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14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Kimberley

14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Kimberley

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If you’re ready to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city, then it might be time to leave Calgary and go on a road trip – but where should you go? How about the quaint town of Kimberley, BC?!

Kimberley is honestly one of my favorite towns in BC. Nestled between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain Kimberley really is in the center of it all. Hit the slopes at Kimberley Ski Resort in the winter and enjoy hikes and waterfalls in the summer. Plus, Kimberley is so much more relaxing than many other small mountain towns around like Lake Louise or Revelstoke.

On top of all of that, the route from Calgary to Kimberley is nothing short of gorgeous! You’ll pass through both Banff National Park and Kootenay National Park before reaching the Columbia Valley and finally arriving in Kimberley.

To ensure you enjoy your road trip, and don’t miss any of the best places to stop, I’ve written this blog. It is a detailed guide to the best places to check out en route from Calgary to Kimberley as well as some important info you should know before you go.

About the Drive from Calgary to Kimberley

There are two different routes you can choose between when driving from Calgary to Kimberley; either head south out of Calgary and take Crownest Highway through High River and Fernie, or you can drive through Banff and Radium. Personally, I prefer the latter. It is much more scenic and you’ll drive through some of the best places to visit in both Alberta and BC along the way.

For me, taking the route through Banff is a no-brainer, especially since both routes are practically the exact same distance.

That’s why in this blog, we are focusing on the scenic route. I truly think it is the best way to get to Kimberley from Calgary – I mean who doesn’t want to drive through two of Canada’s most famous national parks?!

This route is 393 km long (244 miles) and would take around 4.5 hours without stopping. However, give yourself at least a full day (if not several days) to enjoy this road trip! You’ll surely want to stop at many of the places I mention below and explore.

14 BEST Stops on the Drive from Calgary to Kimberley

1. The Kananaskis

group of people sitting on the dock at Many Springs
Hanging out with some friends at Many Springs.

Once you leave Calgary and start heading west I highly recommend that you give yourself some time to explore a region called the Kananaskis! This area of the Rocky Mountains is full of stunning hikes and outdoor activities – you could easily spend a few days here just taking it all in.

You can’t go wrong with hiking one of the many trails including easier family-friendly ones like 3.2-kilometer (2.1 miles) Troll Falls or the loop track around Many Springs. If you do Troll Falls in the winter be sure to wear ice cleats or spikes as it can be pretty slippy in parts!

If you’re up for a bit of a drive, head to Upper Kananaskis Lake – it’s stunning.

For winter activities in Kananaskis, be sure to hit up Naskiska Ski Resort for some downhill skiing and snowboarding. Relax afterward at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, it’s pure luxury.

If you’re considering spending a night in the Kananaskis area you might be fully convinced when you hear about the stargazing here. Thanks to the lack of light pollution out here, the Kananaskis have some of the darkest skies in the world!

Ever seen the Milky Way? Well, you can spot it here. If it’s the right time of the year, you might even see the northern lights dancing in the sky! To really experience the beauty of the night sky here, we love this guided stargazing tour. You’ll get the chance to snowshoe through the forest with an expert guide on a moonlit hike to the best stargazing spots. 

The tour is only $85 CAD and lasts around two hours also includes a hot chocolate and a cookie to warm up after your hike!

It’s important to note that most attractions in the Kananaskis aren’t exactly on the way from Calgary to Kimberley and you’ll need to detour a bit. But if you have time, I highly recommend taking it to explore, you won’t regret it!

Note: You’ll need a Conservation Pass to explore the Kananaskis area. I recommend a day pass (although yearly passes are available) for $15 CAD per car. Passes can be purchased online ahead of time or in person at any Kananaskis Visitor Information Center.  If you don’t plan on stopping in the Kananaskis area, a pass is not required to simply drive through.

Where to stay in Kananaskis

If your itinerary allows, stay a couple of nights at The Crosswater Resort – a very family-friendly resort that won’t break the bank with a large indoor pool in the heart of the Kananaskis. Staying here also gives you access to the Kananaskis Nordic Spa, which is famous for its innovative hydrotherapy treatments. Here there are several hot and cold pools with epic mountain views.

