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Grande Prairie

See graceful swans and prehistoric giants in a sophisticated small town

Known as the “Home of the Trumpeter Swan,” this city is the last Alberta stop on the Rocky Mountains’ northern route to America’s 49th state, Alaska. Prairie, boreal forest, mountains and foothills welcome visitors to Grande Prairie, the heart of Peace Country.


Grande Prairie Tourism

Fueling an Economy With Furs

Grande Prairie is Alberta’s seventh largest city and the largest city between Edmonton, Alberta and Fairbanks, Alaska. Cree and Beaver tribes first inhabited the region, but the lucrative fur trade drew Grande Prairie’s first European settlers and explorers as early as the late 1700s. By the late 1800s, a Hudson Bay Company trading post was soon established, and Grande Prairie evolved into a main player in the lumber industry during the 1920s. Ironically, it was an American—John Bickell of Washington State—who began his stake in lumber with a mill at the family farm. Decades later, it would be known as Northern Plywoods, Alberta’s first plywood mill.

In 1958, Grande Prairie was officially made a city. Its milestones would be many, including hosting none other than Queen Elizabeth II, who came in 1978 for the groundbreaking of a hospital named after Her Royal Highness. The other big milestone was the discovery of the Elmworth natural gas field—the second largest in North America.

Today, Grande Prairie is not only known for its oil and gas industries but also as a regional hub for agriculture, forestry, retail and manufacturing. Tourism plays a big economic role, taking advantage of the boundless natural resources of Peace Country.


Grande Prairie Tourism

Dinosaurs, Rodeos and More

Grande Prairie is “big” on all things dinosaur. The Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum is a destination unto itself. Learn what life forms existed 360 million years ago when Grande Prairie—and the rest of Alberta—was submerged underwater. Take a tour of the exhibits, including a re-creation of the Pipestone Creek Bonebed, one of the largest accumulations of dinosaur bones in the world. The museum collections also include five newly reconstructed dinosaurs from Alberta that have never been displayed anywhere else.

Paleontologists say that 65 million years ago, dinosaurs roamed in Alberta over the Fossil Trail, a diagonal path through the province that encompasses Pipestone Creek near Grande Prairie and three other highlighted spots. The real Pipestone Creek Bonebed, just south of Grande Prairie, is home to a massive gravesite of the horned, plant-eating dinosaurs known as pachyrhinosaurus.

Watch professional cowboys pull off the ever-popular bull rides and other amazing feats at the annual Grande Prairie Stompede, one of the most popular rodeo events in the area. Held on the grounds of Evergreen Park, this event features professional chuckwagon races, tie-down roping and more.

Swan Sightings

Grande Prairie is in the midst of a major Canadian breeding ground for the trumpeter swan, the heaviest living bird native to North America. With a wingspan often exceeding 10 feet, the bird cuts a graceful figure as it navigates the water of Saskatoon Island Provincial Park. Each April, the Swan Festival celebrates the bird’s arrival with music, food and educational programs. Bus tours for swan-viewings are led by Alberta Parks staff.

Muskoseepi Park, located in the heart of Grande Prairie, features more than 1,100 acres of parkland with six distinctive areas. Park trails run through the length of the city from north to south.

The Eastlink Centre provides a mix of aquatics and field sports for every level of athlete. The broad range of equipment gives the entire family—from grandparents to grandkids—full access to this barrier-free facility. It is connected to the Coca-Cola Centre, a gymnastic club and three Grande Prairie schools.

Need to shop? The Prairie Mall Shopping Center offers stores, restaurants and free Wi-Fi.

For More Information

City of Grande Prairie Regional Tourism Association




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