Back Roads of Southern Alberta


144 pages
Contains Photos, Maps, Index
ISBN 1-55105-021-8
DDC 917.123'4043




Reviewed by Nora D.S. Robins

Nora D.S. Robins is Collections Co-ordinator (Internal) of the
University of Calgary Libraries.


Alberta, the westernmost of Canada’s three Prairie Provinces, is the
most interesting, thanks to its four distinct biophysical regions:
prairie, grassland, boreal-forest, and Rocky Mountains. It is also
possessed of an excellent road system. In researching these two books,
the author travelled more than 13,000 kilometres over all the paved and
most of the gravelled roads in the province, and visited all the sites,
both natural and man-made, mentioned in the books. The results were
worth the effort.

Both books follow the same format: each chapter, with map, covers roads
that share the same history, or the same scenery, or are in the same
ecological zone, or make a nice one-day trip. The books are designed to
give the reader an awareness of “some of the famous and infamous
citizens, the natural and man-made attractions, the stories and the
humour of the hamlets, villages, towns, and cities” of Alberta. The
author provides a remarkable amount of valuable sightseeing information
and intersperses facts with historical snippets.

These guides are well designed and, speaking from personal experience,
serve as very useful resources to have on hand both while planning a
trip and on vacation. Facts are clearly organized and presented, maps
are easy to follow, and the black-and-white photos greatly enhance the


Donaldson-Yarmey, Joan., “Back Roads of Southern Alberta,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed May 28, 2024,