We asked, you answered! Have you ever driven from Calgary to Vancouver? What stops would you recommend along the way?
Hundreds of our Facebook followers commented on their favourite stops from Calgary to Vancouver, so we compiled the must-see destinations along BC’s Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) via Osoyoos. This route takes you along sections of BC’s historic gold rush trail, over the mountains, into the desert and ending at the wild coast of the Pacific Ocean.
This isn’t the only route though; be sure to check out Part 1 of this series: Calgary to Vancouver via Highway 1, for an alternative, but equally beautiful, drive.
1. Crowsnest Pass
The Crossnest Pass is a spectacular scenic drive as you head towards the BC border from Alberta. Keep an eye out for Turtle Mountain, which collapsed in 1903, causing the Frank Slide, one of the largest landslides in Canada. The Crowsnest Museum and Frank Slide Interpretive Centre are worth a look to learn more about the rich history of the area.
*Not in BC, but mentioned as a stop by many of our Facebook fans.
Surrounded by towering peaks, the small community of Fernie has enough big mountain adventure for everyone. Enjoy lift-accessed mountain biking at Fernie Alpine Resort, whitewater rafting and the endless hiking trails surrounding the town. Need to rest your head? Island Lake Lodge offers luxury in the mountains and the Raging Elk Hostel is a good place to meet fellow road trippers. Grab a pint at the Kodiak Lounge and share stories of the road.
In need of some vitamin D? Stop in Cranbrook, home to the most sunshine in BC. Golf fanatics will enjoy the options, with over six courses easily accessible from town. Don’t miss the Interpretive Centre at St. Eugene Golf Resort to learn about the heritage and culture of the local Ktunaxa people. Take a trip to Fort Steele Heritage Town to see blacksmith’s at work and catch a show at the Wildhorse Theatre.
Osoyoos is BC’s summer playground! Bask in the sun, jump in the lake, and snack on fruit from roadside stands. Don’t miss the Nk’Mip Desert and Cultural Centre and Desert Society Osoyoos to explore cultural exhibits and learn about desert wildlife. Check out the wineries around town and north towards Oliver, Okanagan Falls and Penticton. Need some adventure? Grab a bike and explore the Kettle Valley Rail Trail.
5. Manning Park
Just before you reach Vancouver, take a break at Manning Park. Explore the trails of the provincial park or nestle into a cabin at Manning Park Resort. Hop in a canoe, pack a lakeside picnic, cycle the trails, or spend a peaceful afternoon fishing. There is no shortage of outdoor activities to keep you busy. Hiking enthusiasts will enjoy backcountry trails to the meadows and peaks of E.C. Manning Provincial Park. Pack a tent, relax and stay awhile – just before you hit the big city.
Don’t Miss Detours: some honourable mentions from our followers!
• Nelson: This eclectic town nestled in the Selkirk Mountains is well worth the detour. Visit Ainsworth Hot Springs, explore the Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History – the area is home to a thriving arts community. Browse the local shops and farmers markets or stop for a bite to eat along Main Street.
• Kelowna: From Osoyoos, travel north through the Okanagan Valley to Kelowna. Laze around on the beaches of Okanagan Lake or set out on a walking tour of the Kelowna Cultural District.
Are you a BC travel guru? Why not share your experience and write for the HelloBC blog?