A historically important trade route, the Yellowhead Highway, also known as TransCanada Hwy 16, was named after an 1800s golden-haired fur trapper named Pierre Bostanais, who the Iroquois referred to as "tete jaune" or "yellow head". Today it's a modern highway that provides access to major wilderness areas, parks, historic sites and cultural attractions, including the provincial capital.The Alberta section of the highway starts in the east at Lloydminster, Canada's only two-province city, as its main north/south street straddles the Alberta/Saskatchewan border. Here you can visit the Barr Colony Heritage Center, which is home to the Imhoff Art Collection.
It's also a place to learn about oil production at the Heavy Oil Science Center's interactive exhibit.Heading west, you'll pass through Vermilion before coming to Vegreville. This town has a colorful giant Ukrainian Easter egg that tourists love to have their picture taken beside. A little further from town is the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village where you can learn about many Ukrainian pioneers who helped settle the east-central area of Alberta.About 50 kilometers before reaching Edmonton, is Elk Island National Park.
This was Canada's first federal wildlife sanctuary established in 1906. Bison, moose, elk and deer roam together in the big park. It is also home to more than 250 species of birds.Edmonton is the provincial capital, a cosmopolitan city of close to a million people. The city has a little something for everyone, from a wonderfully diverse live music scene, eclectic dining and shopping spots and a lineup of summer festivals stretching from early June to September. One of the most popular is at Northlands Park, where the exhibition known as Klondike Days was held until recently when it was changed to the Capital Ex.
While staying true to a number of the traditional activities associated with the exhibition such as the parade, pancake breakfasts, a gambling casino, free entertainment, there is also the Chuckwagon Derby. Over the next several years a variety of new activities and facilities will add to the already exciting atmosphere.Edmonton also lays claim to the giant West Edmonton Mall, the world's largest shopping and entertainment complex that offers over 800 stores and many diverse services. It also has 110 restaurants offering every possible variety of dining experience. As well there are numerous attractions including the bumper-boat action of the Deep Sea Derby and the Mindbender which is the world's biggest indoor triple-loop roller coaster.
It also has a large swimming area complete with a sandy beach and its own wave-making machine.After leaving Edmonton, traveling west you will come to Entwistle, famous for is 902-foot railway bridge spanning the Pembina River. Edson follows, with the Edson native interpretive trail, where you can rent teepees overnight. In Hinton, you can learn about the area's coal mining and forestry industry. Side roads south from both Edson and Hinton lead down the "Coal Spur Line" where vast quantities of coal were strip mined.
The coal was shipped by rail to Prince Rupert on the Pacific Coast, where it was loaded onto ships for transport to Japan.Entering Jasper National Park, the next stop is the town of Jasper but first a side trip to Miette Hot Springs. This is a great place to take a relaxing soak after a long highway trip. It has two outdoor pools, an interpretive center, hiking trails and picnic sites.Jasper is a tourist destination for thousands every year. This is the home of the internationally famous Jasper Park Lodge about seven kilometers south of the townsite.
The lodge is located amid some gorgeous scenery on Lac Beauvert. There's a very highly rated 18 hole golf course visited regularly by many famous people in movies and TV. Other attractions are the Jasper Tramway and Maligne Lake. The Tramway is Canada's highest and longest; it takes passengers to an altitude of 7,472 feet atop Whistler's Mountain and a sweeping view of six major mountain ranges. Maligne Lake is the second largest glacial lake in the world.
There is a day lodge with a café, a sun deck and gift shops on-site. Lake cruises are also offered in season.The Yellowhead Highway ends at just 24 kilometers west of Jasper, at the western edge of Jasper National Park in the Yellowhead Pass.
.Michael Russell Your Independent guide to Canada Vacation.Article Source: http://EzineArticles.
By: Michael Russell