- over half the province is covered by forests
- fourth largest province, roughly equal in size to Texas, USA
- east central Alberta/Saskatchewan is the sunniest place in Canada, with an average of over 2,500 sunny hours per year
- one of only two land-locked Canadian provinces
- the westernmost of Canada’s prairie provinces
- elevation ranges from 147 to 3,747 metres above sea level
- is the breeding range of the extremely endangered whooping crane
- the only province in Canada free of Norweigan rats
- provincial capital Edmonton
- provincial tree Lodgepole Pine
- provincial flower Wild Rose
- provincial bird Great Horned Owl
- in the Mountain time zone, seven hours behind Greenwich Mean Time
Alberta borders the US state of Montana to the south; the province of Saskatchewan to the east; and the Northwest Territories to the north. To the west, its border with British Columbia follows the Rocky Mountains along the continental divide.
Geography – Roughly half of the southwestern section is dominated by the Rocky Mountains and their foothills. The foothills form a link between mountain and prairie landscapes, and feature both forested areas and grasslands.The remainder of the province forms part of the interior plain of North America, which includes the boreal forest, the aspen parkland transitional zone and vast stretches of northern muskeg. Moving east, the land gently rolls through the foothills into the great plains.
Climate – Alberta’s climate is characterized by dramatic seasonal contrasts in which long, cold winters are offset by mild to hot summers with a high number of sunny days, no matter what the season. Average daytime temperatures in the summer range from around +21C (70°F) in the Rocky Mountains and northern Alberta, to the low 30’s C (90’s F) in the south.
The semi-arid south eastern corner experiences greater summer heat and lower rainfall than the rest of the province. Temperatures are most extreme in this area, ranging from −35°C (-31°F) or lower in the winter, to +38°C (100°F) or higher in the summer. This corner of the province is prone to drought-like conditions which can persist over years, even though it can periodically receive heavy rainfall.
Western Alberta is somewhat protected by the mountains, and often enjoys mild winter temperatures brought by the chinook winds, which can raise the temperature as much as 20°C (70°F) in a few hours.
Northern Alberta receives more precipitation, resulting in deeper snow cover, and the winters tend to be colder, with temperatures averaging -24°C (-12°F). Warm winter chinooks also break up the northern winters. This area also receives higher rainfall and has lower evaporation rates caused by cooler summer temperatures.
National Parks – Alberta Canada has five national parks, including the Rocky Mountain parks of Jasper and Banff, the oldest national park in Canada. Waterton Lakes Park is located where the mountains meet the prairies, and borders Glacier Park in the USA. Elk Island Park protects an area of aspen parkland in the center of the province. Wood Buffalo Park straddles the Alberta-Northwest Territories border, and is the largest national park in Canada.