Overview

A leisurely alternative to the more-travelled route, Highway 3 meanders south from Hope, BC through Manning Provincial Park and the mountainous terrain of the Cascades. It’s a 1250km scenic route that will have you discovering something new at every turn.
Duration
12 DAYS
Distance
1250km / 777mi
Region
Alberta, British Columbia
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Route - 1250 km / 777 mi

Day Location Distance Duration
01 Vancouver to Hope 142 km / 88 mi Approx. 2 hours
02 --
03 Hope to Manning Provincial Park 68 km / 42 mi Approx. 1 hour
04 --
05 Manning Provincial Park to Princeton and Keremeos 132 km / 82 mi Approx. 1.5 hours
06 Keremeos to Osoyoos 50 km / 31 mi Approx. 40 minutes
07 Osoyoos to Christina Lake 150 km / 93 mi Approx. 2 hours
08 --
09 Christina Lake to Castlegar 78 km / 48 mi Approx 1 hour
10 Castlegar to Cranbrook 230 km / 143 mi Approx. 2 hours 40 minutes
11 Cranbrook to Fernie 100 km / 62 mi 1 hour 15 minutes
12 Fernie to Calgary 300 km / 186 mi 3 hours 30 minutes

Trip Details

Join the road less travelled by crossing the Pattullo Bridge and connecting with BC Hwy 7 which takes you thru port Coquitlam and Maple Ridge as it follows the north side of the Fraser River to the quirky, laid-back town of Hope.

Set out on foot here to find the more than 80 chainsaw carvings proudly displayed or take a drive to the Coquihalla Canyon Provincial Park to explore the popular Othello Tunnels. Got a yen for some exercise? A moderate hike up the front of Hope Mountain on a clear day will reward with spectacular views of the surrounding area. There are campground choices aplenty in the area – pull into your campsite and enjoy your first night around a roaring campfire.

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A super short drive today leaving you lots of time to explore, hike, or paddle in Manning Provincial Park. Manning Park Resort offers fishing, non-motorized boating, hiking, interpretive excursions and much more.

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Long before the arrival of gold miners, loggers and fur traders, the area around Princeton was home to the Smelqmix (Similkameen) First Nation. Try your luck at panning for gold along the shore of Two Rivers Park or hike a portion of the historic Kettle Valley Rail Trail. The Similkameen River is ideal for an afternoon float on a rubber tube available for hire in the town. End your day by picking up fresh produce at a farm market then head to the River Valley RV Park for your overnight stay.

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If you have a designated non-drinking driver, a leisurely drive today will take you through wine tasting country en route to Osoyoos. Wineries offering tours and wine tasting are dotted along this section of Highway 3 with opportunities to purchase product.

Surrounded by vineyards and mountains, Osoyoos is at the centre of Canada’s only official desert. Visit the Nk’Mip Cultural Centre to discover desert ecology and wildlife and learn about present First Nations’ culture. Check out the Osoyoos Desert model railroad featuring incredibly intricate train models with astounding attention to detail. In summer, a trip to spotted lake is a must!

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Leaving Osoyoos behind today, head to Canada’s warmest lake for an overnight stay. Here you can chill out on a sandy beach while soaking up stunning mountain views or you can hike or bike the Kettle Valley Railbed – part of the Trans Canada Trail. Bikes are available for hire.

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As the home of Sculpturewalk, an annual rotating exhibition by international artists, Castlegar is arguably the ‘sculpture capital of Canada”. Download the map and stroll through the town to view the current year’s submissions to be voted on by the public. Lose yourself in a heritage tour while visiting the Doukhobor Discovery Centre and the Train Station Museum. For the more energetic, get outside and go hiking, mountain biking, rock climbing or paddling – Castlegar has it all!


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Cranbrook owes its existence in part to the Canadian Pacific Railway. Long before that however, gold was discovered in the area and Fort Steele Heritage Town takes you back to the late 1800s to the period of the gold rush. Hundreds of lakes, rivers and streams make Cranbrook an ideal fishing spot so cast your line and you might be eating your catch for dinner. St Eugene Golf Resort & Casino is home to the Ktunaxa Interpretive Centre. Here you can learn about the area’s indigenous people through artifacts, contemporary art, photographs and displays. The St Eugene Resort RV KOA Park is also here for your overnight stay.

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Fernie is an outdoor lover’s playground. It’s a place where small town charm meets adventure in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains Known more as a winter playground, the town comes alive between December and April when the town’s population swells as skiers and snowboarders flock the Fernie Alpine Ski Resort. Summertime is quieter and more relaxing but still a great place to visit. Take a scenic chairlift ride to the Resort to spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Fernie is a true family destination.

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There’s a 400km drive ahead of you today so try to get on the road early so as to enjoy stops along the way. Stop at Frank Slide near Blairmore to learn about Canada’s deadliest rockslide before hitting the historic Cowboy Trail  north to Calgary. This scenic route through the Rocky Mountain’s foothills features horseback trail ride, farm and ranch vacations, historic sites and western themed attractions so you’re sure to find something to peak your interest. The trail continues north through Longview, Black Diamond and Turner Valley, the birthplace of Alberta’s petroleum industry. Spend your final night at Calgary West Campground, an easy 25 minute drive to your drop-off location at CanaDream.

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