With rugged plains, desert vistas and snow-capped mountains, there’s plenty to explore in Canada’s Wildrose Country.’ Even better, you can have an amazing time without breaking the bank with unique excursions across Alberta. From the famous Lethbridge Viaduct, to the Saamis Teepee of Medicine Hat, to the Drumheller badlands, check out some of these great, free Southern Alberta day trips. 

Lethbridge Viaduct Southern Alberta Day Trips

Lethbridge Viaduct

Looking for fun, free things to do in Lethbridge, Alberta? What about spending a day in a beautiful park with one of the world’s largest steel train bridges dominating the horizon?

Standing at almost 100-metres tall, the iconic Lethbridge Viaduct stands tall over the Oldman River in the midst of a large park area. Originally built in 1909 to replace an older wooden bridge, Lethbridge’s High Level Bridge was not only the largest train bridge in Canada, but the tallest and longest steel train bridge in the world. 

Still in use to this day, this famous Lethbridge train bridge is an awesome sight to behold, especially at sundown. Exploring the picturesque parkland is certainly one of the most fun free things to do in Lethbridge, Alberta. Not only can you hike along the Oldman River, but there’s also a picnic area by the High Level Bridge and you can check out the Lethbridge coulees, unique rolling hills formed by erosion and glacial shifts. 

Medicine Hat Southern Alberta Day Trips

© The City of Medicine Hat

Saamis Teepee of Medicine Hat

Originally built in Calgary to commemorate the 1988 Winter Olympic games, the Saamis Teepee is a stunning tribute to indigenous culture, in addition to being the largest teepee in the world. Since being transferred to Medicine Hat in 1991, the Saamis Teepee has captivated hundreds of visitors a year, and is one of the most iconic sights along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Constructed of 215ft tall steel pillars, the Saamis Teepee of Medicine Hat is roughly the size of a 20-storey building and features 10 circular portraits that pay tribute to Alberta’s indigenous nations. The Teepee is also located by the Saamis Archaeological Site, where Blackfoot hunters once herded buffalo over sheer cliff drops. Today, you can go on a self-guided tour of the Saamis Archaeological Site and learn more about the historical and cultural significance of the Blackfoot buffalo jump.

Drumheller Southern Alberta Day Trips

Visiting the Drumheller Badlands and Dinosaur Provincial Park

Take a walk on the wild side in the Drumheller Badlands. Nestled in the Red Deer River Valley, this mountainous plain is famous for its unique rock formations – smooth, rounded pillars called the Drumheller hoodoos. Formed by erosion over millions of years, the Drumheller hoodoos are a unique sight that define this lonely, majestic terrain. The area is perfect for long hikes, just remember to bring plenty of water!

In addition to the Drumheller hoodoos, the Drumheller Badlands are also famed as a major paleontological centre, with dinosaur bones to be discovered around every corner! You can real excavations in action in the nearby Dinosaur Provincial Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where over fifty species of dinosaur have been discovered.

While you’re in town, be sure to snap a pic with Drumheller’s most famous resident, the World’s Largest T‑Rex!

Red Red Southern Alberta Day Trips

Red Rock Coulee Alberta

Southern Alberta features many unique geological formations – such as the Lethbrige coulees and Drumheller hoodoos – however, the most striking relics of the area’s Ice Age-era erosion might be Red Rock Coulee Alberta. Located just outside Medicine Hat, Red Rock Coulee Alberta is a desert plain that features rounded, red boulders that look like they were molded by hand. Of course, they have erosion and sediment to thank for their creation, but you can still get some great pictures of these rare monoliths.

Red Rock Coulee Southern Alberta Day Trips

Beyond Southern Alberta Day Trips

From the Lethbridge train bridge to the Drumheller Badlands, Alberta offers a vast amount of majestic vistas and attractions just off the beaten path. You can also enjoy the unique culture and Western hospitality in hearty towns like Lethbridge, Medicine Hat and Drumheller. 

Special thanks to the staff at the Econo Lodge Inn & Suites in Lethbridge, AB for their suggestions.

Choice Hotels in Southern Alberta