To download the Calgary to Fernie map go ahead and click the button to the right and you’ll get a nice pdf version that you can print and follow. Or, you can just follow using this page.
Leaving the city
Great news, you’ve decided to make the trip from Calgary to Fernie, follow these helpful directions to not only make your way finding easier, but also more enjoyable! We’re going to start from Calgary International Airport.
Making your way from some other part of the City? Feel free to pick up the route at the most convenient point for you.
As you leave the Airport, you’ll follow direction for Deerfoot Trail South. Arriving at the intersection of Airport Trail and Deerfoot Trail, look up onto the overpass. See that circular blue light pole? This is one of Calgary’s more polarizing pieces of public art. Thoughts? You’ve got about 3 1/2hrs to debate its merits! Maybe you should book a Fernie Hotel room…
Heading south along the Deerfoot, you’ll see to your right Calgary’s Downtown Skyline. You’ll be making your way around the periphery of Calgary’s core for about 35-40mins, depending on traffic. Hopefully you’re in rush hour. Some notable buildings in the downtown skyline are the Calgary Tower and the Bow Center. You will also drive past the Telus Spark, a science and technology museum/ activity center, an IKEA, and a tall glass building filled with cars.
Not from Canada? You may also notice that the license plates (or “number plates” if you’re British) are different colours. As you may have guessed, the colour signifies the Province that the vehicle is registered in. Red lettering is Alberta, Blue lettering is BC, and Green lettering is Saskatchewan. What other colours do you see? And can you tell where they are from?
South of the city
Exiting the southern boundary of the City, you’ll merge with Stoney Trail and Macleod. Now you are on HWY 2. From here, there are a number of options for your trip to Fernie. For instance, you can take the Okotoks exit, and head south on Highway 22, or, continue south along Hwy 2 and connect to the 22 at a point further south. Alternatively, if the roads are bad, or their is a risk of strong wind gusts or blowing snow, take Hwy 2 all the way south to Crowsnest Highway (Hwy #3).
Deciding on Okotoks turn off? Best beware when driving south along Hwy 22 at Longview. DO NOT SPEED through town. It’s a well known local fact that you will get a ticket for going over the posted speed limit.)
Off the beaten track
Our favourite point to connect to Hwy 22 is at AB-540W. It’s a secondary highway, you’ll know it’s coming up because just before the turnoff is an odometer check sign, about 5km before the turn. You will be heading towards the Bar U Ranch.
Tell your passengers to keep their eyes peeled on the fields either side of the road. There is a high probability of seeing coyotes, deer, and maybe even some antelope on your trip from Calgary to Fernie!
When you get to the intersection of Hwy 22, you’ll want to take a left. This area is known for being used to film scenes in the movie “The Revenant”, and where Leonard DiCaprio got to experience a Chinook Wind. There are plenty of animals along Hwy 22, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on the roadsides and ditches.
They aren’t the smartest creatures, and sometimes turn and run in front of traffic. Animals that you might see are:
• Cows and Horses (in the fields… but they have been known to escape!)
As you reach the southern end of Hwy 22, the road will become straight and flat. You may have noticed a sign a while back with lights and a wind speed indicator. If the lights were flashing, drive with care. Crosswinds can be very intense.
Time to turn right!
When you arrive at the big stop sign at Hwy 3, you’re going to want to take a right.
Stretch your legs
Sitting down for a while might mean you feel the need to get out and stretch your legs, two great options are just ahead.
The first is just as you come to the top of the hill with the passing lane. There is a large windmill, and at the road to your left, turn, and make your way a short distance till you see the parking lot on your right. This is Lundbreck Falls. Keep your eyes open, if you’re lucky, you may time it just right to see a train crossing the bridge just upstream.
Second place to stop as you’re heading West on Hwy 3 is at the Burmis Tree. Its been dead for almost 70 years now, but is still propped up and looked after by a dedicated group of locals. This tree has historically marked the eastern edge of the Rocky Mountains along Hwy 3, and is a sure sign that you’re almost to Fernie!
Third great location to stop and stretch your legs is at the Frank Slide. A gigantic rock slide occurred at 4:10 a.m. on April 29, 1903. Around 110 million tonnes (121 million US tons) of limestone rock slid down Turtle Mountain, burying the town of Frank. There is fantastic interpretative center if you turn right just before you cross the bridge to enter town. With a number of trails to walk among the rocky debris it gives a real feel for what happened. The towns of Frank, Coleman, Blairmore and Crowsnest are often simply referred to as “The Crowsnest Pass”, or “The Pass”.
Almost in Fernie!
Exiting the Pass, it’s about 40 minutes to Fernie. highway 3 winds its way through some tight mountain turns, and follows the train tracks and Michel Creek. As you come into the Town of Sparwood, you can’t miss “The World’s Largest Truck” parked on the right-hand side of the road.
Please be especially vigilant driving at dusk and night, as they don’t call this “The Elk Valley” for nothing! The first views of the Lizard Range always let you know you’re almost here.
First time in Fernie? Take note, we have an amazing downtown core, that is NOT on the highway strip. Filled with numerous local restaurants and retail shops! Victoria Avenue (2nd Ave) can be reached by turning left at any of the highway intersections after the Fernie Memorial Arena, before the West Fernie bridge. To reach our hotel, continue over the bridge, and about 1.5 kms after the bridge, you’ll see us on the right. Hope you enjoyed the journey!