Rockies & Ranchlands Circle Route
1 to 3 days, 1083.25 km (673.1 mi)
Drive through the famous Canadian Rocky Mountains to see magnificent peaks and lush alpine forests.
Calgary Ranching Country
66.4 km48 mins
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.
Alberta Heritage Sites
210 km2 hours 10 mins
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.
Waterton Lakes National Park and BC
164 km1 hour 52 mins
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.
Sparwood and Elkford
31.0 km22 mins
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.
Fernie and Fort Steele Heritage Town
94.4 km1 hour 5 mins
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.
Hot Springs and Sandy Beaches
127 km1 hour 22 mins
Continue north towards Radium Hot Springs, where Highway 93/95 leads to the sandy beaches and warm waters of Wasa Lake. 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 Nation.
Kootenay National Park to Alberta
259 km2 hours 54 mins
Take Highway 93 into Kootenay National Park. Finally, connect east on Highway 1 towards Banff, and head back to Calgary.
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