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Rockies & Ranchlands Circle Route

Idaho Peak, Selkirk Mountains

(Dave Heath photo)

Transportation & Maps

Rockies & Ranchlands Circle Route

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1 to 3 days, 1083.25 km (673.10 mi)

Hiking near Fernie (Dave Heath photo)
Hiking near Fernie (Dave Heath photo)

Drive through the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains to see magnificent peaks and lush alpine forests. Also experience Alberta's cowboy country foothills and prairies.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Part 1
Calgary Ranching Country

86.95 km - about 1 hours 11 min

Beginning in Calgary, Alberta, head west on Highway 22X (Cowboy Trail) through the high ranching country of the Alberta prairie. En route are Spruce Meadows, the #1 show jumping facility in the world, and the communities of Black Diamond and Turner Valley, the initial home of Calgary's oil industry boom.

Part 2
Alberta Heritage Sites

233.50 km - about 2 hours 20 min

Continue south from Black Diamond to Longview and the Bar U Ranch National Historic Site (13km/8mi south of Longview). East on Road 533 to Highway 2 is Nanton. On the way to Fort Macleod, west on Highway 785, is a fascinating Aboriginal heritage site: Head-Smashed-in-Buffalo-Jump. This site is one of the oldest, largest, and well-preserved buffalo jumps across the Western Plains. Continue south to Cardston, the location of Remington Carriage Museum, North America's largest museum of horse-drawn transportation.

Part 3
Waterton Lakes National Park and BC

176.45 km - about 1 hours 57 min

From Cardston, drive to Waterton Lakes National Park. Highway 6 from Waterton Lakes leads to Pincher Creek and the Kootenai Brown Pioneer Village, a turn of the 19th-century historic village.

Enter British Columbia at Sparwood.

Bighorn sheep, Tourism BC photo
Part 4
Sparwood and Elkford

97.69 km - about 1 hours 8 min

Sparwood is home of the Terex Titan, the largest tandem-axle dump truck in the world. A short drive on Highway 43 leads to Elkford, which has one of the largest bighorn sheep populations on the continent and offers amazing wilderness and wildlife viewing. From Elkford, backtrack to Sparwood and then drive south to Fernie.

Fort Steele Heritage Town, Tourism BC/David Gluns photo
Part 5
Fernie and Fort Steele Heritage Town

93.96 km - about 1 hours 1 min

Fernie is marked by beautiful Victorian architecture against a backdrop of towering mountains, and offers world-class fly-fishing, mountain biking, and golfing.

From Fernie, en route to Fort Steele Heritage Town, the Bull River turnoff leads to the Kootenay Trout Hatchery. Take a self-guided tour of the hatchery's extensive interpretive area to view trophy-sized trout in the moat, or turtles, fish, and water insects in the pond.

Fort Steele Heritage Town is a restored 1890s boomtown that features horse-drawn wagon tours, costumed interpreters, and steam train rides.

Radium Hot Springs, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs/Brenda Falvey photo
Part 6
Hot Springs and Sandy Beaches

126.39 km - about 1 hours 18 min

Continue north towards Radium Hot Springs, where Highway 93/95 leads to the sandy beaches and warm waters of Wasa Lake. Also close by are Lussier Hot Springs in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, and Fairmont Hot Springs. Back on Hwy 93/95, the Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre in Radium Hot Springs has an exhibit that provides a historical overview of the Ktunaxa First Nations.

Hiking in Kootenay National Park, Tourism BC/Marlene Ford photo
Part 7
Kootenay National Park to Alberta

268.31 km - about 2 hours 56 min

Take Highway 93 into Kootenay National Park. Finally, connect east on Highway 1 towards Banff, and head back to Calgary.

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Driving Directions

Part 1 - Calgary Ranching Country - 86.95 km - about 1 hours 11 min
1.

Head south on AB-2 S

18.94 km
2.

Take exit 243 for Anderson Road W

1.32 km
3.

Continue onto Anderson Rd SE

2.13 km
4.

Keep left to stay on Anderson Rd SE

5.13 km
5.

Turn right onto Bullhead Rd

13.69 km
6.

Merge onto Priddis Valley Rd

3.72 km
7.

Turn left onto AB-22

1.63 km
8.

Continue onto AB-22X EDestination will be on the right

2.80 km
9.

Head east on AB-22X E toward Range Rd 25

2.04 km
10.

Turn right onto Range Rd 24

1.25 km
11.

Turn right

1.20 km
12.

Turn left onto Range Rd 24

0.62 km
13.

Turn left onto AB-22X W

4.87 km
14.