If you want something super affordable there is actually a hostel called HI Kananaskis Wilderness Hostel with bunks starting at 41 CAD and private rooms for around 100 CAD.

2. Canmore

Bailey at the top of Ha Ling Peak in winter near Canmore, Alberta
Snow on the top of Ha Ling Peak!
yellow and black coffee cup from beamers coffee house in canmore
Beamer’s is great way to begin the day!

Canmore is the next must-visit place on your road trip from Calgary to Kimberley. This small, but vibrant, mountain town is a popular tourist destination for both locals and international visitors. once you see it for yourself, you’ll understand why.

Canmore is a less expensive and more accessible choice than Banff because it is not located within one of Canada’s National Parks. Canmore, located on the outskirts of Banff National Park, is an outdoor playground for visitors and has some of Canada’s most magnificent mountain peaks. The Three Sisters mountain range is iconic here.

Grassi Lakes is perhaps the most popular trek in Canmore, and as such, it is one of the town’s key attractions for hikers. You’ll be parked at the trailhead in less than 5 minutes from Canmore town, ready to explore some of the most vibrantly colored lakes you’ve ever seen!

This 4 km (2.5 miles) trail only gains 230 meters (750 feet) in elevation and takes most people roughly 2 hours to complete there and back. It’s a family-friendly path that’s excellent for people of all athletic levels. It’s also open all year round!

For something a little more challenging, don’t pass up the opportunity to summit Ha Ling Peak – the views are seriously out of this world!

Right from town you can hop in a raft and gently float down the Bow River for an hour. Your eyes will be glued to epic views of the Rocky Mountains, forests, and valleys while keeping watch for some native wildlife. Rafting tours are a steal at only $45 CAD!

Caving it one of the more unique activities you can do in Canmore! This Canmore caving adventure tour takes you through the beautiful yet mysteriously named Rat’s Nest Cave. You’ll rappel down 18 meters (59 feet) and spend several hours navigating challenging passageways and learning about how these caves were formed. It is pricier at $180 CAD but it is an experience you can’t replicate.

If you visit Canmore in the winter, cross-country skiing is a must. Canmore is known across the globe for its Nordic Centre, which is home to some of Canada’s top cross-country ski tracks!

After you’re done exploring, kick back a relax with a nice cold brew. There are some excellent breweries in Canmore that you really need to check out – they serve good food too! Or for coffee lovers, there are plenty of amazing cafes in Canmore that serve strong coffee and delicious snacks.

Besides all of that, there are tons of fun things to do in Canmore and tours to check out to keep you busy for even a few days. We actually lived in Canmore for a while, so we can confidently say it is a really special place.

Where to Stay in Canmore

In case you want to spend a couple of nights in Canmore (and you should!) there are plenty of hotels to choose from.

For budget travelers, I love the Canmore Rocky Mountain Inn. If you don’t mind spending a little more you can certainly get a nice hotel closer to town. The Grande Rockies Resort-Bellstar Hotels & Resorts is still a short walk from town (but it only takes 5 minutes) and the hotel itself is beautiful complete with a pool, hot tub, fitness center, and restaurant and bar.

3. Banff Town

Bailey sits with a beer at the top of Mt Norquay at the Cliffhouse Bistro
The top of Mt Norquay is not a bad place to enjoy a beer!
Bow River Loop Trail in Lake Louise, Banff
The Bow River is one of the most beautiful spots in Banff National Park!

Banff is a very popular town in the Rockies, attracting thousands of visitors each year. And it’s no wonder why – it’s absolutely beautiful and there are tons of things to do in Banff in winter, spring, summer, or fall.

The downtown area is very quaint and there are many awesome options for places to eat, drink, and shop. With the mountains as the backdrop to Banff Ave, it’s a beautiful place to base yourself in Banff National Park.

Many visitors base themselves here for a ski holiday due to the fact that you have great access to Sunshine and Norquay ski resorts – both are within a 15-minute drive of town.

The views from Mt Norquay are unlike any other. In the summer, ride the sightseeing gondola and visit the restaurant at the top for a beer with a view. If you visit Banff in the winter, you can’t miss hitting the slopes or testing out their famous tube park (fun for the whole family!) If you buy the SkiBig3 Lift Ticket Mt Norquay is the third ski resort you’ll have access to.

