Best time to visit Alberta

Alberta Highway 40

One of the greatest and wildest drives in Canada


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Alberta Highway #40 or Kananaskis Trail is a scenic 734-km (456-mi) road through western Alberta, Canada. The road consists of segmented sections and connects Coleman in Crowsnest Pass Municipality in the south to Grande Prairie in the north. The Highwood Pass is the highest point of the highway with an elevation of 2,206 m (7,238 ft). Highway 40, which is mostly paved with some gravel sections, is closed for the winter from December to mid-June.

A 160-km trip along Kananaskis Trail from the Trans Canada Highway to Longview will take you a through a kaleidoscope of landscapes: from broad prairies to the snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. Highwood Pass, the highest paved pass in the country, provides lots of opportunities for hiking within the Peter Lougheed Provincial Park. Enjoy scenic views of the Misty Range with the peaks of Mount Rae, Mount Arethusa, and the Elbow Pass.

A102-km (63-mi) gravel section of Alberta Highway 40 runs from the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass to Highway 541. Another gravel section runs for 293 km (182 mi), through the Rocky Mountains Forest. It is also called Forestry Trunk Road (Highway 734). You can get there from Calgary going west on Highway 1 to Highway 40 or Highway 1A to the junction with Forestry Trunk Road east of Ghost Lake. The scenic highway is a great way to discover Canada. Visitors will be rewarded with abundant wildlife, such as grizzly bears, elk, moose, mountain goats, and coyotes.

Along Highway 40, you can find many designated campsites with various degrees of service from none to hot water showers and electrical plugs. For those who prefer more comfy accommodation, the towns and cities are within an hour or two from the highway with plenty of hotels to choose from.

The Highway 40 road trip on a car would take about two days to complete. It's also possible to ride a bike, but keep in mind that the gravel road is rather challenging. Also, trucks passing by are the most frequent hazard.