Turn left onto AB-22 (signs for Turner Valley/Black Diamond/Millarville)

12.99 km
15.

Turn left onto 306 Ave W/AB-549 E

1.62 km
16.

Turn right at the 1st cross street onto 192 St W/Range Rd 30

3.17 km
17.

Turn left onto 338 Ave/Township Rd 210

1.56 km
18.

Slight right onto 176 St W/Township Rd 210

0.13 km
19.

Slight right onto 176 St W/Range Rd 25

6.38 km
20.

Turn left onto 402 Ave W/Township Rd 202

0.71 km
21.

Turn left onto AB-22

0.98 km
22.

Turn right to stay on AB-22Destination will be on the right

0.07 km
Part 2 - Alberta Heritage Sites - 233.50 km - about 2 hours 20 min
1.

Head south on AB-22 toward 1 Ave SW

36.70 km
2.

Head north on AB-22 toward AB-540 E

5.68 km
3.

Turn right onto AB-540 E

32.33 km
4.

Turn right onto AB-2 S

93.41 km
5.

Keep left at the fork, follow signs for AB-3 E/Fort Macleod/Lethbridge/AB-2 S/Cardston and merge onto Crowsnest Hwy/AB-2 S/AB-3 E

5.49 km
6.

Turn right onto AB-2 S (signs for Cardston/Waterton)

59.34 km
7.

Turn right onto 1 Ave W/AB-5 WDestination will be on the left

0.55 km
Part 3 - Waterton Lakes National Park and BC - 176.45 km - about 1 hours 57 min
1.

Head west on 1 Ave W/AB-5 W toward 3 St WContinue to follow AB-5 WDestination will be on the left

29.05 km
2.

Head west on AB-5 W toward Range Rd 284

15.06 km
3.

Continue onto AB-6 N

47.74 km
4.

At the roundabout, take the 1st exit and stay on AB-6 N

2.88 km
5.

Turn left onto Crowsnest Hwy/AB-3 W (signs for Crowsnest Pass/Crowsnest Highway)Continue to follow Crowsnest HwyEntering British Columbia

81.31 km
6.

Turn right onto Elk Valley Hwy/BC-43 N

0.14 km
7.

Make a U-turn

0.26 km
Part 4 - Sparwood and Elkford - 97.69 km - about 1 hours 8 min
1.

Head southwest on BC-3 W toward BC-3 E

0.50 km
2.

Turn right onto Red Cedar Dr

0.12 km
3.

Turn right onto Aspen Dr

0.59 km
4.

Turn left onto Elk Valley Hwy/BC-43 NDestination will be on the left

33.24 km
5.

Head south on Elk Valley Hwy/BC-43 S toward Union Rd

33.33 km
6.

Turn right onto BC-3 WDestination will be on the left

29.91 km
Part 5 - Fernie and Fort Steele Heritage Town - 93.96 km - about 1 hours 1 min
1.

Head southwest on BC-3 W toward 9 St

86.51 km
2.

Take the ramp onto BC-93 N/BC-95 N

7.44 km
Part 6 - Hot Springs and Sandy Beaches - 126.39 km - about 1 hours 18 min
1.

Head north on BC-93 N/BC-95 N toward Wardner Fort Steele Rd

23.94 km
2.

Turn right to stay on BC-93 N/BC-95 N (signs for Invermere/Radium/Golden)

102.44 km
3.

Turn right onto St Joseph StDestination will be on the right

0.01 km
Part 7 - Kootenay National Park to Alberta - 268.31 km - about 2 hours 56 min
1.

Head southwest on St Joseph St toward BC-93 N/BC-95 N

0.01 km
2.

Turn right at the 1st cross street onto BC-93 N/BC-95 N

0.15 km
3.

Turn right onto BC-93 N (signs for British Colombia 93 S)

71.15 km
4.

Head northwest on BC-93 N toward Hawk Creek TrailEntering Alberta

22.79 km
5.

Continue onto AB-93 N

9.52 km
6.

Keep right, follow signs for Trans Canada Highway/AB-1 E/Banff

0.33 km
7.

Take the AB-1 E/Trans Canada Highway ramp to Banff

0.49 km
8.

Merge onto Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 E

140.58 km
9.

Take exit 177 toward AB-201 N/Stoney Trail

1.54 km
10.

Continue onto Stoney Trail NW/AB-201 E

13.09 km
11.

Take exit 50 for Beddington Trail S

0.7 km
12.

Merge onto Beddington Trail NW

6.33 km
13.

Merge onto AB-2 SDestination will be on the left

1.62 km