Alberta: #1 between Calgary and Medicine Hat

At Calgary you start to see the approaching Rocky Mountains

Why Travel between Calgary and Medicine Hat

This segment connects Calgary, the oilpatch capital and home the the famous Calgary Stampede, with the wheatfields and ranches of Alberta's east, with detours along the way for Drumheller's Royal Tyrell Museum and some pretty lakes along the way.
Elevation Chart HighwayNotes Itinerary

Here is the itinerary for the 284 km along Highway #1 between Calgary and Medicine Hat:

The Bow Tower, with Plensa's Wonderland Sculpture Calgary is now a city of 1.2 million people, and has tripled in size since the 1970s. Visitors will see vast recently-built suburbs on the western and eastern approaches, and lots of home construction continuing in all directions. Very quickly you become aware of the office towers that comprise the city's downtown core. The buildings are tightly clustered between the Bow River and the railway tracks, and house the headquarters of most of Canada's oil & gas companies.

The city has Canada's largest network of recreational trails, with great (and relatively level) running/ biking/blading trails running for miles alongside the Bow River.

The Bow River generally flows south of the Trans-Canada for this section, and on occasion, you can see a deep canyon from the highway where the Bow River has eroded a deep valley into the otherwise flat prairie's terrain. The prairies are home to native species like coyote, gopher, skunk, badger, and white-tailed deer.

Lake Chestermere' Lakeside Park, just east of Calgary -As you leave the city of Calgary heading east, the road zigs around the city of Lake Chestermere, with its summertime lake, and then continues east past Strathmore, a good place to gas-up and/or eat before continuing. Starthmore is also an excellent place to head north toward Drumheller, famous for its hoodoos, badlands, and the Royal Tyrell Museum of Paleantology (dinosaurs!), which lies about an hour north of the highway. There is a vast Indian reservation southwest of the Trans-Canada from Gleichen (home of the Blackfoot Crossing Museum) to Bassano which provides lots of history of the Blackfoot Indians, who signed Treaty 7 in 1877, which permitted the rapid settlement of Southern Alberta.

The region east of Calgary is part of the "Palliser Triangle" a dry region of south-eastern Alberta that gets little moisture. Most of the farms were homesteaded n the early 1900s, by European immigrants charmed by prime minister Sir Wilfrid Laurier's stories of "the last best west." The communities along the highway are market centres for the surrounding farms, often centered around irrigation infrastructure, especially noticeable at Lake Chestermere (just east of Calgary) and with Lake Newell at Brooks.

Here, rivers flow eastwards generally towards the Hudson's Bay, though the Milk River in the very south of Alberta joins the Missouri River to flow south to the Gulf of Mexico.

Drumheller: home to the Royal Tyrell Museum (of dinosaurs) Ninety million years ago, this land was the bottom of a vast ocean, and the accumulation of decayed plant and animal matter have create vast pools of hydrocarbons. The erosion along the Red Deer River has exposed beds of dinosaur skeletons around Drumheller (home to famed Royal Tyrrell Museum of Paleontology), and at Dinosaur Provincial Park, northeast of Brooks, both are worthy side trips. Medicine Hat also produces its own municipal gas from a field under the city.

The area between Bassano and Brooks and is well known as a cattle ranching area and large feedlots. The Chinook winds keep the area's grasslands free of winter snow, and in the feedlots their diets are supplemented with barley and corn grown in the area. Cattle grow to 1000 pounds (500 kg) in about 18 months (about half the time needed with open range grazing). South-eastern Alberta is also home to wild pronghorn antelope, who you may see hopping over farm and highway fences year-round, especially between Tilley and Suffield just west of Medicine Hat.

History of the Trans-Canada from Calgary to Medicine Hat

Calgary Route Details Calgary to Medicine Hat

Trans-Canada Itinerary Segment Map

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Next West: Lake Louise to Calgary Next East: Medicine Hat to Swift Current

Alberta Motor Association road condition reports for this segment.

