There are lots of different options and opinions. If I were doing a tour, I would go:
-West from Calgary on #8 to 22, then south on 22 to Bragg Creek. Then make your way a bit south from Bragg Creek, then east a bit to pick up the 22 south again, all the way to Longview Alberta. Alternate: south from Calgary on #2 to 22X, then west to 22 south, then south to Longview, Alberta.
-west from Longview into Kananaskis Country to highway 40, then North on 40 over the Kananaskis Pass past the Kananaskis Village/Nakiska to Highway 1. East on Highway 1 to Cochrane interchange, then North on 22 through Cochrane, etc to Rocky Mountain House would be nice. [Downside - you miss Banff, but alternate is described below.]
-north on 22 to 11, then west on 11 to Saskatchewan River Crossing, then 93 North (Icefields Parkway) to Jasper. Or, rather than east on #1 from 40, continue West on #1 through Banff to Lake Louise [upside - you get Banff], then North from lake Louise on #3 (Icefields Parkway), across Bow Summit, past icefields, to Jasper. Looking for a place to stay with money as no object? Jasper Park Lodge.
-from Jasper, backtrack on 93 southward to Lake Louise, then west on #1 through to Sicamous, BC.
- Unfortunately this involves riding on #1 with all the ill mannered drivers trying to get from Calgary to BC in the shortest time, but on the bright side you get the Spiral Tunnels, Kicking Horse Canyon, Rogers Pass, Giant Cedars stop etc. If your taste as an adult is a bit quirky, check out the Enchanted Forest!! (the kids love it). #1 should not have any closures due to landslides by August but you need to monitor DriveBC.com for that because it has been a bad year due to all the rain and snowpack...our national highway, closed for hours or days due to mudslides...welcome to the 21st century.
- at Sicamous, south on 97A to Vernon. The flooding in Shuswap is done for the year. Check DriveBC.com, because if they are still doing road work on 97A south of Sicamous to repair the flood washout in late June, then go further west to Salmon Arm and south on 97B to Vernon.
-at Vernon, some folks would go south through Penticton and the like. I've not been through there in years, and the road from Vernon to Kelowna is awful, all heavy traffic and RVs. But once in Kelowna, there is the 33 from Kelowna to 3, which I suspect is nice but I've never ridden it. Personally, I would turn east from Vernon on #6 toward Lumby. This is a lovely road that takes you over the Monashee Pass to the ferry at Needles. At Needles, take the cable ferry across Arrow Lakes then on the other side you must go north on 6 to Nakusp. At Nakusp, head south on 6 through the Slocan Valley. That is also a beautiful road, high above the Slocan Lake.
-there are a few options once nearing the south end of the Slocan Valley, I would personally take the turn off 6 just north of Castlegar to Nelson, BC, then the 3A to Balfour and take the Osprey 2000 ferry across Kootenay Lake to Crawford Bay.
- from Crawford Bay, south on 6 to Salmo.
-from Salmo, east on 3 (Crowsnest Highway) to 22 in Alberta, then north on 22 toward Calgary.
This is all highway travel, if you are looking for back roads that is a different proposition.
Don't know how long a ride you are looking for. What I've described above is a long way, for example from Salmon Arm on the south route to Calgary is over 1100 km. anyhow you can look at the distances on a map.
Remember that in BC they have a new law where they seize and impound (for 7 days) speeding vehicles over a certain limit (I believe if you are clocked at 40 or more KmH over the limit, but check that) and many a motorcyclist finds himself or herself on foot these days in BC.
To travel on 93 between Lake Louise and Jasper you need a national park pass, there are road checks on both ends to make sure you have one.
I don't tend to ride west of Salmon Arm toward Kamloops so I don't have much to say about that. One ride I've contemplated but not got around to is, from Salmon Arm going west on 1 to Kamloops, then taking the 5A south from Kamloops, then pick up the 3 east, then pick a highway to go north to Kelowna. If you did that, you could still make you way to Vernon and catch the 6 east through Lumby and make you way down through Nelson etc.
A lot of those smaller BC highways are twisty and poor visibility in turns, beware of oncoming traffic (maybe in YOUR lane)
Hope this gives you some ideas. On the driveBC site you can look at some of these places on their webcams, might help you visualize small parts of it.
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Last edited by Kayne; 07-25-2012 at 08:28 AM.
Reason: some of the west should have been east...fixed