Plus, when you’re done on the slopes, you can enjoy all that Banff has to offer including some Apres Ski drinks at a couple of the breweries in Banff.

Banff is more than just a ski town though, and regardless of the season you visit, Banff town is an amazing place with plenty to do. Some of the best things to do in Banff include:

  • Relax in the Banff Upper Hot Springs – Just a short 5-minute drive up Sulphur Mountain you’ll find the Banff Upper Hot Springs, a public hot spring with incredible mountain views! The hot springs are easy to get to and very affordable. At only $16.50 CAD per adult and $53 CAD for a family, even those on a budget can enjoy one of the best Banff attractions. (It’s even a great activity to do in Banff when it’s raining).
  • Ride the Banff Gondola up Sulphur Mountain – The Banff Gondola is possibly the singular most popular thing to do in Banff – and for good reason! From the top of the Banff Gondola, the views of the mountains and Banff town are out of this world. The first time I rode the gondola was during my first Christmas in Banff and I loved it! At the top of the gondola, you’ll find a restaurant and cafe, a gift shop, lots of information on the area and wildlife, as well as my personal favorite, the boardwalk!
  • Indulge in food and drinks – Banff has tons of tasty restaurants and bars. For beer, head to Banff Brewing Co. For a delicious meal with crafted cocktails, head to Parks Distillery. Did you know that you can also join this food tour that explores the many different rooms inside the historic Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel? Food and drink pairings are included from 4 of the property’s high-end restaurants for $206 CAD. What a unique activity for foodies!
  • Check out the Bow Falls Lookout – The Bow River is a stunning river that runs through the heart of Banff. Turquoise in color, it is nothing short of picture-perfect. A short 1.5 km (0.93 mi) scenic walk from Banff town (or drive) you’ll come to the Bow Falls viewpoint on the river’s edge. Here, not only will you see the river, but also the Bow River Waterfall!
  • Cave and Basin National Historic Site – Another great place to visit in Banff is Cave and Basin Historic Site. Here you can see some historic hot springs that are home to a rare species of snail. The museum is the main attraction in my eyes and it is very interactive and fun, especially for kids. You’ll find lots of information about Banff and the surrounding area.

Where to Stay in Banff town:

There is plenty to do in Banff alone, so if you decide you want to stay here there are a few good options.

For the budget-conscious traveler, Banff Inn is a great option. It has all of the necessities, plus added perks like a hot tub and spacey rooms. It’s also one of the best hotels in downtown Banff, within walking distance to bars and restaurants.

If you truly want an experience and a hotel all in one, then you MUST stay at the Fairmont Banff Springs. This luxurious hotel is actually an old Scottish Castle built in 1888 and declared a National Historic Site. The Fairmont is the most prestigious of all of the hotels in Banff National Park offering a range of restaurants on-site to choose from as well as tons of activities. Guests can go bowling, play tennis, or swim in the large lap pool.

4. Johnston Canyon

Water rushes through Johnston Canyon in Banff National Park
Look at the water gush through Johnston Canyon!

Johnston Canyon is located a 30-minute drive from Banff on your way toward Kimberley. Here, you can park at the trailhead and then begin your hike through one of Canada’s most beautiful (and famous) canyons. The best part is that Johnston Canyon is open all year round.

You can stroll along the boardwalk next to the canyon filled with turquoise water during the summer months. There are two waterfalls along the trail, one located 1.7 km (1 mile) from the parking lot and one located 1 km (0.6 miles) further.

The canyon freezes in many areas in the winter, making the walk look like something out of a winter wonderland! Imagine icicles hanging from the cliffs and frozen waterfalls – it’s magical! The ice on the Lower and Upper Waterfalls here also takes on a blue color that is quite beautiful.  You do need crampons to hike it in the winter, so if you don’t have those, it’s probably best to book a guided ice walk tour.

The downside to Johnston Canyon is that it can get very busy. So busy, in fact, that the huge parking lot often fills up – meaning you must reach it using the public bus!

Entrance to the canyon is free, and so is parking.

5. Marble Canyon

looking down into MArble Canyon in Kootenay National Park
The canyon is stunning!

