Excellent Adventures: Spray Valley with Victor Aerden

Western Canada doesn't get nearly enough recognition as it should. Common Canadian tourist cities typically include Toronto, Vancouver, and Montréal. But what about in between? For this Excellent Adventure, our friend Victor Aerden went into the Rockies, to Spray Valley Provincial Park in Kananaskis Country. Spray Valley Provincial Park is located east of the Rocky Mountains, along the Spray River in western Alberta.

And Kananaskis is a collection of several provincial parks just south of Banff National Park, on the BC – Alberta border, and definitely one of his favourite places to go in Alberta where he currently lives. It’s like Banff without the crowds. Endless outdoor fun and epic scenery everywhere you look.

This Canada Day, learn and explore more of our beautiful country! 

Bather: I guess to start, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Victor: My name is Victor, I’m originally from Belgium, I lived there for 24 years and graduated as a physiotherapist, before moving to Alberta 2 years ago.

B: What are your top 3 favourite things to do in Alberta?

V: My favorite things to do here in Alberta are all centered around spending time in the mountains. I love camping, photography, wildlife spotting, catching sunsets or sunrises, stargazing, hiking, you name it! Even just going for a drive is incredible.

B: What are some of the things people might not know about Alberta?

V: Things that people might not know about Alberta... Here’s a few – The majority of the province consists of prairies, much like Saskatchewan, only along the border with BC there are mountains.

Alberta has a kind of desert-like area – The Badlands, you’ll even find cacti and rattlesnakes here. It is also one of the areas richest in dinosaur fossil finds in the world!

Alberta has the town/hamlet with the highest elevation in Canada: Lake Louise, sitting at over 1600m!

B: As a local, what are some hidden treasures that you think deserve more recognition?

V: Definitely Kananaskis country! This whole area is like Banff without the crowds! Everyone heads straight for Banff and Lake Louise, but Kananaskis has so much to offer, it’s crazy it doesn’t get the crowds like Banff does.

Other than that, Drumheller in the Badlands is quite amazing as well.

Underrated lake: Rawson Lake

B: What advice do you have for tourists or people wanting to visit?

V: Take your time to enjoy this amazing province. Catch some sunsets or sunrises in the mountains, take some hikes, wind down, relax and take it all in. Don’t just visit Banff and Lake Louise, dive deeper, and explore, you’ll find plenty more to enjoy here than the postcard views. Also, try some amazing Alberta Angus Steak!

B: So what's next? Any more "Excellent Adventures" coming up?

V: As I’m typing this I just crossed the border into Montana for a 7-week road trip through the Western USA. Should be pretty good!

Want to see more of Victor?

Follow him on Instagram or check out his website www.victoraerden.com.