Explore These Alberta Locations Featured in HBO’s The Last of Us

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Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the popular HBO series The Last of Us was shot entirely in Alberta. Find out how to explore its many memorable filming locations.

  • Season one was filmed in more than 180 locations across Alberta.
  • Both lead actors rated Canmore as their favourite filming location.
  • Explore downtown filming locations in the cities Calgary and Edmonton.
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HBO’s biggest new series The Last of Us is a hit! Shot entirely in Alberta and starring Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos) and Bella Ramsey (Game of Thrones, Becoming Elizabeth), the first season of the show was filmed between July 2021 and June 2022. 

The series is the largest film production in Alberta’s history, and one of the biggest in Canada.

Season one features scenes shot across the province, including in downtown Calgary, the Legislature Building in Edmonton, Fort Macleod, Canmore, and Calgary’s SAIT and Mount Royal University.

Episode 1: When You’re Lost in the Darkness 

The series premiere provided our introduction to the story’s hostile, post-apocalyptic world. Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Tess (Anna Torv), brought together by desperate circumstances, are tasked with a dangerous mission to deliver teenage Ellie (Bella Ramsey) across what’s left of the United States. 

Their greatest challenge? This new world is a dangerous place, and they aren’t the only ones trying to survive. 

“When You're Lost in the Darkness” featured some recognizable locations around southern Alberta, including downtown Calgary doubling as Boston's quarantine zone, as well as Beaver Dam Flats and the city’s Inglewood neighbourhood. Fort Macleod was also heavily featured this week, including Don’s Barber Shop, portrayed as Lone Star Watch & Jewelry, Johnny’s Restaurant, and Main Street masquerading as downtown Austin (in the midst of a zombie outbreak).  

Did you know? 

Calgary’s Inglewood neighbourhood has been featured in many Hollywood movies and television shows, including Fargo, Heartland and Wynonna Earp. 

See more Hollywood blockbusters filmed in Alberta.  

Buildings on Calgary's 17 Avenue SW
Spend a day exploring 17 Avenue SW, one of Calgary’s most vibrant streets.

Calgary’s 17 Avenue, locally known as the Red Mile ever since the Calgary Flames’ 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs run, is one of the city’s most vibrant streets, filled with shops, restaurants, events and more. Find out how you can spend a day exploring the area. 

Buildings in Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood
Inglewood is a popular filming location in Calgary. Other productions shot here include Fargo, Heartland and Wynonna Earp.

Inglewood is located just east of downtown Calgary and is bursting with charming shops, trendy restaurants and classic meeting spots. Fall in love with Calgary’s original main street with a visit to this historical neighbourhood.  

The Empress Theatre and other buildings on Fort Macleod's Main Street.
You might recognize Fort Macleod from other notable productions like Brokeback Mountain and Ghostbusters: Afterlife. 

Fort Macleod, located less than two hours south of Calgary, has a variety of experiences for visitors to enjoy. Main Street, which was heavily featured in this episode, is a designated Provincial Historic Area, and well-known as a filming location. Other recognizable productions shot in the area include Brokeback Mountain, Interstellar, and Ghostbusters: Afterlife.  

Head about 20 minutes west and you can explore Alberta’s Indigenous history at Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, one of Alberta’s six UNESCO World Heritage Sites.   

Inside Episode 1

Episode 2: Infected

Episode two opens with a flashback to Jakarta, Indonesia, in 2003, the epicenter of the Cordyceps outbreak that would one day destroy the world. When professor of mycology Ibu Ratna is brought in by the government to examine a body infected with Cordyceps, apparently driven to a murderous rampage, she offers a grave and hopeless warning. They must prevent the spread by all means necessary, because there is no cure. 

Now, in 2023, Joel, Tess and Ellie continue their journey through post-apocalyptic Boston toward the Fireflies’ base in the Massachusetts State House. With a massive horde of zombies blocking their passage, the trio cuts through an old museum. In the shadows of this collapsing museum, they have a close encounter with the most terrifying infected we’ve seen so far. 

When they finally reach the state house, it’s clear their journey is far from over. They must do everything in their power to “save who you can save” – no matter the cost.  

Alberta is proving to be a diverse backdrop for the show, doubling as Austin, Texas, Boston, Massachusetts, and even Jakarta, Indonesia. 

Alberta’s major cities, Edmonton and Calgary, were heavily featured in this week’s episode, including the Alberta Legislature Building acting as the Massachusetts State House, gold dome and all, as well as Calgary’s Fourth Avenue Flyover, a major overpass into the city’s downtown core. 