Once you leave Banff National Park you’ll start driving right through the middle of Kootenay National Park. One of the best places to visit in Kootenay National Park is Marble Canyon. Marble Canyon is simply gorgeous, and thousands of years of erosion have created a deep cut in the earth with smooth walls.

Visitors can walk to a 1-kilometer (0.6-mile) trail along the canyon, staring down into the deep canyon. At the end of the trail, there is a huge waterfall. This is a quick 30-minute stop that’ll have you exploring a canyon filled with bright blue water. You’ll walk along the canyon’s edges and across various bridges before looping back around to the beginning.

In winter, parts of the canyon freeze (including the waterfall), and the surrounding area becomes covered in snow. It’s truly a winter wonderland!

6. Paint Pots

woman stands at the edge of a pond at the Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park
So many different colored pools!

You are going to be amazed by this unique stop on your drive from Calgary to Kimberley! These mineral-rich pools of water are an array of colors – like nature’s pots of paint. The trail is an easy walk of less than 2 km (1.2 miles) and should only take about 30 minutes. This whole area also holds cultural significance and is sacred to Ktunaxa people who have made ochre paint here for generations. 

The trail starts through the Ochre Beds – the vibrant, yellow/orange soil leads the way, with wooden boards to help avoid the soggiest parts of the path. The Paint Pots themselves at the end of the trail are formed by iron oxide bubbling up from cold mineral springs in the area.

The pools are full of iron ore and are rich in colors like green, yellow, and orange. It’s amazing that these colors are completely natural!  

7. Numa Creek/Falls

Numa Falls, Kootenay national Park
If you have a packed lunch you can enjoy it near the falls!

Hiking the Numa Creek Trail is a great way to explore Kootenay National Park. It’s easily accessed from the highway (making it an easy stop!) and the terrain isn’t too difficult for beginners. 

The trail takes you along Numa Creek with some dramatic views of mountain peaks and the cascading waters of Numa Falls. While the waterfall isn’t extremely large, it’s set in the Vermillion River and surrounded by rugged landscapes – you’ll definitely want a few photos!

8. Radium Hot Springs

sitting in the Radium Hot Springs
The hot springs are well worth visiting.

Radium Hot Springs is without a doubt one of the best stops on your drive from Calgary to Kimberley. Here you can soak in the natural mineral-rich hot springs. The best part is that Radium Hot Springs are open all year round and, to be honest, they are enjoyable rain, snow, or shine! If it’s hot out, enjoy the cold pool, if it’s winter, just stay in the hot pool.

One of the things I like about Radium Hot Springs is how relatively cheap it is to visit. For only about $16.50 CAD you can enter these hot pools and enjoy a soak and swim.

Hours do vary seasonally, but they are open daily. Check hours and updates on their website here.

9. Radium town

Got my Bighorn Cafe coffee to go before hitting the road again!

I absolutely adore Radium! I have been here several times myself and it always amazes me. Between the beautiful mountain scenery and the never-ending list of fun things to do in Radium, I’m sure it’s going to leave you with an unforgettable visit.

This charming community is surrounded by breathtaking scenery, endless golf courses, miles of hiking trails and lakes, and adrenaline-pumping sports like white water rafting!

We’ve already discussed the hot springs, which is how Radium got its name, but what else should you do? Hike Old Coach Trail, go whitewater rafting with Kootenay River Runners, go golfing, or shop at one of the many unique stores! This is just skimming the surface of a few of the best things, but I can assure you you won’t run out of exciting things to do in Radium!

Where to Stay in Radium:

You can choose from a variety of hotels in Radium but personally, the Radium Chalet is my favorite go-to. It is super affordable while still providing some awesome features including rooms with amazing mountain views, fireplaces, kitchens, and more. 

But if you’re looking for a pure luxury resort that’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience, then you can’t pass up Prestige Radium Hot Springs Resort. This brand-new resort is simply stunning!

10. Invermere

outside the tanton bay distillery in invermere BC
Just bought a bottle of delicious vodka to go!

Just 15 minutes down the road from Radium is Invermere and it is PACKED with awesome things to do.

