Any Calgary Experts?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Redne Dab, Jun 15, 2006.

  1. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

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    Some friends and I are planning a four day (Two days out, two days back) trip in mid-July. We'll be starting in Spokane and thinking of going to Calgary the first day because the roads sound interesting, scenic and exotic in that international way...

    Unfortunately, we are at a loss of where to go from there...
    • Edmonton -sounds like a cool town but have heard the trip is especially monotonous..
    • Medicine Hat -certainly sounds interesting...
    Can anyone provide any suggestions? We're on DS bikes so a little bit of gravel woud be appreciated.

    Thanks!

    Brad
    #1
  2. Stand Up

    Stand Up Ride non-painted roads

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    Calgary Stampede ends July 16...hurry. Search for my old posts - let me know what interests you. If you haven't done the Kootenies, I'd go north to Revelstoke then to Calgary (5 or so different routes - best riding in BC - choice of slab or FSR). Nelson, Grey Creek Pass (7,000ft) FSR, Kimberly, Bull River FSR, Sparwood, HWY 22 would be good. Eastport, Moyie Lake, FSR to Elko, FSR to Coleman, Trunk road north. Anything you want...it's there.
    Stand Up
    #2
  3. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

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    Didn't realize the Stampede was going on at that time... I imagine that leads to a lot more traffic, doesn't it?
    :cry
    Thanks for that invaluable tip!

    B
    #3
  4. Stand Up

    Stand Up Ride non-painted roads

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    you are planning to cruise the streets in town, stay at an RV site or hitting the tourist traps. Backroads will be empty as usual. That's a 8+ hr ride from Spokane if you stay on the slab. You'll be riding right past some of the best riding in Canada....take it easy - get dirty!
    [​IMG]
    Stand Up
    #4
  5. mitch

    mitch Long timer

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    I imagine that leads to a lot more traffic, doesn't it?

    And they jack up the prices as well , the trade off is FREE breakfast all over town.
    #5
  6. gravelrash

    gravelrash Decrepit Adventurer

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    Calgary Stampede is great. I was thinking of it the other day, and it's one of the things I miss. Not every year, but every now and then.
    Lots of great riding in the foothills. Think I'll head back in the fall.

    Ex-Calgarian
    #6
  7. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    West is the Best
    Golly, never thought I'd hear the words Medicine Hat, Edmonton, and Exotic in one paragraph! Unless you want to check out the world's largest mall, and riding is your priority, avoid these thoughts, and stay west of these cities, and play in the foothills, and anything west.
    Ciao, Steve G.
    #7
  8. ulendo

    ulendo lunatic fringe

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    Location:
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    Med Hat is an old textiles, and O&G town - not a whole lot to see IN town(unless you like visiting historic houses etc) but some nice roads around there. If you DO get down into that part of Alberta, make sure you head SE from Med Hat into the Cypress hills area ( via 'the buffalo trail' aka Hwy 41) if you DO stop in town, 2 thigns worht noting - the whole town sits on a natural gas field, and all of the downtown is light by gaslight sconces, rather than low pressure sodium lights. 2) as part of their textiles heritage, many buildings downtown have a red brick wall thats been built mutli-layered, and then sandblasted into 3D murals. worth a photo for your touring album, if your already there. oh, and 90% chance of seeing pronghorn antellope racing you if you take hwy 1 from Calgary to Med Hat.

    drumheller ( badlands provincial park) is a bit north of med hat, and is a very, very famous area for fossils & bones. Tyrell museum of paleontology is located in Drum, and there's a ~30km loop road, including a ferry crossig that takes you through the intersting parts of the valley. ( a VERY nice, twisty canyon run on bikes) if your map shows it, Horseshoe canyon makes a nice place to pull out, stretch take photos, and enjoy a really good cross section view of the badlands. ( reason I mention it is it doesnt look like much from teh highway - gotta pull off into the parking lot before you can appreciate the view)

    farther west, Lethbridge is a big University town. depending on what you consider a worthy view ( :evil ) its a nice town, and again, lots of history ( RCMP fort in Fort Macleod, for example). if you like corn, this is also where Taber Alberta is located - if you have no idea what I'm talking about, DO stop and try Taber corn. In general aside from primary highways, pretty much everything in that corner of the province is dirt roads. Macgregor Reservoir / Little Bow provincial park is a nice place to camp if you want to overnight, and if you have time for fishing, the sport fishing for Pike at Milo dam is 1st class.

    there's a historic Air musuem in Nanton, including Bristish aircraft from when the RAF used the area for training circa WW2 ( I believe they have one of the few Lancaster bombers in the world thats still functional, but its been quite a few years since I was there)

    for 'oddspot' stops, if you're a trekkie, there's a mock up of the starship enterprise in VULCAN - might be worth a good chuckle to get a photo of your bike parked beside it:rofl

    West of there you're into the Old Man River Dam area, with lots of native historic sites. Hwy 22N is asphalt, and makes for a nice, quite drive through rolling ranch country, but hwy 40 N is gravel, and offers some spectacular scenery along the eastern wall of the canadian rockies:clap **** NO FUEL STOPS on either route from Crowsnest, to Longview, so make sure you have adequate fuel. ( Hwy 40 especially is 'the back end of beyond' -depending on the specific day, DONT count on even seeing another motorist for aid /fuel /directions..) worth a note, on hwy 3, between Ft Macleod, and Crosnest theres one of the few 'windfarm' power generating stations in canada. (apropos of which, consider all of southern alberta to be under a permanent 'wind gusts' warning. the whoel area makes chicago look calm and tranquil !!)

    Hmm - thats about all that comes to mind right off the top of my head. did I mention I grew up roaming all over this area :lol3
    #8
  9. Isle Rider

    Isle Rider Adventurer

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    If you decide to cross BC via Hwy 3, consider heading north from Coleman (in the Crowsnest Pass) on 940. Its a well maintained gravel that heads north between the Livingston range and the continent dividing Rockies. There's several places you can cut east from there to get onto Hwy 22 that takes you up to Calgary (517, 532, 541). This route has no services, but does serve up some incredible scenery. Perfect for big trailies like the GS or Strom :clap


    [​IMG]
    #9
  10. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

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    All.

    Thanks for the data.

    Took a practice ride from Spokane to Trail & back again. Beautiful trip. The border crossings were easy and zero complications...

    Brad
    #10
  11. Grainbelt

    Grainbelt marginal adventurer Super Moderator

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    Don't go east. :rofl
    #11
  12. Redne Dab

    Redne Dab Poseur Extraordinaire

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    Two of us got togeher and did a little map reconnaisance...

    We don't want to be rushed, we want it scenic and interesting. This is the route we've cooked up:
    • Day 1: Spokane to Radium Hot Springs
    • Day 2: Radium Hot Springs to Jasper
    • Day 3: Jasper to Vernon.
    • Day 4: Vernon to Spokane
    Does anyone see any huge obstacles to this route?

    Any must see attractions or roads near to this route?

    Thanks!
    :clap
    Brad
    #12
  13. dirtydeeds

    dirtydeeds I'm alive.

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    Inbetween Radium and Jasper hit the Forestry Trunk Road. StandUp has posted some pics of the trip. Once you hit Cadomin it turns into blacktop and will take you to the Yellowhead Highway, about 1/2 hour from Jasper.
    You may want to stop for fuel in Nordegg.
    #13