When to visit Alberta

by SmarterTravel Staff

Warm summers days and snowy winter afternoons make Alberta a popular vacation destination. Festivals and outdoor activities attract visitors in the summer, while reduced prices and virtually non-existent lift lines make for idyllic ski vacations in the winter.

  • high season: May to August
  • low season: November to February
  • shoulder season: March to April, September to October

Weather Information

Alberta experiences snowy winters and temperate summers. Winter months typically fall below freezing on a daily basis, especially during January and February. However, most cold days are accompanied by blue skies. Summer is filled with warm days averaging 86 degrees, and occasional showers. Spring and fall offer cooler temperatures than the summer, with the chance of snow.

Crowd Information

Moderate crowds are constant throughout the year. However, the Calgary Stampede, which has been called "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth," set a record attendance in 2005 with more than a million visitors. Taking place in July over a 10-day period, the stampede is the largest rodeo in the world, as well as the largest festival in Alberta. People visit many other events throughout the year. There are fewer crowds in the winter months of January and February due to cold temperatures.

Closure Information

Accommodations remain open all year round.

When to Save

Winter is the least expensive time to visit Alberta. Because of a favorable exchange rate, Alberta can be a low-cost ski destination alternative for U.S. travelers. Hotel rates are typically lower in winter and are often a bargain compared to popular U.S. ski resort towns. Plus, reasonable lift ticket prices and equipment rental rates, along with shorter lift lines, can yield more value for the money.

When to Book

To get the best airfare, it is best to book 21 days in advance of the intended departure date.

Information provided by Travel Alberta.

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