It's no secret that Alberta contains some of Canada's most compelling scenery and outdoor recreation. Mid-June through August, this is a very busy place; Banff is generally acknowledged to be Canada's single most popular destination for foreign travelers. A little planning is essential, especially if you're traveling in summer or have specific destinations or lodgings in mind.
Skiers should know that heavy snowfall closes some mountain roads in winter. However, major passes are maintained and usually remain open. Highways 3, 1, and 16 are open year-round, though it's a good idea to call to check road conditions. You can inquire locally or call Travel Alberta (tel. 800/661-8888; www.travelalberta.com) or the Alberta Motor Association (tel. 403/474-8601; www.ama.ab.ca). If you're a member of AAA or CAA, call their information line (tel. 800/642-3810). Always carry traction devices such as tire chains in your vehicle, plus plenty of warm clothes and a sleeping bag if you're planning winter car travel.
For information about the entire province, contact Travel Alberta, Box 2500, Edmonton, AB T5J 2Z4 (tel. 800/252-3782; www.travelalberta.com). Be sure to ask for a copy of the accommodations guide (www.explorealberta.com has many listings also), as well as the excellent Traveler's Guide and a road map. There's a separate guide for campers, which you should ask for if you're considering camping at any point during your trip.
Alberta has no provincial sales tax. There's only the 5% goods and services tax (GST), plus a 5% accommodations tax.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.