Picture a lawless 1869 whiskey trading fort patronized by shady characters of the Wild West. First Nations frequented the region for thousands of years, but it was the unruly trading post that spurred the Mounties to build a barracks nearby. The infamous origins of Lethbridge are now celebrated with an annual party.
Just over two hours southeast of Calgary lies this vibrant city steeped in history, culture and green spaces. The Oldman River winds through Lethbridge, and along its banks is an immense network of urban parks. Spanning the river is the longest and tallest railway bridge in the world, an impressive feat of engineering in1909.
Spend an evening at the theatre, ball game or rockin’ out to the live music scene. Grab your clubs and swing into action on a Lethbridge golf course. Join the locals for a barn dance, or get lost in a corn maze.
Scoundrels. Serenity. Bridges. Birds of prey. Here’s your insider Lethbridge checklist!
Arts, Culture & History
Hit the Southern Alberta Art Gallery by day and the theatre or the symphony by night. Relive the history of southern Alberta at the Galt Museum, with interactive displays, unusual artifacts, neat programs and a giant beer bottle. See where First Nations drove herds of bison over the cliffs for the better part of 6,000 years at nearby Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lethbridge celebrates its Wild West heritage during Whoop-Up Days, five days of rodeo, parades and rides. Wander around notorious Fort Whoop-Up and see what put the “wild” in west.
Spot tomorrow’s superstars at a WHL Lethbridge Hurricanes hockey game or a WMBL Lethbridge Bulls baseball game.
Align your yin with your yang in the serenity of the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden. Get close to rescued hawks, falcons, eagles and owls at the Alberta Birds of Prey Centre. Explore the Helen Schuler Nature Centre and the Lethbridge Nature Reserve to see the CP Rail High Level Bridge and learn about the unique ecosystem found in the river valley.
Race the day away on Castle Mountain Resort’s 78 runs and terrain park. Ride a snow cat to untouched backcountry powder just 90 minutes west of town. Tackle 366 m (1200 ft) of vertical day or night at Pass Powderkeg 140 km (87 mi) west of Lethbridge.
Immerse yourself in the authentic towns of Alberta’s southwest. North of Lethbridge is Coalhurst, and the towns of Taber and Milk River are southeast. Relive the drama of the Frank Slide and discover the ancient art at Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park. Witness the collision of prairies and mountains in Waterton Lakes National Park. All just over an hour from Lethbridge!