After you’ve walked around the downtown area, make sure to pop into Ulrr Bar for a drink and amazing fried chicken (it’s one of the top-rated restaurants in Invermere!). There is even a distillery made famous on Dragons Den – Taynton Bay Spirits makes some of the tastiest infused vodkas we have tried.

Invermere is home to Windermere Lake, Kinsman Beach, and a variety of other day-on-the-lake options including boating!

Even if you don’t have your own boat you can rent one at a very affordable price. We rented our boat from Pete’s Marina on Windermere Lake. Make sure you pack your sunscreen and hat – you’ll need them!

In the winter, be sure to hit up Panorama Ski Resort just outside of Invermere. There are tons of options for ski and snowboard lessons, so is a great option for beginners as well. Other activities include Nordic skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and tubing.  

Panorama is conveniently located in a ski-in/ski-out village, making it easy to hit the slopes. You can actually book somewhere to stay right in the village so the ski hill is literally right on your doorstep.

Where to stay in Invermere:

Invermere Hostel is a great budget-friendly option. The location is also ideal and within walking distance of James Cabot Provincial Park.

On the other hand, if staying in a luxury cabin is your idea of a great place to stay then Deere Ridge Cabins is the place for you. Each cabin has a private hot tub and kitchen and they have pet-friendly options.

11. Fairmont

Two people relax in inflatable tubes on the Columbia River float near Invermere,BC
Floating down the river in Fairmont is so much fun!

Fairmont, British Columbia (also known as Fairmont Hot Springs) is a small, charming village outside of Invermere. Despite its modest size, Fairmont is a popular destination for hot springs, lovely lodgings, restaurants, golf, and skiing.

Its position in the heart of the Rocky Mountains guarantees an unforgettable experience no matter what season you visit! Here are a few of the best things to do in Fairmont:

  • Visit the Fairmont Hot Springs – At the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, you’ll also find some gorgeous hot springs – perfect for a warm soak after a day of adventuring on the mountains. These springs are privately owned and operated by the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort, so splurge and book a room or grab a one-day membership for $20 CAD for unlimited access to a huge pool with an incredible view!
  • Visit Funtasia Funtasia is a one-of-a-kind fun park that has activities for all ages located right in Fairmont town. Bumper cars, an 18-hole mini-golf course, and an animal pet park! Admission prices vary by age and activity starting at $18 CAD, but they offer great value packages that include multiple activities so you can save!
  • Float on the Columbia River – This is by far the most beautiful river float I’ve done in Canada. The river float starts in one of two locations in Fairmont town and has you drifting at a slow pace on the Columbia River through the town along the golf courses and houses. The entire way there are breathtaking views of the mountains. If you don’t have your own tube you can rent one in town at the small gas station in Fairmont.

12. Columbia Lake

wake-boarding tour on Columbia Lake
This boat is so fast!

Columbia Lake is excellent for tubing or wakeboarding! If renting your own boat sounds a little stressful you can also book this Airbnb experience with our Airbnb host named Mike. That way you can relax while someone else does all the hard work.

He has a beautiful ski boat and their experience costs around $200 CAD per person for 4 hours of fun on Columbia Lake. The boat is much nicer than the rentals and you won’t need a designated driver or need to rent extra equipment for wakeboarding and tubing. Because the tour is on Airbnb Experience it’s much cheaper than you’d expect to pay elsewhere. The best part? You only need two people to book the tour.

Another great thing to do at Columbia Lake is check out Canal Flats Provincial Park. There are picnic grounds plus it’s a great fishing location! This lake is also usually the least busy – an important thing to consider in the busy summer months.

13. Lussier Hot Springs

group of people sitting in the lussier hot springs - one of the best things to do in Fairmont, BC
The hot springs are so much fun as a group!

This stop on the drive from Calgary to Kimberley is slightly out of the way, however I can assure you it is totally worth it! You will find the Lussier Hot Springs located in the Kootenay Mountains in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park. I love this activity because you can do it year-round, plus it’s FREE!

Don’t forget your bathing suit, because you’re definitely going to want to take a dip! The hot springs have three rock-walled, gravel bottom pools that flow into an adjacent river. Although these walls and bottoms are somewhat man-made, the rest of the pools are not, so they look and feel like “wild hot springs.”