You might have also recognized Calgary's Hotel Arts as Joel, Tess and Ellie entered the Boston Museum, and various shots around Edmonton’s downtown, particularly 108 Street and the popular shopping and dining strip along 104 Street. 

Did you know? 

The Last of Us is the largest film production in Alberta’s history, and one of the biggest in Canada, injecting millions into the provincial economy and employing hundreds of local cast and crew members. 

Cars passing under Calgary's 4th Avenue Flyover bridge.
Calgary’s 4th Avenue Flyover played a starring role in episode two of The Last of Us.

Calgary’s 4th Avenue Flyover, a major overpass leading into the city’s downtown core, was shut down for filming in October 2021, and we can see why. The bridge was transformed into a decrepit scene as Joel, Tess and Ellie attempted to make their way to the Massachusetts State House. 

Nearby the overpass is trendy Bridgeland, a walkable and bikeable community filled with popular shops and restaurants. Take a stroll over to Tom Campbell’s Hill Natural Park for incredible views overlooking the Bow River and the city skyline – which we promise is not actually in ruins. 

Looking at the Alberta Legislature Building down an Edmonton street
Alberta’s Legislature Building in Edmonton doubled as the Massachusetts State House in The Last of Us.

Speaking of the State House, it was portrayed this week by the Alberta Legislature Building, known locally as “The Ledge,” which overlooks the scenic North Saskatchewan River Valley in Alberta’s capital city, Edmonton. Built in 1907, the building’s stunning Beaux-Arts architecture features marble pillars and carved oak. Don’t worry, it doesn’t usually look so battered.  

You can explore the Alberta Legislature by wandering the grounds or take a guided tour.  

Cars and buildings in downtown Edmonton
Downtown Edmonton is bursting with boutique shops, iconic restaurants and historic buildings. 

Downtown Edmonton also played a starring role in The Last of Us’ post-apocalyptic world this week, including 100A Street, 104 Street and 108 Street.  

On the 4th Street Promenade in the heart of downtown – the area on 104 Street between Jasper Avenue and the ICE District – you’ll find a mix of upscale and small shops, iconic restaurants and historic buildings. Many shops are found within the historical buildings from the old warehouse district. 

Inside Episode 2

Episode 3: Long, Long, Time

Episode 3 opens to Joel and Ellie making their way toward Bill and Frank’s compound outside Boston. But much of the episode looks back in time to examine the relationship between Bill, a solitary survivalist, and Frank, a soft-hearted man who finds himself caught in a trap on Bill’s compound. The pair bond over a mutual love for good food, wine, and the piano—resulting in a love story that plays out over their lifetimes. This episode takes a break from the regular cadence of the show, demonstrating that love can flourish even in the bleakest of settings.  

This episode pulled us deeper into the characters’ story arcs with less focus on the outside world they’re living in, but there were still a few recognizable Alberta locations spotted throughout.  

The journey will continue 

The Last of Us was officially renewed for a second season, HBO announced on January 27, 2023. It is still to be determined if the series will return to Alberta, where the production filmed in more than 180 locations across the province for season one.  

Family walking in front of Maggie's Diner in High River
High River is an outdoor adventurer’s playground, but you can also check out sets like Maggie’s Diner from another hit show, Heartland.

What started off as a trap-laden compound turned into the setting of a heartbreaking love story. Bill’s doorstep was set in the former Beachwood Estates area of High River, a neighbourhood that was evacuated after a devastating 2013 flood that forced as many as 120,000 Albertans out of their homes. While the area has since been repurposed to its natural state as a floodway, with homes, roads, utilities and sidewalks removed, there is still plenty to see in the charming town of High River, about 30 minutes south of Calgary.  

With nearly 30 km (18.6 mi) of walking and biking trails as part of its Happy Trails system, incredible birdwatching at the Frank Lake Conservation Area, and a variety of unique camping experiences, High River is the place to go for outdoor adventures. Plus, you can check out the set for Maggie’s Diner, featured in the hit CBC show Heartland.  

The Shannon Terrace Bridge in Fish Creek Provincial Park in the winter
Fish Creek Provincial Park is a popular spot in Calgary for walking, hiking, biking and bird watching.

