The drive between Vancouver and Calgary is one for your bucket list. There are a few route options, with plenty to see no matter which way you choose to go. For this post, we asked our Facebook fans to identify their favourite stops travelling from Calgary to Vancouver along BC’s Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3), via Osoyoos. The route takes you over the mountains and into the desert, and it ends on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
You’ll encounter the spectacularly scenic Crowsnest Pass 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.
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.
• 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?