UNESCO World Heritage Sites are special places around the world that enrich our lives and demonstrate the diversity of the planet. More than 900 places carry this unique distinction, including the Serengeti in East Africa, the Pyramids in Egypt, and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. You can explore six extraordinary UNESCO World Heritage Sites just a short drive from Calgary. From dinosaurs and buffalo jumps to indigenous history and mountain hikes, these natural wonders are ready to discover.
6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Near Calgary
6 UNESCO World Heritage Sites Near Calgary
Banff National Park
The Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks includes Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, and Banff National Park. Known for its turquoise glacial lakes, mountain peaks, and abundant wildlife, Banff National Park is Canada’s first national park. Attracting over three million visitors each year, Lake Louise and Moraine Lake are two of the most famous landmarks in Canada. Get a unique perspective on this majestic landscape from the Banff Gondola or a ride on the Lake Minnewanka Boat Cruise.
Banff National Park is a 1.5 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: 224 Banff Ave, Banff, AB T1L 1B3
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site
One of the world’s oldest, largest, and best preserved buffalo jumps is just a two hour drive from Calgary. Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump features indoor exhibits and interpretive outdoor hikes that explore the history of buffalo hunting culture and the work of archaeologists to preserve this incredible site. Buffalo skeletons can still be found on this sacred indigenous land from a technique practiced for nearly 6,000 years.
Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site is a 2 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: Secondary Highway #785, Fort MacLeod, AB
Dinosaur Provincial Park
Home to one of the world’s richest deposits of fossils, Dinosaur Provincial Park will transport you to prehistoric world. Views over the largest continuous stretch of Badlands in the world make it easy to see why it was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Pack a picnic lunch, explore easy hiking trails, book a stay at the comfort camping site, and get up close to a stunning collection of fossils in the Dinosaur Visitor Centre.
Dinosaur Provincial Park is a 2.5 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: Unnamed Road, Iddesleigh, AB T0J 1T0
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park
Waterton Lakes National Park in Canada and Glacier National Park in the United States combined in 1932 to form the world’s first International Peace Park. With views of the prairies to the east and the Canadian Rockies to the west, Waterton Glacier International Peace Park has stunning views in every direction. Sharing its border with the United States to the south and British Columbia to the west, this unique UNESCO World Heritage Site has small town charm nestled into a world class nature preserve.
Waterton Glacier International Peace Park is a 3 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: 404 Cameron Falls Dr, Waterton Park, AB T0K 2M0
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park
The most recent recipient of the UNESCO World Heritage Site distinction, Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is located in the Milk River Valley and is known for its unique topography and cultural landscape. Engravings and paintings make this a sacred place for the Blackfoot people (Siksikáíítsitapi) as a demonstration of their centuries-old traditions. The distinct landscape includes spaces to enjoy the beach, go birding, camping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, swimming, and geocaching. Remember to stay on trails at all times and respect the rock art and landforms along the journey.
Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park is a 3.5 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: Range Rd 130A, Aden, AB T0K 0A0
Jasper National Park
Designated as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies with over 11,000 square kilometres of stunning vistas, mountain peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and hiking trails. Five spectacular regions make this UNESCO World Heritage Site a great place for spotting wildlife, touring the Maligne Lake Cruise, or taking a dip in the Miette Hot Springs.
Jasper National Park is a 4.5 hour drive from Calgary.
Location: 500 Connaught Dr, Jasper, AB T0E 1E0