This episode featured a great shot of the Shannon Terrace pedestrian bridge in Calgary’s Fish Creek Provincial Park, as Joel and Ellie continue their hike towards Bill’s property. Fish Creek Park is the second-largest urban park in Canada and one of the largest urban parks in North America, stretching 19 km (12 mi) from east to west. Fish Creek flows along the length of the park and joins the Bow River on the east side of the park. It’s home to the Fish Creek Environmental Learning Centre, Sikome Aquatic Facility, Bow Valley Ranche Restaurant and Bow Valley Ranch Visitor Centre. 

With more than 80 km (50 mi) of pathways, the park is popular for walking, hiking and biking. Bird watching is also a favourite activity with more than 200 bird species observed here.  

The Priddis General Store in the winter
The Priddis General Store was transformed into a post-apocalyptic scene in episode three of The Last of Us.

After crossing the bridge in Fish Creek Park, Joel and Ellie arrive at a convenience store where Joel has stashed a few things over the years that will help them along in their journey. You can find this location in Priddis, about 15 minutes west of Calgary. You’ll pass by the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area on the way, another location featured during Joel and Ellie’s hike.   

There is plenty to see out in Alberta’s rolling foothills, including the Rothney Astrophysical Observatory, Granary Road Farmer’s Market, Priddis Greens Golf & Country Club, and the luxurious Azuridge Hotel, formerly a private residence now transformed into a stylish retreat that attracts guests drawn to its seclusion and spirit.   

Inside Episode 3

Episode 4: Please Hold My Hand

Episode 4 of The Last of Us brought yet another change of pace, allowing space to develop the relationship between our two protagonists. The episode opens where the story left off, as Joel and Ellie travel west from Boston in their newly acquired truck.

After some restless nights camping in the deep wilderness, the duo arrives in Kansas City—only to be ambushed by a new group of revolutionaries that control the city.  

Their ruthless leader, played by Melanie Lynskey (Yellow Jackets, Two and a Half Men), is driven by loss and a desperate desire to avenge her brother’s death.  

With this change in scenery came a swath of notable Alberta filming locations, including Strathmore, Lethbridge, Claresholm, Carsland, Priddis, Bragg Creek, Stoney Nation, Nanton and Calgary.  

The Last of Us is a megahit 

Viewership has increased every week since the premiere episode, an unusual trend even for other hit HBO shows like Game of Thrones, House of the Dragon and Euphoria. Each episode is averaging over 21 million viewers.   

Red brick buildings in a Calgary alleyway
The laundromat that Joel and Ellie crashed into was a special addition to this alleyway in downtown Calgary. 

Calgarians were excited to see their city heavily featured this week, including various locations in downtown serving as Kansas City. While the laundromat Joel and Ellie crashed into was a built set, the area surrounding it is very real. You can find this spot as you head north on Macleod Trail – peek down the alley to your right between 11 Avenue and 10 Avenue SE. And don’t forget to stop by The Bell Block building nearby, featured in the season premiere.   

 A few blocks west in Calgary, you might also want to check out Globe Cinema on 8 Avenue SW. The independent theatre’s sign was even kept in the show as Joel and Ellie drove through the dilapidated streets, featuring movies like 2003’s Underworld and Matchstick Men.  

Calgary's Airport Trail tunnel
The Airport Trail tunnel in Calgary was built to help support growing passenger numbers at YYC Calgary International Airport. 

Joel and Ellie’s journey couldn’t be entirely smooth sailing this week, right? They had to find another way around after running into a roadblock at a tunnel. Calgarians (and those who have flown into the city) likely recognized it as the Airport Trail tunnel just east of Barlow Trail NE. The tunnel began construction more than a decade ago as part of plans to expand YYC Calgary International Airport, which served more than 14 million passengers in 2022.  

Landscape view of the High Level Bridge in Lethbridge
If you’re looking to explore Alberta’s vast wilderness like Joel and Ellie, there are many options nearby this iconic railway bridge in Lethbridge. For a camping experience like no other, check out the Writing-on-Stone Provincial Park campground. 

The Lethbridge Viaduct, also known as High Level Bridge, was spotted this week as Joel and Ellie drove along the highway. This historical bridge, designed by Canadian Pacific Railway, opened in 1909 and to this day is the longest and highest of its kind in the world, stretching 1.6 km (1 mi) long and 96 m (314 ft) high. Trains continue to cross the Oldman River using this bridge today.   

