Lethbridge is located 133 miles south of Calgary and 66 miles north of the U.S.–Canada international border at the junction of Alberta Highways 3, 4 and 5.
In December 1869, 2 American traders built a trading post near the present-day site of Lethbridge. The post, named Fort Hamilton, became known as Fort Whoop-Up because of its whiskey trade. Alarmed by the activities of the whiskey traders, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald formed the North West Mounted Police (NWMP), now the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, to bring law and order to the West. The NWMP reached Fort Whoop-Up on Oct. 9, 1874, and immediately put a stop to the whiskey trade.
Early development of Lethbridge commenced in the late 1870s with development of a steady coal market and permanent settlement. The Canadian Pacific Railway constructed the High Level Bridge at Lethbridge in 1909. Today, Lethbridge is Alberta’s third largest city. It has a strong agricultural economy and is home to the University of Lethbridge and the Hurricanes hockey team.
As southwest Alberta’s service and shopping centre, Lethbridge has all visitor services, including lodging, major-chain restaurants and fast-food outlets; gas stations; several malls and a variety of retail businesses and visitor facilities. Camping at Bridgeview RV Resort and northwest of town.
- The High Level Bridge—with a mile-long span and 300-foot elevation—is the longest and highest bridge of its kind in the world.
- Fort Whoop-Up Interpretive Centre is a re-creation of the original trading post and NWMP fort that served this area in the late 1800s.
- The Galt Museum features regional history and art and offers a fantastic view of the High Level Bridge.
- Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden in Henderson Lake Park.
- Alberta Birds of Prey Centre features hawks, falcons, eagles and owls.
- Remington Carriage Museum, North America’s largest carriage museum, in Cardston, a 45-minute drive south from Lethbridge.