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Detailed Itinerary


Highway Point & Features


-4  WB Exit for 13 Ave (Medicine Hat)  715.4 
-3.8  Underpass for 13 Ave SE, shopping & services (Medicine Hat)  717.8 
Howard Johnsons Medicine Hat, just to N of intersection..

Days Inn Medicine Hat, just to N of intersection..

Imperial Inn, just to N of intersection..

Husky and Shell stations on N (EB side of highway), Turbo station 0.5 km, via 13 Ave SE..
-3.6  EB Exit for 13 Ave (Medicine Hat)  718.1 
-2.4  Major intersection: South Ridge Dr SW, access to college and attractions, golf course (Medicine Hat)  708.1 
Medicine Hat College to NE side of intersection..

Saamis Teepee, world's largest Teepee, 1.1 km to SW of highway, marking the Saamis Archaeological Site..

Tourism Medicine Hat...
-2  Passing Medicine Hat College (N), World's largest teepee on S side (Medicine Hat)  699.5 
-1  Creek crossing, parks & sports fields (Medicine Hat)  672.7 
-0.6  16th Street SW intersection, services on S side (Medicine Hat)  702.9 
Esso, Husky and Race Trac gas stations on S (EB) side of intersection...

Bel-Aire Motel, on S side of highway..
-0.2  WB Exit to Hwy 3/41A (Medicine Hat)  699.5 
Interchange Hwy 3/41A, EB access to Bomford Cr service Rd, east to downtown Medicine Hat on Gershaw Dr, west to Medicine Hat airport (Medicine Hat)  699.2 
east to downtown Medicine Hat via Gershaw Dr..

Medicine Hat Municipal Airport (MHMA), 1.8 km to SW of highway..

Highway 3 Crowsnest Highway, southern route to Vancouver, via Fort MacLeod, Osoyoos, Hope...

Circle T Lodge, 0.4 km to SW..

Satellite Motel, 0.5 km to SW..

Ranchman Motel, 0.3 km to SW..

Sundeck Motel, 0.4 km to NE of highway..

Hat Motel, 0.4 km NE of highway..

Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre (formerly Medicine Hat Museum and Art Gallery) to S of junction, accessed via #3 and Bomford Crescent..

Access to Lethbridge, 170 km to SW va Highway 3..

Fort Macleod, 210 km SW via highway 3..

Historic Downtown, turn of the century architecture, shopping..

Medalta Potteries factory, National Historic Site, about 5 km NE of highway, via downtown..
0.2  Pedestrian Overpass (Medicine Hat)  709 
0.2  WB exit to Red Deer Dr service rd (Medicine Hat)  699.2 
0.2  EB Exit to Hwy 3/41A (Medicine Hat)  708.7 
0.3  8th St SW lights, east on 6 St SW to Medicine Hat Regional Hospital (Medicine Hat)  709.3 
Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, 1 km to NW of highway..

Gas City Campground (City Park), via 11 Ave SW, about 1.6 km W of highway...

Wildrose Trailer Park, 0.3 km S of highway..

Best Western Inn Medicine Hat, just south of intersection..

Travelodge Medicine Hat, about 0.6 km S of highway..

Ramada Limited Medicine Hat, to NE of intersection..

Park Lane Motor Hotel, to E of intersection..

Searra Motel, to SE of intersection..

Trans Canada Motel, 0.2 km to SE of intersection..

Cloverleaf Motel, 0.2 km to SE of intersection..

Mohawk gas station to N (WB) of intersection) and Shell to S (EB) side of intersection...

Callaghan Inn, 0.3 km to W of intersection..
0.6  Power House Rd, waterslide to W, 1st Street SW (E) with motels, gas (Medicine Hat)  677.3 
webcam 160 M West of First St. SW

Medicine Hat Regional Hospital, 666 5 Street SW, to southeast of highway

Riverside Waterslide & Amusement Park, to SW of highway..