Inside Episode 4

Episode 5: Endure and Survive

Episode 5 provides some background on yet another set of supporting characters—Henry (Lamar Johnson) and Sam (Keivonn Woodard), brothers attempting to escape Kansas City after the fall of FEDRA. We learn that this region’s FEDRA division was particularly cruel, leading to a violent uprising. Kathleen (Melanie Lynskey), leader of the Kansas City resistance group, is determined to get her revenge after Henry betrayed her brother to FEDRA. 

When Henry and Sam discover Joel and Ellie in the city, they suggest a truce and agree to travel out of the city together. But with Kathleen and the resistance group hot on their heels, along with the many unseen dangers lurking just beneath the surface, the journey will take a physical and emotional toll unlike anything we’ve seen so far this season. 

This episode kept us in many of the same locations as last week, with various spots around Calgary serving as a backdrop for some of the series’ most action-packed and horrifying scenes so far. 

A monster hit 

Episode 5 aired a few days earlier than its usual Sunday timeslot, so as not to conflict with the Super Bowl. That didn’t stop the juggernaut hit, which continues to see viewership spike week over week along with rave reviews from fans and critics alike. 

The Calgary Courts Centre in the winter
With great restaurants, arts and culture, shopping and iconic attractions, downtown Calgary has it all.

The battle in this week’s episode culminated just outside the Calgary Film Centre in the city’s southeast, but the spectacular set was built from scratch just for the show. The 50,000 sq ft studio nearby has been a big draw for major film and television productions and is fully equipped to service the city’s growing production capacity.  

The Calgary Courts Centre is the largest court facility in Canada, but it was the scene of the resistance group’s violent uprising against FEDRA in episode five, doubling as a U.S. Post Office building. In real life, the centre is located in the heart of downtown Calgary, with incredible restaurants and shopping in close walking distance. Just a few blocks away is Devonian Gardens, an indoor botanical garden that provides a reprieve from the bustling city life that surrounds it. 

Nanton's Ranchland Inn
Nanton is home to unique attractions like the Bomber Command Museum of Canada and the Canadian Grain Elevator Discovery Centre.

Nanton, located about 66 km (41 mi) south of Calgary, was also featured in this week’s episode, with the Ranchland Inn setting the scene for one of the series’ most heartbreaking moments yet. Known for its historic main street and museums, this small but vibrant community in southern Alberta is a picture-perfect spot for visitors looking to experience all that Alberta has to offer – stunning mountain scenery to the west, rolling prairies to the east, and easy access to major cities nearby.  

Inside Episode 5

Episode 6: Kin

Episode six opens three months after the previous events of episode five—the most significant time jump we’ve seen since episode one. Joel and Ellie have made it to Wyoming, but they find themselves lost in the expansive winter wilderness. After receiving some limited directions from a couple of survivors (Graham Greene, Dances with Wolves, and Elaine Miles, Northern Exposure), the pair head across the “river of death” with growing uncertainty.  

This was the culmination of Joel’s long journey to find his brother, Tommy. But he gets more than he bargained for when he realizes that Tommy may not be the one who needs saving after-all.  

 The Last of Us cast raves about Alberta 

Both Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey named Canmore, Alberta, as their favourite filming location, with Pascal saying, “Every inch of Canmore was just this magical little town… with really great fudge.”  

The Canmore Engine Bridge, built in the 1880s, has a gorgeous backdrop of the Rocky Mountains with the Bow River flowing beneath it. 

This week, the picturesque Alberta town of Canmore was transformed into Jackson, Wyoming, a functioning post-apocalyptic society with electricity, running water, a medical clinic, a movie theatre, children playing outside, and more signs of the life Joel hasn’t known for 20 years, and that Ellie has never experienced.  

Located in Kananaskis, a stunningly beautiful valley of the Canadian Rockies, Canmore is a charming mountain town and an ideal respite for those craving nature, thinner crowds and mountain adventure. Main Street is just as magnificent in real life as it was in the show – albeit, with a bit more of a modern vibe. And the historic Canmore Engine Bridge – which Joel and Ellie crossed before coming to Jackson – is a must-visit while in the area, with gorgeous views of the Rocky Mountains surrounding it.  

Willow Lane Barn in Olds hosts a variety of special events including weddings, farm to table dinners, Christmas parties and more. (Photo: Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Joel and Ellie’s first proper meal in months – or ever, according to Ellie – takes place at Willow Lane Barn, a charmingly rustic property in Olds, about an hour north of Calgary in the heart of the Alberta prairies. Nestled between wheat fields and adjacent to a quaint working farm, the barn hosts a variety of special events from weddings to fundraisers, farm to table dinners and more. 

