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Great Circle Route

Emerald Lake in Yoho National Park

(Dave Heath photo)

Transportation & Maps

Great Circle Route

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3 to 7 days, 1318.11 km (819.04 mi)

Mountain biking in Rossland (David Gluns photo)
Mountain biking in Rossland (David Gluns photo)

This loop encompasses the entire Kootenay Rockies region. Explore UNESCO Rocky Mountain World Heritage Sites, learn about mining and railway history, see incredible mountain scenery, soak in rejuvenating hot springs, and experience many outdoor adventures.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Yoho National Park
Part 1
Calgary to Golden

243.43 km - about 2 hours 31 min

Travel west from Calgary, Alberta, on the Trans-Canada Highway 1 through Banff and Yoho national parks to Golden, British Columbia.

Rogers Pass Discovery Centre, David Gluns photo
Part 2
Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks

147.34 km - about 1 hours 36 min

From Golden, continue on Highway 1 to Glacier National Park, with over 400 glaciers covering one-tenth of its area. The Rogers Pass Centre is filled with memorabilia and photographs from the area's mountaineering past. Nearby Glacier National Park is Canyon Hot Springs, which features mineral pools and several forms of accommodation. Further west, the rare old-growth rainforest of Mount Revelstoke National Park is accessible, with interpretive boardwalk trails.

Three Valley Gap, David Gluns photo
Part 3
Revelstoke to Castlegar

247.58 km - about 3 hours 41 min

Revelstoke is situated at the junction of highways 1 and 23 along the Columbia River. Visit the Revelstoke Railway Museum, or tour the Revelstoke Dam.

Approximately 19km/12mi west of Revelstoke is 3 Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town, a modern resort and restored pioneer ghost town. Further west is Crazy Creek Waterfalls and Suspension Bridge, and Craigellachie, where the "last spike" of the western Canadian Pacific Railway was driven.

From Revelstoke, south on Highway 23 along Upper Arrow Lake leads to the communities of Nakusp, New Denver, Sandon, Silverton, and Slocan. Take Highway 3A to Castlegar.

Mountain Biking in Rossland, David Gluns photo
Part 4
Castlegar to Rossland

33.93 km - about 0 hours 29 min

While in Castlegar, visit Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park, the Doukhobor Discovery Centre, and the Station Museum. Take Hwy 3/3B or 22 to Rossland, one of Canada's top mountain biking spots and a former gold rush boomtown.

Birdwatching at Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
Part 5
Creston Valley

132.30 km - about 1 hours 45 min

Creston is south on Highway 6/3. Creston is known for its plentiful orchards and locally grown fruits and vegetables. Birdwatchers and nature lovers should stop by the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. This wildlife sanctuary is home for thousands of migratory birds, and features an interpretive centre, guided canoe tours and self-guided walking tours.

Downtown Cranbrook, Picture BC photo
Part 6
Cranbrook

105.30 km - about 1 hours 18 min

Traveling Highway 3/95 leads to the town of Cranbrook and the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, which houses 28 restored rail cars from various stages of Canada's rail history. Cranbrook is the commercial centre of the Kootenay Rockies region, and offers a multitude of services.

Kimberley Underground Mining Railway, David Gluns photo
Part 7
Kimberley

28.20 km - about 0 hours 24 min

From Cranbrook, journey on Highway 95A to the city of Kimberley. Kimberley's mining heritage is a prominent feature of the community, as evident at Kimberley's Underground Mining Railway.

Part 8
Fairmont Hot Springs

95.91 km - about 1 hours 15 min

North of Kimberley on Highway 95 to Highway 93/95 is Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, a world-class relaxation and recreational resort. Fairmont features some of the largest natural hot springs pools in Canada, and offer visitors access to numerous outdoor seasonal activities.

Downtown Invermere, Picture BC photo
Part 9
Invermere

17.98 km - about 0 hours 11 min

Further north is Invermere, where Lake Windermere offers great recreational water activities. West from Invermere, on a winding road, is Panorama Mountain Village, nestled in the Purcell Mountains.

Hiking in Kootenay National Park, Marlene Ford photo
Part 10
Kootenay National Park to Alberta

266.14 km - about 2 hours 55 min

Take scenic Highway 93 through Kootenay National Park back to Trans-Canada Highway 1 and Calgary, Alberta.

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 City  Visitor Centre  Driving Route

Driving Directions

Part 1 - Calgary to Golden - 243.43 km - about 2 hours 31 min
1.

Head west on Trans-Canada Hwy toward Exit 172Entering British ColumbiaDestination will be on the left

243.43 km
Part 2 - Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks - 147.34 km - about 1 hours 36 min
1.

Head northwest on BC-1 W/Trans-Canada Hwy toward 12 St N

147.34 km
Part 3 - Revelstoke to Castlegar - 247.58 km - about 3 hours 41 min
1.

Head southwest on Columbia River Bridge/Nakusp Mica Creek Hwy/BC-23 S toward Westside RdContinue to follow Nakusp Mica Creek Hwy/BC-23 S

0.60 km
2.

