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Editorial Cartoon by Derek Evernden: August 2021

+10 Alberta Guidebooks Worth Racing Out To Grab This Summer

About the artist:

Derek Evernden author photo

Derek Evernden is a cartoonist and illustrator hailing from the Village of Milo in Vulcan County. His comic Bogart Creek has been collected in two volumes, with a third on the way in 2022, published by Canmore’s Renegade Arts Entertainment. (Author photo credit: Gillian Williamson, Studio Lumen). derekevernden.com, bogartcreek.com 

10 Alberta Guidebooks Worth Racing Out To Grab This Summer

Inspired by this month’s editorial cartoon by Derek Evernden, the Read Alberta editors have gathered a list of classic Alberta guidebooks both new and old that are worth racing out to pick up right now to help inspire your next summer adventure.

Book cover image for The Scenic Geology of Alberta

The Scenic Geology of Alberta: A Roadside Touring and Hiking Guide

Dale Leckie

Published: April 17, 2021 by Broken Poplars

ISBN: 9780995908239

A true Alberta road trip isn’t complete without visiting some of our province’s most eye-catching landscapes and geological sites, from the hoodoos in the Alberta badlands to river valleys, prairies, foothills, and mountains. In the brand new guidebook The Scenic Geology of Alberta (Broken Poplars 2021), geologist Dr. Dale Leckie uses storytelling, full-colour images, and his own expertise to take us on a tour of Alberta’s well-travelled and not-so-well travelled geological marvels.

Alberta Place Names: The Fascinating People & Stories behind the Naming of Alberta

Larry Donovan (CA), Tom Monto

Published: Jan 24, 2007 by Dragon Hill Publishing
ISBN: 9781896124117

Roadtrippers looking to gain a better understanding of the province they’re exploring shouldn’t be without Alberta Place Names (Dragon Hill Publishing 2007). Its 1300 entries cover names, famous inhabitants, and interesting facts about hamlets, villages, towns, and cities, as well as mountain peaks, rivers, lakes, and Indigenous communities, all the way from Abbot Pass to Zigadenus Lake.

Weird Alberta Places: Humorous, Bizarre, Peculiar & Strange Locations & Attractions Across the Province

Geraint Isitt (CA)

Published: Sep 06, 2006 by Blue Bike Books
ISBN: 9781897278062

For the more unconventional traveller looking to explore the quirkier sites of Alberta, like the world’s largest beaver,  the gopher museum, or the Starship Enterprise replica in Vulcan, Weird Alberta Places (Blue Bike Books 2006) is the off-beat choice for you.

Book cover image for Calgary's Best Walks

Calgary’s Best Walks

Lori Beattie

Published: November 20, 2020 by Fit Frog Adventures

ISBN: 9780993953514

Calgarians looking to adventure closer to home should look no farther than Calgary’s Best Walks (Fit Frog Adventures 2020), by local author Lori Beattie, who is the host of CTV Morning Live Walks and gives professional walking tours of Calgary.

Book cover image for Handbook of the Canadian RockiesHandbook of the Canadian Rockies

Ben Gadd

Published: April 1, 1995 by Corax Press

ISBN: 9780969263111

Albertans love to explore the Canadian Rockies any way we can, be it by car, bike, our own two feet, or attached to a climbing rope. The next crop of guidebooks all explore the Canadian Rockies in their own way, starting with the Handbook of the Canadian Rockies (Corax Press 1995). Known as “the bible” to everything Canadian Rockies, the Handbook includes everything you need to know about plants, animals, hiking and biking, backpacking, mountaineering, back-country skiing, boating, human history and safety considerations, all in its classic package.

Canadian Rockies Trail Guide: A Hiker’s Guide to Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks

Brian Patton (CA)

Published: May 15, 2011 by Summerthought Publishing
ISBN: 9780981149189

For hikers, the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide (Summerthought Publishing 2011) is the classic choice. One of the first reliable hiking guides to Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay National Parks, it’s been updated through the years and remains a beloved local resource.

Popular Day Hikes: Kananaskis Country – Revised & Updated: Kananaskis Country – Revised & Updated

Gillean Daffern (CA)

Published: May 24, 2019 by Heritage Builders
ISBN: 9781771602655

And no Alberta hiker’s bookshelf would be complete without a guide to Kananaskis Country, the most popular of which is Popular Day Hikes: Kananaskis Country (Rocky Mountain Books 2019) by Gillian Daffern, who also writes the renowned five-volume series Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Country Trail Guide and is the co-founder of Rocky Mountain Books along with her husband, Tony Daffern.

Bikepacking in the Canadian Rockies

Ryan Correy (CA)

Published: Jan 05, 2021 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771602372

For the cyclists, Bikepacking in the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books 2021) is a can’t-miss and the routes and stories it includes can inspire incredible multi-day adventures through our province by bike. It includes Beginner, Intermediate, and Expert journeys, all pedalled by Ryan Correy, who was one of Canada’s most accomplished adventure cyclists before his untimely death from cancer in 2018. It’s a new book but sure to become a favourite classic.

Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies – 3rd Edition

Alan Kane (CA)

Published: May 10, 2016 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771600972

For the scramblers, Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books 1991) is the  authoritative guide. Having sold more than 40,000 copies of previous editions, it has been completely revised, updated, and redesigned for a whole new generation of mountaineers. The original edition started a scrambling craze in the Canadian Rockies. No longer was reaching the top of those breathtaking peaks limited only to technical climbers; strong hikers with a sense of adventure found that they too could reach the top of many famous and stunning peaks.

Sport Climbs in the Canadian Rockies – 7th Edition

John Martin (CA), Jon Jones (CA)

Published: Sep 21, 2016 by RMB | Rocky Mountain Books
ISBN: 9781771601009

And lastly, for the climbers, now in its seventh edition and originally published in 1995, Sport Climbs in the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books 1995) continues to be the quintessential guidebook that both local and visiting climbers reach for when travelling to Western Canada.

Alberta’s beautiful, varied landscape and world-class sites are ours to enjoy and protect, with the help of these guides made by locals who love exploring our backyard as much as we do (okay, probably even more).