The Wainwright Hotel at Heritage Park, decorated in the elaborate style popular at the turn of the 20th century, is a popular and unique dinner reception venue. 

This week, Joel and Tommy separate from the group for a drink in the saloon at the Wainwright Hotel. In real life, the hotel replica, located within Calgary’s Heritage Park Historical Village, features a beautiful entrance, authentic saloon and elegant dining room.  

Heritage Park, Canada’s largest living history museum, includes over 200 exhibits on 127 acres of land. Visitors can tour the park on an antique steam train, learn about Blackfoot culture in the First Nations area, explore a bustling young prairie town and discover one of the world’s largest public collections of antique vehicles at Gasoline Alley Museum.  

Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey on horseback shooting a scene at Calgary’s Southern Alberta Institute of Technology.
Calgary’s post-secondary institutions were featured as the fictional University of Eastern Colorado. (Photograph by Liane Hentscher/HBO)

Calgary post-secondary students were excited to see their campuses featured in this week’s episode as Joel and Ellie made their way to the Firefly compound at the University of Eastern Colorado. Mount Royal University and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) doubled as the fictional university. During filming, snow was removed from the set and leaves were added in, along with sandbags and various foliage around the campuses.  

Inside Episode 6

Episode 7: Left Behind

This week’s episode opens with Joel and Ellie still in a dire situation. While Joel clings to life, Ellie is determined to find a way to save her only friend. This transports us back to the last time Ellie faced losing someone close to her – during what was supposed to be “the best night of [her] life”. 

After hopping across rooftops in the Boston QZ, Ellie and her best friend Riley, who had recently joined the Fireflies, explore an abandoned mall featuring what Riley calls the “four wonders” – five, if you count Ellie’s fascination with the escalator. But because this is The Last of Us, we know the joy and magic can’t last for long. Sure enough, an Infected awakens and heads straight for the two teenagers, and we find out exactly how Ellie discovered she was immune to the cordyceps infection. (This show keeps finding new ways to break our hearts, doesn’t it?) 

Did you know? 

North America’s largest shopping mall is located in Alberta. West Edmonton Mall is the size of small city and home to more than 800 stores and services. It attracts over 30 million visitors annually, making it Alberta’s top tourist attraction. 

Episode seven of The Last of Us was filmed almost entirely in one location: Calgary’s Northland Village Mall, which is now undergoing renovations to become an open-air shopping centre. (Photo: Liane Hentscher / HBO)

While we saw glimpses of present-day locations in this week’s episode, including an abandoned suburban town set in the Suntree neighbourhood of Okotoks and a northwest Calgary fitness centre, the main location featured in this week’s episode was Calgary’s Northland Village Mall. 

The mall closed in December 2021 and is being redeveloped into an open-air shopping centre, which made for a clean slate for film crews to transform the space the following month into a post-apocalyptic shopping centre filled with early 2000s nostalgia. The mall’s makeover was a good reminder about how the things we sometimes take for granted, like arcades and merry-go-rounds, can be a wonderland for a 14-year-old who’s never experienced such joy and lightheartedness in her life. 

While you can’t currently visit Northland mall, nearby you’ll find the spacious Nose Hill Park, spanning 11 km2 (4.2 mi2) of hiking trails, dedicated off-leash areas for dogs, and abundant wildlife. Or, head southwest to check out CF Market Mall, a modern-day shopping centre where you’ll find hundreds of stores, restaurants, a kids’ playground and food court. 

Visiting Calgary soon? Find out how you can make the most of your trip with A Local’s Guide to Calgary

Inside Episode 7

Episode 8: When We Are in Need

As Ellie tends to Joel’s wounds, she’s faced with mounting challenges. With their food supply dwindling and in dire need of medicine to heal Joel’s infected wound, she heads outside to hunt for deer. Here, she comes face-to-face with David (Scott Shepherd) and his “followers;” a collection of survivors, united by faith, facing starvation.  

Ellie soon discovers that David isn’t what he seems, and with Joel out of commission, she’s forced to fight back and survive to protect them both.  

The infection continues to grow 

The Last of Us is a monster hit for HBO, with next week’s season finale predicted to triple episode one viewership. Factoring in streaming views, each episode is averaging over 20 million viewers.  

