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Where the ‘Old West’ of North America combines with modern city living, Calgary acts one of the main gateways to the awe-inspiring, snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies mountain range.

Serving as a gateway to the Canadian Rockies, the city of Calgary is also a worthy destination in its own right. Fiercely proud of its cattle ranching history, every July the city comes alive with an ‘Old West’ cowboy feel during the world famous Calgary Stampede, a showcase to celebrate the western heritage, culture and community spirit for which the city is known.

Calgary is surrounded by many provincial parks, which make for excellent birding opportunities and are worth exploring before following the flower-filled montane meadows of the Bow Valley towards the Rocky Mountains. To the north-east of the city, the small town of Drumheller in The Badlands is renowned for its dinosaur fossils and rich geological history which is displayed in the Royal Tyrrell Museum, home to the largest collection of complete dinosaur skeletons.

With a backdrop of mountains on its doorstep, Calgary is also an ideal winter sports destination, and was the location of the first winter Olympics to be hosted in Canada. The venue of the 15th winter games held in 1988 (probably most famously remembered for Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsleigh team!) is located a short distance outside of the city.

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Key info

  • Where: Alberta, Canada

Wildlife trips

This location is featured in the following itineraries:

Wildlife of the Canadian Rockies

As well as providing awe-inspiring scenery, the majestic Canadian Rockies are also home to an incredible mix of mammals and birds. This small group trip offers opportunities to search for iconic Canadian wildlife, including moose, grizzly and black bears, in a spectacular mountain setting.

  • When to go: Jun
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £6.495 pp
  • Trip type: Group tour

Whales & Mountains

This superb route winds it way through the celebrated Rocky Mountains and into the Pacific Rim National Park on Vancouver Island. This area of ancient coastal rainforest abounds with plant life and is famed for its whale watching, as well as being home to brown bears, wolves and bald eagles.

  • When to go: May-Sep
  • Duration inc. flights: 14 days
  • Price inc. flights: From £3,095 pp
  • Trip type: Tailor-made trip idea