To get to the springs you will need to go down a well-maintained dirt road, and then travel a short hike down a maintained trail with wooden railings. Because the springs are easily accessible, this can be a great activity for the whole family.

The upper pool is usually around 47°C (118°F), but can get as low as 34°C (94°F). As the pools cascade down the spring seems to get slightly cooler. And if you want, you can jump in the river for a cold plunge to cool off!

The springs can get heavily trafficked, so I recommend trying to go early in the day during the week if possible. If you are in need of a changing room or restroom you can find them in the parking right off of the road (a 5-minute walk to the springs). Don’t expect anything fancy though, think more of outhouses and old wooden stalls. No large facility here. In fact, don’t even expect cell phone service.

14. Kimberley

The Cominco Gardens
Come to the nature park for the flowers, and stay for a picnic!

You’ve made it! Kimberly a quaint little town that is full of fun things to do! Between outdoor activities, great food, and fascinating culture and history, you will love your visit here.

If you’re not sure where to start, here is a list of some of the top-rated activities in Kimberley:

  • Visit Marysville Falls and Eco Park – If you’re looking for an excellent ratio of walk to view (i.e. less walking, more views!), this activity in Kimberley is for you. Just a 10-minute walk along a boardwalk brings you to the most stunning waterfall. Seriously, it’s beautiful. If you’re lucky, and there at the right time of the year, you can see salmon in the river!
  • Hike in the Kimberley Nature ParkThe Kimberley Nature Park can be enjoyed through any season, with different options for hiking, running, snowshoeing, and skiing. There is detailed trail information available, so make sure to plan out your route and stick to the marked trails to enjoy this area. If you prefer something on your phone, download the Trailforks app to keep you on track when hiking through the park.
  • Enjoy the German heritage – You probably aren’t expecting to go to Kimberley, BC, and end up in… Germany? Yep, Kimberley now has the nickname of “little Bavaria.” This German influence was brought into the town intentionally back in the 1960s when the city was trying to boost tourism and avoid becoming a ghost town after the railway and sawmill closed. The community leaders used Leavenworth, Washington as a model, knowing that a charming European-style town would be attractive to tourists.

Where to Stay in Kimberley

Trckle Creek Lodge on a summers day
Stay right where the action is at the Trickle Creek Lodge!

Despite being such a small town Kimberley offers some really good places to stay.

North Star Motel – Budget

For budget travelers, I recommend the North Star Motel. It’s one of the cheapest options in town but it’s still a comfortable hotel with good facilities and beautiful grounds to walk around on. The hotel is a little out of town and even further from the ski resort but for the price, it’s a good option for those with a vehicle. A queen room with two beds begins at $125 CAD.

The Larix Hotel – Moderate Budget

This cozy little stay is inside of a home right in town making it easy to walk around to the shops and restaurants. The rooms at The Larix Hotel look upscale and have pops of color in the decor which feels inviting. However, the price is very reasonable at around $167 CAD a night for a queen room.

There are several shared lounge spaces throughout the home that you can relax in and there is an included breakfast and an outdoor firepit for roasting marshmallows!

Trickle Creek Lodge – High Budget

For those with a higher budget, the Trickle Creek Lodge is a perfect choice. This place sits only a few steps from the ski resort chairlifts and also has a pool, two hot tubs, and a fitness center onsite. If you like to golf, Trickle Creek Golf Course is under 2 miles from the lodge, so no matter the season there’s a reason to stay here!

The rooms here will work well to accommodate couples as well as families of up to 6 people in the 2-bedroom suites. All rooms include a full-sized kitchen and for a king room, you can expect to pay $242 CAD a night.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia.

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

A lady poses for a photo at Two Jack Lake in Banff National Park
Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy your road trip from Calgary to Kimberley!

Now you should have everything you need to plan the best road trip from Calgary to Kimberley. Be sure to give yourself as much time as possible to enjoy some of my personal favorite places like Canmore, Banff, and Radium.

In the meantime, you can also check out some of our blogs about travel in Canada including:

Things to do in Cranbrook

Where to stay in Fernie

Things to do in Kimberley, BC