Calgary to Vancouver via Fernie and Osoyoos
Travel from Calgary to Vancouver along the Canadian Rockies, and pass through Canada’s only true desert
Rent a car/RV in Calgary and head south along the AB-22. Turn onto the Crowsnest Highway and follow until Fernie, a small town encircled by the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy world class skiing and snowboarding or hike the Ancient Cottonwood Interpretive Trail and view the oldest black Cottonwoods in the world.
Continue on the Crowsnest Highway until reaching Cranbrook, the sunniest town in BC and home to the Ktunaxa Nation. Visit the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, an award-winning look at vintage trains from as early as the 1880’s. St. Eugene boasts a 4.5-star hotel, fine dining, world-class golf, a cultural interpretive centre and a western-themed casino. Inspired Spa (???) is a holistic service spa that caters to tourists and locals alike.
Head west on the Crownest Highway towards Osoyoos, Canada’s only true desert and famous for its wine. This region is home to the Osoyoos First Nation. Relax and unwind at the Aboriginal-owned Spirit Ridge Vineyard Resort & Spa before visiting the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre featuring cultural exhibits, walking trails, outdoor sculptures and hands-on interactive displays. The Nk’Mip RV Park is situated on Osoyoos Lake and has campgrounds, cabins and an RV park. And a trip to Osoyoos wouldn’t be complete without visiting the award-winning Nk’Mip Cellars, North America’s first Aboriginal owned and operated winery.
Drive west on the Crowsnest Highway then merge onto the Trans-Canada Highway. Visit the Sasquatch Crossing Eco Lodge near Agassiz in Sts’ailes Territory. Originally built in 1903, the B&B features nine unique guest rooms, a library, living room with a fireplace, dining room and more.
Drive south until reaching Highway 1 and drive west through to Chilliwack, the home of the Stó:lõ Nation. Visit the Minter Gardens, a 32-acre feast for the senses that is one of the city’s biggest attractions. There is also world-class freshwater fishing, hiking and golfing.
A little over an hour west along Highway 1 is Vancouver, a multicultural city that appeals to urbanites and outdoors enthusiasts alike. Vancouver has three host nations: Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh. Visit the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art to see monumental works of art and exquisite gold and silver jewellery. Head to North Vancouver’s Cates Park for a guided traditional style canoe tour with Takaya Tours, and learn about the Tsleil-Waututh Nation’s culture and history.