With a desert-like climate, rattlesnakes, and cactus, Lethbridge isn’t usually a place that comes to mind when you think of water activities. In fact, we even lived there for four months during a university semester, and to be honest, we didn’t even know it had a river! On our recent visit, however, we met up with some people who love watersports and they showed us some of the great ways you can make a splash in Lethbridge, Alberta.
Exploring Lethbridge on the Water
In the summer, Lethbridge, Canada is one of the hottest cities in Alberta, if not the whole country. It’s quite dry, and after the spring, most of the greenery becomes yellow due to the heat. As mentioned above, there are rattlesnakes and cactus, proving that this really is one of Canada’s desert areas. However, there are lots of options for finding a cool oasis in the heat of it all, and we’ll get into them below.
This Lethbridge park is a popular place to go, whether you’re looking to go kayaking, paddle-boarding, biking, running, roller-blading, or even attending a popular Lethbridge event, such as the Dragonboat Festival, this is a great place to spend a warm summer day. This man-made lake is not good for swimming but it’s a great place to get out on the water and feel like you’re no longer in the city. There’s lots of greenery around, so even if you don’t want to get wet, you can still enjoy a little slice of park paradise. It’s also adjacent to Henderson Pool.
This popular Lethbridge attraction recently went under massive renovations and now boasts an incredible waterpark, which includes multiple waterslides, a rock-climbing wall that hangs above the pool, a kid water park, a diving board, a massive wading pool, and green space for hanging out. We were there on a weekend and it was packed, so it’s safe to say that the locals love it. If you want even more activities to do that are walking distance, check out the Japanese Gardens Lethbridge, which is not far from here.
Old Man River
Thanks to some tips from the locals, we ended up rafting, kayaking, and paddle-boarding down the Oldman River, a huge river that snakes its way around the scenic coulees and under the famous Lethbridge train bridge. This was our favourite activity by far, as it was not only a great way to see some of Lethbridge’s best scenery but also quite relaxing. It was a little faster moving when we were there but it’s usually quite calm, making it a gentle float, even in a basic tube. If you don’t have a water vessel, you can rent one from Awesome Adventures Lethbridge, the company that brought us out. In addition, another popular activity is fishing on Oldman River. We saw many people doing this but didn’t have time to try it ourselves. Plus, you need a license, which is not something we have. (Note: do not fish without a license. It’s an expensive fine!)
What to do in Lethbridge
In this article, we described some of the activities you can do in the water around Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. However, there are lots of other things to do as well, including visiting the Galt museum, exploring the Japanese Gardens, or simply walking around downtown Lethbridge and trying some food at one of the many delicious restaurants. If you have more time, check out Lethbridge Tourism and see what’s happening during the time you visit. Maybe there will be an event. So, whether you’re looking for things to do in Lethbridge this weekend or planning a trip further in advance, make sure you take the time to explore Lethbridge on the water.
Where is Lethbridge?
Lethbridge is located in Southern Alberta, around 2-hours drive south of Calgary, Alberta. It’s only a bit over an hour from the border of Montana, USA, and has one small airport. Most people arrive by car.
Like many Canadian cities, Lethbridge is extreme. Expect hot dry summers and cold windy winters. Lethbridge is known for its wind and the storms can be strong, but not dangerous. In the winter, there is a lot of snow and temperatures dip down to -30 Celcius, whereas the exact opposite can be expected from June – September.
Best Hotels in Lethbridge
There are a lot of hotels to choose from in Lethbridge, Alberta. The one that we stayed in is the newly renovated Sandman Signature Lethbridge Lodge. This hotel is in the best location possible, located right next to the Galt Museum and the Lethbridge Trestle Bridge, which has the best views in the city. You’re close to walking trails that go throughout the coulee’s, Fort Whoop-Up, and downtown Lethbridge. There’s even a lovely indoor courtyard, which has a pool, hot tub, and a really good breakfast buffet.
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