Turn left to stay on Nakusp Mica Creek Hwy/BC-23 S (signs for Nakusp/Galena Bay)Continue to follow BC-23 S

48.92 km
3.

Take the BC-23 S ferry

4.81 km
4.

Continue straight to stay on BC-23 S

47.94 km
5.

Turn left onto Hwy 23 E/Broadway St W (signs for Vernon/Nelson/Castlegar)Destination will be on the left

0.25 km
6.

Head east on Hwy 23 E/Broadway St W toward 3 Ave NW

0.33 km
7.

Turn left onto Nelson Ave N (signs for New Denver/Kaslo)

0.26 km
8.

Slight right toward BC-6 S

0.30 km
9.

Sharp right onto BC-6 S (signs for Nelson/Castlegar)Destination will be on the left

45.37 km
10.

Head south on Union St toward 6 Ave/BC-31A E

0.76 km
11.

Slight left onto BC-6 S

77.01 km
12.

Turn right onto BC-3A (signs for Castlegar/Trail)

18.88 km
13.

Take the British Columbia 3 W ramp to Castlegar/Grand Forks Trail

0.48 km
14.

Merge onto Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W

0.87 km
15.

Take the exit toward BC-22 S/Castlegar/Trail

0.50 km
16.

Merge onto 20 St

0.14 km
17.

Turn right onto Columbia AveDestination will be on the right

0.18 km
Part 4 - Castlegar to Rossland - 33.93 km - about 0 hours 29 min
1.

Head southeast on Columbia Ave toward 20 St

5.82 km
2.

Continue onto BC-22 S

19.74 km
3.

Turn right onto Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland AveContinue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy

8.20 km
4.

Turn left onto Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail HwyDestination will be on the left

0.17 km
Part 5 - Creston Valley - 132.30 km - about 1 hours 45 min
1.

Head east on Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail Hwy toward Queen St

0.17 km
2.

Take the 2nd right onto Paterson-Trail Hwy/Schofield Hwy (signs for Castlegar/Trail/Salmo)Continue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy

8.20 km
3.

Continue onto Rossland Ave

0.26 km
4.

Continue onto Victoria St

0.72 km
5.

Continue onto Bailey St

3.65 km
6.

Continue onto BC-3B E

11.59 km
7.

Turn right onto Kootenay Ave

0.10 km
8.

Turn left onto Main St

0.46 km
9.

Continue onto BC-3B E

13.80 km
10.

Continue straight onto Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E

90.38 km
11.

Turn right onto Crowsnest Hwy/Northwest Blvd/BC-3 E (signs for Creston/Cranbrook)Continue to follow Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E

2.97 km
Part 6 - Cranbrook - 105.30 km - about 1 hours 18 min
1.

Head east on Canyon St/Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E toward 11 Ave NContinue to follow Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E

2.98 km
2.

Turn left to stay on Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E

33.99 km
3.

Turn left onto Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E/BC-95 N (signs for Cranbrook)

68.32 km
Part 7 - Kimberley - 28.20 km - about 0 hours 24 min
1.

Head northeast on Crowsnest Hwy/Van Horne St N/BC-3 E/BC-95 N toward 1 St NContinue to follow Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 E/BC-95 N

1.64 km
2.

Turn left onto Theatre Rd

2.85 km
3.

Turn left onto Kimberley Hwy/BC-95 Alt NDestination will be on the right

23.7 km
Part 8 - Fairmont Hot Springs - 95.91 km - about 1 hours 15 min
1.

Head northwest on Kimberley Hwy/Warren Ave/BC-95 Alt N toward Crerar StContinue to follow Kimberley Hwy/BC-95 Alt N

1.91 km
2.

Turn right onto Kimberley Hwy/Ross St/BC-95 Alt NContinue to follow Kimberley Hwy/BC-95 Alt N

27.72 km
3.

Continue onto Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 N/BC-95 NDestination will be on the right

66.28 km
Part 9 - Invermere - 17.98 km - about 0 hours 11 min
1.

Head north on Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 N/BC-95 N toward Wills RdDestination will be on the left

17.98 km
Part 10 - Kootenay National Park to Alberta - 266.14 km - about 2 hours 55 min
1.

Head northwest on Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 N/BC-95 N toward Akiskinook Rd

18.32 km
2.

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

61.49 km
3.

Head northwest on Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 NEntering Alberta

32.44 km
4.

Continue onto Banff Windermere Pkwy/AB-93 N

9.55 km
5.

Slight right toward AB-1 E/Trans-Canada Hwy (signs for Trans Canada Highway/AB-1 E/Banff)

0.30 km
6.

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

0.43 km
7.

Merge onto AB-1 E/Trans-Canada Hwy

139.47 km
8.

Take the exit toward Valley Ridge Boulevard/Crestmont Boulevard

0.55 km
9.

Turn left onto West Valley Rd SW (signs for Valley Ridge Boulevard)

0.17 km
10.

Turn left onto the Trans Canada Highway/AB-1 W ramp to Banff/16 Avenue N

0.33 km
11.

Merge onto AB-1 W/Trans-Canada HwyDestination will be on the left

3.09 km