Turbo gas staion on N (WB) side)..
1.3  Bridge over South Saskatchewan River 665.4 
1.5  3rd St NW interchange (Redcliffe)  680.9 
Box Spring Rd Interchange (Redcliffe)  715.7 
Overpass over Saamis Dr NE (no access) (Redcliffe)  722.1 
Range Road 70(W) and Broadway Ave (E) access to Redcliff to W, Drive-in to E (Redcliffe)  738.2 
Range Rd 65 (S) to Redcliffe, all services (Redcliffe)  739.7 
web cam 100m West of Alderson Gas Plant Road
11  Hwy 524 (S) (Redcliffe)  748 
16  Old Highway 1 to south of highway 775.4 
38  Hwy 884 (N) to Ralston, small airport 748.3 
Crown Village of Rawlston, 3.6 km N of highway..

Canadian Forces Base (DFB) Suffield, Range Training Area (for artillery and tanks) for Commonwealth and NATO forces. North of highway...
83  Hwy 536 (S) to Tilley, 876 (N) to Dinosaur Provincial Park (Tilley)  747.4 
webcam East of Hwy 876

access to Dinosaur Provincial Park, 22.7 km N of highway, camping, hiking, wildlife viewing, views of dinosaur beds..

Dinosaur Provincial Park, 22. 7 km N of highway. View of world famous dinosaur beds, designated UNESCO World Heritage Site...

Village of Tilley, pop. 400, 4.4 km S of highway..

Royal Tyrrell Museum Field Station, at Dinosaur Provincial Park..

Cross Irrigation Channel, to W of intersection..
83  Range Rd 142, south to Brooks Aqueduct (Brooks)  751.9 
Petro-Canada Truck Stop (petro-pass) on the N bwestbound) side of highway..
86  Township Rd 184 (S) to Tillebrook 768.1 
Tillebrook Provincial Park, camping hiking trailsm just S of highway..
97  Cross Irrigation Channel (Brooks)  757.7 
101  Highway 542 (Cassis Rd), access to Brooks (W) (Brooks)  743.1 
Brooks Health Centre, 2 km W of highway
103  Highway 873, access S to Brooks and Lake Newell (Brooks)  754.7 
Brooks Health Centre, 2.5 km to south of highway

Lake Newell Reservoir, Alberta's largest man-made lake, 25 km S of highway..

City of Brooks, pop. 13,000 with all services, about 2.5 km S of town...

Best Western Brooks Inn..

Holiday Inn Express And Suites Brooks..

Heritage Inn & Suites..

Heritage Inn Hotel & Convention Centre..

west access to Dinosaur Provincial Park, via Highway 544, 28 km to NE of highway, UNESCO World Heritage Site..
112  Highway 36, south to Taber, north to Emerson Bridge park 758.3 
webcam east of Highway 36

Town of Taber, famous for its fresh corn in August, 100 km S of highway,..

Emerson Bridge Park, with camping, watersports32 km N of highway..
137  Range Road 183, Newell Lake access 775.4 
Newell Lake behind the Bassano Dam, 4 km S of highway..
139  Lotham Range Rd 175 774.5 
147  Highway 550 (E) to Rosemary, Range Rd 182 (N) passing between small ponds/lakes, irrigated agricultural lands (Bassano)  776.6 
passing between small ponds/lakes, irrigated agricultural lands..
150  Exit for Bassano, 1 km to W (Bassano)  792.2 
Bassano Health Centre , at west end of town, 1 km W of highway

Town of Bassano, all services..
152  Highway 847 (S) to Bassano, all services, small airport (Bassano)  791.6 
169  Highway 56, south to town of Crowfoot and Siksika Indian Reserve 843.7 
webcam East of Hwy 56
179  Creek crossing & Irrigated farmlands 899.8 
183  Highway 842 south to Siksika Indian Reserve 903.1 
webcam east of Highway 842

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park, 7 km S of highway..

Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park offers a number of tours and cultural programs...

