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Travel Western Provinces

200 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

The Best Parks, Conservation Areas and Wild Places

by (author) Leigh McAdam & Debbie Olsen

Firefly Books
Initial publish date
May 2022
Western Provinces, Pictorials
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    May 2022
    List Price

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Banff, with towering mountain peaks, massive glaciers, impossibly blue lakes and abundant wildlife, became Canada's first national park in 1885, and it remains one of the most popular destinations in the country. But this world-famous park is just one attraction in a province filled with natural wonders that include dense forests, sparkling lakes and mysterious badlands concealing the remains of dinosaurs.

200 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta is organized by region for easy reading and navigation. Each hot spot entry includes a detailed destination profile, color photographs and a sidebar of at-a-glance information featuring all the activities one can expect to enjoy.

Here are just a few of the hot spots included in this bigger "Hot Spots" book:

  • Whitehorse Wildland -- one of the few places in Alberta where you can drive to an alpine meadow.
  • Columbia Icefield -- the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains
  • Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park -- the highest point between the Rocky Mountains and Labrador.

This book provides fresh insights on popular spots and valuable information about lesser-known destinations that are equally worthy of a visit. For this expanded treatment, authors Leigh McAdam and Debbie Olsen have detailed 75 more hot spots and excursions, including snowshoeing trips, cycling trails, lake skating, mountain wildflower hikes and canyon ice walks. Everyone can enjoy nature, as this edition includes sections on family-friendly hikes, as well as trails that are wheelchair and stroller accessible.

200 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta is the perfect companion for all visitors to Alberta, from those preparing to witness the province's natural wonder for the first time to those who are looking forward to experiencing it all over again.


About the authors

Since growing up in Ottawa, Leigh has lived in Hall's Harbour (Nova Scotia), Niagara-on-the-Lake, Boulder (Colorado) and Vancouver. She now lives in Calgary with her husband John and dog Torrie, a rescue from the island of St. Maartens.

Leigh McAdam's profile page

Debbie Olsen's profile page

Editorial Reviews

[Review of previous edition:] It is a book welcomed by nature-lovers across province as it highlights a huge cross-section of natural spaces in Alberta, both those that are widely known as well as many unique hidden treasures.

Ellis Bird Farm Blog

[Review of previous edition:] The book is a combination of well-known locales (Banff National Park) and undiscovered jewels (who knew McLennan proclaimed itself the Bird Capital of Canada?)... Hikers will enjoy tips on tackling a hiking route, cyclists the best direction to travel a route, and paddlers the identification of waterways suitable for beginners versus experts. People seeking caves, dark skies, hot springs, larch, nature festivals, paddling, and waterfalls will find a list of special interest places they can string together for a themed trip or check off as time allows... Visitors to Alberta will find the book helpful if they want to go beyond places often featured on tourist brochures. Well-travelled Canadians will find it breathes new life into their vacations or weekend getaways.

Carol Patterson Inspiring Everyday Explorers Blog

[Review of previous edition:] Crammed full of gorgeous, colour photos and information on sites to see in the Rocky Mountains, Southern Alberta, Northern Alberta, places along the Hwy 2 corridor, and special interests like caves, waterfalls, and hikes.

Red Deer Advocate

[Review of previous edition:] Organized by regions -- southern and northern Alberta, the Rocky Mountains, Calgary and Edmonton, and one on special interests such as hot springs and places to enjoy dark skies -- the book is user-friendly. Each entry profiles the destination and includes a sidebar on what makes this spot so special. There are lots of well-known destinations in the books such as Columbia Icefields and Moraine Lake, but many hidden gems, too... The photos bring the book to life with spectacular colour.

Calgary Herald

[Review of previous edition:] Two of Canada's top adventurers have recently released a fantastic book, that's both an amazing read and an awesome gift.

Jody Robbins Travel with Baggage Blog

Other titles by Leigh McAdam

Other titles by Debbie Olsen