Waterton Lakes National Park, featured heavily in episode 8 of The Last of Us, offers a tranquil winter getaway where you can explore beautiful scenery minus busy crowds. (Photo: Liane Hentscher / HBO)

We stayed in suburbia (aka the Suntree neighbourhood of Okotoks) this week as Joel continued his recovery, but also caught a glimpse of one of Alberta’s most underrated destinations – Waterton Lakes National Park.  

This gorgeous region of the province was heavily featured in the penultimate episode, in which Ellie transitions from prey to predator.  

Small but mighty, Waterton Lakes is the only spot in Alberta where you’ll find a UNESCO World Heritage Site, an international peace park, a dark sky preserve and a biosphere reserve. It’s a tranquil piece of the province in the wintertime, making it perfect for unplugging at a lodge after a day of snowshoeing. 

Blanketed in snow, with the Rocky Mountains glittering in the background, and yet with mild temperatures (thanks to the chinook winds that blow through the area), Waterton Lakes National Park in wintertime is a true hidden gem. 

Inside Episode 8

Episode 9: Look for the Light

Hero or villain? The season one finale of The Last of Us brings everything we thought we knew about our protagonists into question. This is the story of a heartbroken father finding a surrogate daughter, providing for her the family she’s never known. But at what cost? 

The episode opens with a flashback of Ellie’s birthday, showing exactly how she developed immunity to Cordyceps. Ellie’s life has been traumatic from the very second she was born, so it’s understandable to see her feeling a bit more glum than usual in present day, as she and Joel continue their trek to the hospital. While Joel wouldn’t mind heading back to Jackson, Ellie is determined to finish what they started, hoping she can find some meaning in all the horror she has experienced.   

It turns out the cure everyone has been hoping for really does exist, but it will come at a cost too great for Joel to bear – leading to a decision that will make viewers question the character they’ve been rooting for all season. And one that will most certainly impact our protagonists’ relationship in season two.  

Bringing a beloved video game to the small screen 

HBO has released a special behind-the-scenes documentary highlighting the “enormous undertaking” of adapting the story from video game to television, and what it was like filming in Alberta. You can stream Making of The Last of Us now on HBO Max. 

Grande Prairie is a city in northwest Alberta filled with adventures for all kinds of travellers – from dinosaur explorations to farm-to-table culinary experiences and even the northern lights.

Much of the action in this week’s episode took place in a hospital – Grande Prairie’s Queen Elizabeth II Ambulatory Care Centre. While you might not want to visit the hospital itself, this northwest Alberta city is ripe for adventure.  

Located in an area known as Peace River Country, Grande Prairie is filled with history. Experience a 360-million-year journey at the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, or explore one of the many paved trails spanning over a dozen kilometres (7.5 mi) in Muskoseepi Park

Find out how to make the most of a trip to this northern city with A Local’s Guide to Grande Prairie.  

As one of only six facilities in Canada accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is considered the gold standard for excellence in animal care and habitat design in the world.

Giraffes appear as a recurring motif in The Last of Us, culminating in Joel and Ellie’s encounter with a herd of them in this week’s episode. The game’s director, Bruce Straley, explained in 2013 what this means in the series’ desolate world: “That’s the idea… nature is reclaiming the earth and it’s got its own ecosystem that doesn’t need humans to maintain it.” Seeing this, Ellie is reminded of life’s beauty and why she wants to survive – it’s the light she’s found in all the darkness. 

Production crews shut down part of the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo in spring 2022 to film this iconic scene, featuring one of the zoo’s own giraffes. Home to nearly 1,000 animals across 119 species, the Wilder Institute/Calgary Zoo is the most visited zoo in Canada and the third top destination for visitors to Alberta. 

Visitors to Kananaskis Country can explore the area’s waterways in the summer through guided tours, or by renting a watercraft from one of many outfitters in the region. 

Ending the season in a beautiful location while tragedy surrounds its main characters is par for the course on this show. Alberta’s beautiful Barrier Lake, located in Bow Valley Provincial Park, served as Joel and Ellie’s final hiking location and the Jackson overlook. This man-made lake in Kananaskis features parks, day-use areas, hiking trails and a boat launch. In the summer months, the lake is a destination for canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding. 

Find out where you can canoe, kayak and float in Alberta this summer.  

Inside Episode 9

Check out the map at the top of this article for more Alberta filming locations and start building your ultimate The Last of Us itinerary!

See more The Last of Us bonus content