Siksika First Nation, Part of Treaty Seven..
194  Highway 904 to Gleichen (Gleichen)  880 
195  Township Rd 222 (W) to Gleichen (Gleichen)  883.9 
196  Range Rd 225 (S) access to Gleichen (Gleichen)  884.8 
198  Range Rd 230 (N) Highway 547 (S), to Gleichen (Gleichen)  902.8 
199  Range Rd 230 (S) to Siksika Indian Reserve 146, Trans-Canada bends (Gleichen)  886.4 
Siksika Indian Reserve, member Siksika First Nation..

Treaty Seven Management Corporation (Tribal Council)..
217  Highway 561 (E) to Hussar, Trans-Canada make 90 degree bend 877.8 
east to Hussar (pop. 200), 28 km E of highway..
228  Highway 21 (N) to Drumheller, Range Rd 242 (S) 974.8 
Access to Drumheller, 73 km to N of highway..

Royal Tyrrell Museum (The best exhibit of dinosaurs & evolution anywhere)..
229  Range Rd 242 (Eagle Lake Campground 6 km to south) 977.8 
Eagle Lake Rv Resort, 5.7 km to south of highway..
229.8  View to Eagle Lake to south 947.9 
231  Cross Irrigation Canal 965.3 
232  Range Rd 244 943.4 
Horserace track & stables to SE of intersection...
233  Range Rd 245 (Eagle Lake to south) 953.4 
Eagle Lake to South of highway..
236  E Pine Rd (access to from service roads) (Strathmore)  962.9 
237  Lakeside Blvd (N) Spruce Park Dr (S) (Strathmore)  971.4 
Access into Strathmore for WB traffic..

Petro-Canada and Shell service stations on N side of highway..
238  Wheatland Trail (Highway #817) (Strathmore)  974.1 
Town of Strathmore..

Travelodge Strathmore, to NE of intersection..

Super 8 - Strathmore, to NW of intersection..

Best Western Strathmore Inn, just N of intersection..

Econo Lodge Strathmore, . 7 km W of intersection..

Strathmore Fairgrounds, 3 km N of highway, home to Strathmore Heritage Days Stampede (fair, Rodeo, running of the bulls event). End of July..

Strathmore Golf Club, 1.6 km north of highway..

Oxbow Country Golf Course, 3.2 km N of highway..
239  West Highway access (Strathmore)  979 
240  Cross Irrigation Canal 983.6 
242  Range Rd 254, access to Auction House to north 975.1 
243  Range Rd 255 972 
245  Range Rd 260 970.2 
246  Range Rd 261, creek crossing to east of intersection 971.7 
246.3  Rest Stop (WB) 978.7 
Rest Stop - no facilities (WB)..
247  Hwy 24 (S) 974.8 
south to village of Cheadle, 2.5 km S of highway (no services)..

Wyndham-Carseland Provincial Park, on the Bow River, 28 km S of highway..
248  Range Rd 262 974.8 
250  Rest Area (WB) 998.5 
Rest Area, wtih view of open prairie..
251.4  Range Rd 264 1002.8 
254  Rest Area (EB) 1010.7 
Rest Area, with view of open prairie..
254.7  Boundary Rd 1002.5 
255  Range Rd 270 1002.2 
258  Highway #9 (N) to Drumheller, Hwy 791 (S) 1003.4 
Access to Drumheller, 107 km to NE of highway..

Royal Tyrrell Museum (The best exhibit of dinosaurs & evolution anywhere)..

cross irrigation ditch just east of intersection..
259  Cross small unnamed lake 996.7 
260  Valview Rd 1001.9 
261  Range Rd 274 1008.3 
261  Railway overpass 1005.8 
263  196 St NE 1016.2 
266  Range Rd 281 1027.2 
266  Highway 791 (Range Rd 280) 1026.9 
web cam W of Highway 791 (3 angles)
269  17th Ave SE underpass (Chestermere)  1034.8 
Small plaza to W of highway, with Esso gas station, Subway, and other stores & services...

