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"red coat trail" trough Manitoba and Saskatchewan?

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Roux-80, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    What about following the 501 in ab to Cardston, the 5 to watertown park, then the 6 to Pincher Creek?

    After that the canadian rookies chapter of my trip will begin. :)
    #41
  2. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    I've done it twice. Very nice ride... all paved good roads. I took the # 3 SW from Medicine Hat, turned south on 879 from Bow Island. Check out Writing-On-Stone Prov Park - the Milk River valley is beautiful scenery (hoodoos!), great campground, and the river is clean and beautiful to swim in. I haven't done the gravel portion of 501 which goes south around Cypress Hills, so can't speak to that.
    #42
  3. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    I have been west of Consul down to the border Crossing at Willow Creek, but its been many years ago and I'm certain that it is gravel from west of Govenlock until you pick up 501 Hwy and then once you hit 501 it is gravel all the way until you get to Writing on Stone Park. From the park all the way over to Cardston and Pincher Creek it is paved. From Pincher Creek I'm not sure if you are heading west on # 3 Hwy or not. If you are planning on going up to Banff, go just west until you pick up # 22 Hwy ( called the cowboy trail ). This is a beautiful ride and it parallels the Rockies and eventually comes out west of Calgary. Have a look at a map and you'll see the route. If you have time its worth a stop at the Wagon Museum in Cardston and also at the Waterton Lakes National Park, but they do charge you to just drive in unless you are there on Canada Day July 1 and then it is free.
    #43
  4. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    After Pincher Creek I was plannig the FTR all way up to Hinton, then going south via the icefield pwy.
    #44
  5. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    Sounds to me like you've got it cased. Seeing as you don't mind the gravel you should take the road through Fort Walsh on the Sask side over to the Alberta side. Go west of Consul, go north take hwy 615 and then turn left onto # 271 road. On the Alberta side it comes out on the paved highway # 41 that joins onto 501 in the southeast corner of Alberta. Make sure you get gas in Consul.
    #45
  6. Chad M

    Chad M 14880

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    I'd skip the 501 west from Hwy 41 to Writing on Stone. The gravel is brutal in the County of 40 Mile, way too deep to be enjoyable.

    Consider taking this route:
    From Hwy 41, head west on Eagle Butte Rd (Twp 65) and watch for the Wildcat Trail (west, left turn) which passes Michel Reservoir.
    Continue westbound, through the intersection at Hwy 889 to the intersection of Hwy 887 and Hwy 61, just north of Orion, Ab. Keep on Hwy 61 west to Foremost, Ab. At Foremost, Ab. go south on Hwy 879 to Hwy 501. Stay on Hwy 501 for the jaunt south from Cardston, until it pops out on Hwy 5, just north of Beezer, Ab. there's some really nice scenery down there.

    I've travelled this route (bits and pieces) many times, always enjoyable.
    #46
  7. edwin

    edwin Been here awhile

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    i agree w chad that the gravel portion is serious (at least it was in 2006) that last time i was through.
    buT, i found it very sightly, so i would want to see that portion again.
    certainly a tough call....you obviously are taking on backrds on this trip...so i say go for it! and writing-on-stone prov park is veRy kooool.
    all the best
    #47
  8. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    That's good to know about the gravel section of the 501. The bike will be running on tkc/mitas e-07, but sometime the gravel can be soo deep that even with full knobbies you can't ride safely over 70 km/h in those condition.
    #48
  9. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    As you are no doubt aware with gravel, today it could have been graded and is very hard to ride on and 3 days from now once the traffic is on the road, it tends to move the gravel into piles ( center & sides of the road ) which makes riding it easier.

    It is a long stretch of gravel with really nothing much between the Alberta & Saskatchewan border to Milk River, so there is nothing wrong with taking the route others have suggested. The landscape is going to be similar no matter which route you take. And if it rains you would be best on less gravel.
    #49
  10. GreatWhiteNorth

    GreatWhiteNorth Long timer

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    These last couple of posts have been very interesting. I've been attentive to threads relating to travelling thru southern SK & AB... done a bit on street bikes, but having bought a KLR a few years ago opened up the backcountry gravel travel option, so now I'm looking to see stuff off the beaten path. I've sure found checking out intended areas with Google Maps satellite view interesting - yesterday I noted a big reservoir south of Hwy 18 in SK near Coronach... discovered there is a huge coal fired power generating plant there, and big coal mining operation to the north to feed it - I had no idea!
    #50
  11. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Dawn..I just realize once I made it to Cardston, the "going to the sun HWY" is just 55 km south from there! :clap
    #51
  12. cycleman2

    cycleman2 Long timer

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    If you have the time, worth the trip. You can either go up to the top of the pass, turn around and back track a bit and then take # 17 Hwy to the Chief Mountain Crossing and you'll come back onto # 6 hwy just east of Waterton Park. Then you can continue up # 6 Hwy to Pincher Creek. Or you can continue over the pass and come out around Kalispell and head north up into BC. Just look at the map and you'll see what I'm talking about.

    The Chief Mountain Crossing is only open in the summer time and the scenery is amazing. The highway is paved but it has some rough spots. My wife and I did that road about 3 yrs ago on a Harley so no problem on any type of bike just pay attention.

    If you go to the Road to the Sun make sure you stop and walk up to the Information site, the view is outstanding. Also Cardston has a really big carriage museum that is in a class all its own and well worth a stop. You drive right by it going south to the US.
    #52
  13. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    That exactly what I was thinking. Look like it worth riding it both way.
    #53
  14. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

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    Garnotte, here is a route that will get you from Cardston to the start of the FTR at Coleman, mostly on pavement, but with about 30 kms of gravel through spectacular mountain scenery.

    [​IMG]

    Here are a couple of photos of what you will see if you take this route

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Cheers, David
    #54
  15. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Got the link to google map?


    I guess the 507 after Pincher Creek, then 774, ohagen rd, lynx creek and lyons creek rd?
    #55
  16. Fatallybitten

    Fatallybitten Slow and getting slower Supporter

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    #56
  17. Roux-80

    Roux-80 Been here awhile Supporter

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    Thanks!

    That's very helpfull! :clap
    #57
  18. Chad M

    Chad M 14880

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    http://www.rockymountaincamping.ca/CastleFalls.html

    If you end up taking that ride west from Pincher Creek, you need to make a little pit stop at Castle Falls, its such a beautiful little spot. If it's a nice warm day, I guarantee you find lots to look at on the rocks around the falls :evil
    #58
  19. MGV8

    MGV8 Long timer Supporter

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    Some great info here guys. I too am planning a trip to this area, having never been to the prairies I am getting excited about the trip.:D no Moto this time though, taking the missus and the dawg, plus camping!!!
    Brian
    #59
  20. Hektoglider

    Hektoglider One with Life

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    Great posts with local knowledge ! Looks like I missed some nice stuff last time through, and might do next time.
    #60