It took 15 months to give birth to my second book – 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta – The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places, co-authored with my friend Debbie Olsen, who in fairness wrote a whole lot more of the book than I did. I swore after my first book I’d never write a second. It’s just like babies; you forget about the sleepless nights, the lack of free time, the bleary eyed moments (cue Debbie in pajamas writing from dawn till dusk) and in a moment of weakness you say yes – and then wonder why?

Fifteen months later I know why.

Debbie and I have produced a book we are extremely proud of. It’s full of awesome photos – some ours, some sourced. It’s packed full of information about places that will be familiar to you along with many I doubt you’ve heard of. We certainly both thought we knew Alberta. And yet we discovered an extraordinary richness across the province we didn’t appreciate existed – largely with the help of Alberta Parks and the Nature Conservancy of Canada. Dig into this book. I guarantee it will make you want to explore beyond Banff and Jasper National Parks.

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Some of the nature hot spots in the book you’re likely familiar with include the Columbia Icefields, Sunshine Meadows, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake, Maligne Lake and the Bow Summit – Peyto Lake Lookout.

But have you ever heard of Big Knife Provincial Park, the Silver Sage Conservation area or Pierre Grey’s Lakes Provincial Park? How about Carson-Pegasus Provincial Park, Kleskun Hill Natural Area or the Wild Rose Conservation Site? I hope not because you’ll find a lot more of these hidden gems throughout the book.

To give you an idea of the landscapes you can explore have a look at some of the photos.

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Healey Pass near Sunshine Mountain Village

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

The far end of Maligne Lake most visitors never see accessible by canoe or kayak

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

The High Rockies Trail in Kananaskis Country

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Ya Ha Tinda Ranch

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

An early spring hike in Bow Valley Provincial Park

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Sulphur Gates Provincial Recreation Area

We also grouped some hot spots under broad headings like waterfalls, caves, larch hikes, paddling in Alberta and dark skies with the idea that you’d be inspired to explore a different part of Alberta, based on your interests.

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Paddling the Milk River in southern Alberta

125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Paddling the Peace River in northern Alberta

In the 224 page book you’ll find location maps, additional useful readings along with numerous photos of each hot spot. I hope you find the book to be both inspiring and practical.

Where can you buy 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta?

Affiliate links ahead, which means I receive a small percentage if you purchase anything through them at no extra cost to you. This helps me provide free content on this site. 

Online you can order from Amazon

Leigh McAdam

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta
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Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 57,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada. Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

Join the discussion 80 Comments

  • Pierina Grasman says:

    Wow so many beautiful places. That would be difficult to select. Ya Ha Tinda Ranch and Magline Lake. Aren’t we fortunate to have so many choices for adventures.

  • Marie Van Chadwick says:

    I think Healy Pass looks so beautiful, would love to hike there when the flowers are at their peak.
    Always enjoy your posts – very beautiful photography and I get a good idea of where we might hike or
    kayak too. We hope to travel to explore Canada so your book on Ontario is timely.
    Thank you

  • Elizabeth S says:

    So beautiful! I’m gonna have to check out your 100 Nature Hotspots in BC book. Ya Ha Tinda is now on my list of places to visit :) So many beautiful places!

  • Marsha F says:

    I spent a week camping and hiking in Kananaskis Country and I absolutely loved it. I would select the The High Rockies Trail.

  • Jennifer Hughson says:

    I’d love to do some paddling on Milk River. It’s a part of the province I’m not at all familiar with.

  • Carole Pugle Moslin says:

    Would love to win any of these 3 books as i am an avid hiker and live in BC. Have explore the rockies and would love to see more. Also ontario as i am originally from ontario and my daughter lives there so great opportunities to do some hiking. I am on instagram as carolepuglemoslin and have been following you as well as facebook. Recent trip was to Nepal to everest base vamp.

  • Julie Redeker says:

    Looks like an awesome book ! Can’t wait to read it and explore more of Alberta . Hard to decide would like to do them all lol .
    The paddling the Milk River sounds really great though . Congrats on completing your new book .

  • More places for the bucket list. Exploring more of Canada is our priority for the next couple of years

  • Mona Hardy says:

    Ya Ha Tinda Ranch and Maligne Lake. Some many great places, so little time. Would love the books.

  • Karen McKeown says:

    Karen McKeown
    I’d like to hike Healy Pass near Sunshine Meadows to see the wildflowers this summer. Really enjoy your blog. Congrats on your new book. I’ll look for it.

  • Sherri says:

    Wow, we are so very lucky to live so close to such wonderous beauty! It’s so difficult to choose just one hot spot because I would love to visit and explore as many as possible with my four year old son and husband. We love outdoor adventure and I think if I HAD to pick, Maligne Lake would make a great start! It has everything you could ask for, mountains, grass land, water, and magnificent beauty as far as the eye can see.

  • Mike Green says:

    Paddling Maligne Lake looks like it would be amazing……

  • Katy Emanuel says:

    We hope to get to Ya Ha Tinda this year. Being new to Alberta last year we did try to find it but the directions we were given weren’t great so now that we have had time to research it we are going to attempt to take the kids there this year. We chose to move to Alberta for the outdoor experiences you can’t get anywhere else in our country. Thanks for the chance.

  • Vanessa Smith says:

    Ya Ha Tinda looks like a very interesting place to visit!!! My boss is a big hotsrping fan, hoping we can find a few new ones to explore!

  • Colleen says:

    I love following your blog and FB posts. It’s so inspiring! We are always looking for new places to explore and you’ve introduced us to some good ones!

  • Christy says:

    I just learned to canoe last year, so I would love to paddle Milk River. Love your blog. Recently I have been reading your posts of PEI. Planning to bike Conferderation Trail one day!

  • Gary Dominey says:

    Hi Leigh, Ya Ha Tinda Ranch is definitely on the radar now. Thanks…Gary

  • Ingrid says:

    I would love to visit The High Rockies Trail in Kananaskis Country. Looks beautiful. Congrats on your book!

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