Chestemere Skateboard Park, to N side of lake..

Access to Calgary bike trails along the Irrigation District Canal to downtown. Trail begins S end of Lake...

Esso gas station & convenience store, south of Highway
269.2  Cross Western District Irrigation Canal bridge (Chestermere)  1023.2 
Lake Chestermere Photos..
270.1  Paradise Rd N to Inverlake Rd, S to Lake Chestermere Village (Chestermere)  1046.7 
Lake Chestermere, lake with water activities, beach. Boat ramp is on W side of lake N of 17th Ave..

Lakeside Greens Golf Course and Country Club, 1.7 km SW of highway..
270.9  Range Rd 283 1051 
272.5  Range Rd 284 (RV park to north) 1054.9 
Mountain View Farm Camping, 0.3 km N of highway..
274.1  Garden Rd (Range Rd 255) 1060.1 
275.1  Railway underpass 1060.7 
275.7  84th St NE (Range Rd 290) City Boundary (Calgary)  1063.1 
277.3  North East Stoney Trail (under construction) (Calgary)  1068 
East access to the North East Stoney Trail portion of North Ring Road Designated Highway 201. Expected to Open in 2011...
278.6  68 St Intersection, shopping to N (Calgary)  1067.1 
278.9  52 St NE WB exit ramp (Calgary)  1070.8 
279.2  52 St NE overpass (Calgary)  1076.9 
Shell .5 km to N of hihgway, Esso .4 km to S of highway...

Village Square Leisure Centre, with wave pool, 1.5 km NE of intersection...
280.2  52 St NE EB exit ramp (Calgary)  1077.2 
280.5  WB Exit for 36th St NE to shopping, accommodation, and & car dealerships 1078.1 
280.8  36 Street NE overpass, and NE LRT overpass 1085.7 
Light Rail Transit (LRT access) Rundle station N of highway, Marlborough station S of highway..

Sunridge Mall, shopping with food court, .5 km N of highway,..

.5 km N of highway: Shell, Sunridge Gas Bar, Superstore Gas Bar; and 5 km S of highway: Husky, Canadian Tire...

Coast Plaza Hotel, to SW of highway junction...

number of restaurants, including casual dining chains, fast food, and Asian restaurants, mostly to S of highway...

Sunridge Spectrum Cinemas, 10 screen multiplex 0.5 km N of highway..

Moviedome budget movie theatre, 5. km S of highway..

Marlborough Mall, 1.2 km S of highway..
281.1  EB Exit to 36 St NE Southbound & NB (to shopping, acommodation, car repairs) (Calgary)  1083.3 
Calgary General Hospital, Peter Lougheed Centre, to north of highway
281.9  WB Exit for Barlow Tr N (to Calgary International Airport) (Calgary)  1095.5 
282.2  Barlow Trail overpass and interchange (Calgary)  1089.7 
Calgary Internatiional Airport, 9 km N of highway..

Several RV rental establishments along Barlow Trail...
282.5  EB Exit for Barlow Tr S (Calgary)  1093.6 
283  19th Street NE, accommodation, dining (Calgary)  1086.3 
Best Western Airport, just to NW of intersection..

Radisson Hotel Calgary Airport, to NE of intersection..

Holiday Inn - Calgary Airport, to SE of intersection..

Pointe Inn, the, to NE of intersection..

Shell & Husky stations to N of intersection..
283.2  Pedestrian overpass (with great view) (Calgary)  1085.4 
284  Deerfoot Trail (Hwy #2) double diamond interchange (Calgary)  1040.6 
Highway 2, The Deerfoot Trail in Calgary, goes north to Red Deer & Edmonton, south to Lethbridge and the US border ..

Edmonton, 300 km to N..

Calgary International Airport, 12 km N of highway, via Airport Trail..

east access to Calgary Zoo, via Memorial Drive, 2.5 km S of highway..

Access to Calgary's downtown, via Memorial Drive, with over 20 hotels..


Highway Point & Features


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