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Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

Working together to celebrate our history, culture and landscapes

Photo © Travel Alberta

Why visit Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

At the narrow waist of the Rocky Mountains, where Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana meet, sprawls one of the wildest, most diverse, intact ecosystems in the temperate zones of the world: The Crown of the Continent. Visit Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, the world’s first peace park (1932) Waterton World Biosphere Reserve (1979) and 2 other UNESCO World Heritage Sites within a 2-hour radius. Experience charming small towns, stunning mountain and prairie landscapes, fresh breezes, sunny days, and starry nights. Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent is awarded ITB Berlin Top 3 Best of the Americas 2020.

Culture and Local Life

Celebrate First Nations culture and history at Head Smashed Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site and at the Fort Museum of the North West Mounted Police. Learn about coal mining and Canada’s deadliest rockslide at Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. View the first Mormon Temple in Canada and re-live the days of horse and buggy at the Remington Carriage Museum. The Bomber Command Museum of Canada features WW2 history, dedicated volunteers, and the thrilling roar of a vintage aircraft engine. Enjoy fresh produce from Hutterite farms, country fairs and rodeos, world-class ranch vacations, authentic cattle round-up and trail rides.
Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent


Farming, ranching, outdoor adventure, and renewable energy generation and infrastructure represent the key economic sectors in the region, and all are dependent upon the health and sustainability of environmental assets. The transboundary Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council was formed in 2007 to promote sustainable business practices and encourage tourism that enhances and celebrates the distinctive geographical character of place-its environment, heritage, aesthetics, culture, and the well-being of its residents.

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

Getting There

The nearest international airport is in Calgary Alberta, with flights to a regional airport in Lethbridge. From either location, you can rent a car or SUV to take you on the open roads through prairies, mountains, charming rural communities and world-class attractions. An RV (recreational vehicle) will take you into spectacular back-country settings. There is also scheduled bus transport to the destination from Calgary or Lethbridge.

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

Getting Around

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent is an adventure for the self-directed traveller. Open spaces, charming places in a safe, friendly rural and mountain setting. There are a few bus tour options, but no mass transportation, so enjoy freedom in the vehicle of your choice! When you travel the region, the innovation and development of renewable energy is obvious, with options for EV charging powered by locally-sourced renewable energy. The 15 rural communities in AlbertaSW are about half an hour apart from each other, each with special attractions to visit. Stroll historic main streets; find hiking trails on prairies, hills and mountain trails. Cycling and horseback riding excursions are a way to learn about the landscape and meet the locals.

Nature and Wildlife

Be prepared for an outdoor experience, and learn fascinating stories about the history of the communities. Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park became the world’s first international peace park in 1932. This short video tells the story of the region and the formation of what is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Travel tips from our editors

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

Choose your adventure!

Enjoy back country trails, outdoor recreation, fishing, historic attractions, arts and culture and winter adventures! Read here for more information.

Learn to fly fish, visit interactive historic sites, ride a horse, paddle a kayak, wander beautiful trails, learn First Nations art, history and culture. Read here for more information.

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent

We will help you keep things green

You will find it is standard practice in homes and businesses to separate types of waste: BLUE receptacles for recyclable paper and plastics. There is a deposit on purchase of glass, aluminum and cardboard beverage containers, so save those separately and return to designated depots for refund of deposit. Friendly businesses and locals will be happy to answer questions so you can be a respectful visitor. Take pictures; leave footprints; save memories.


Hike & Bike

There are lots of opportunities for outdoor fun throughout the Crown of the Continent. Enjoy the region’s superb trails for hiking, cycling, horseback riding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Count the loons, swans and sandhill cranes at Police Outpost Provincial Park. You’ll encounter one of the wildest, most biodiverse, intact ecosystems in the world, glacier-carved mountains rising from lush, green valleys, glacial lakes, blue wild rivers, and lots of wildlife roaming their natural habitats.

Sustainability Recognitions

2021 Top 100 Logo

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent was selected in the both the 2020 and 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories.

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent received the prestigious award of ITB Berlin Best of Americas in 2020.

What does it mean?

  1. They have shown at least 60% compliance with the Green Destinations Core Criteria
  2. They have submitted a story that was selected to the list for its innovative, effective and / or transferable good management practice.

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent Good Practice Story

Alberta SouthWest Crown of the Continent submitted a Good Practice Story. It was about Developing an EV charging station network across southern Alberta. Read the full story here.

Bev Thornton
Chair, Crown of the Continent Geotourism Council

“The region includes access to three United Nations World Heritage sites and has the unique distinction of being at the headwaters of three major river systems in North America, each of which flows in a different direction: the Columbia into the Pacific Ocean, the Saskatchewan into Hudson Bay, and the Missouri into the Gulf of Mexico. The Crown of the Continent geotourism partnerships affirm the wisdom of transcending political boundaries in the management of shared ecosystems. The residents of the region understand that economic development and tourism benefit when in balance with environment; we desire to tread lightly for the sake of future generations.”


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