Hoodoos of Drumheller

Hoodoos_Drumheller (2)

  • Rocks naturally formed through erosion by wind and water
  • The formations can be up to 20 feet high

Dinosaur Provincial Park


  • Located in a valley noted for its badland topography
  • The park is known for being one of the richest dinosaur fossil locales in the world
  • 58 dinosaur species have been discovered in the park
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site

Red Rock Coulee


  • Provincial Natural Area whose main feature of this natural landscape is the large spherical reddish boulders, known as concretions, some of which measure 10 ft in diameter
  • The spherical rocks are scattered across the badlands and coulees, and can be seen along the hiking trails nearby

Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump


  • Buffalo jump located where the Rocky Mountains begin to rise from the prairie
  • Museum of Blackfoot culture
  • Dedicated to preserving Aboriginal culture and promoting relationships between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people
  • UNESCO World Heritage Site


Number of Days: 16 days

Best Time To Fly: June-Aug

Airline ticket: $273

Seattle -> Calgary (round trip)

Food: $40/day x 16 days = $640

Rental Car: $54/day x 16 days = $864

Gas: $261

Entertainment: $144

Airbnb: $204/day x 15 days = $3,060

TOTAL: $5,242