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Alberta Highway 1A

Highway 1A marker

Highway 1A

Segments of Highway 1A in Alberta
Route information
Auxiliary route of Hwy 1
Maintained by Parks Canada, Alberta Transportation, City of Calgary
Bow Valley Parkway
Length51 km (32 mi)
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) at Lake Louise
Major intersections Hwy 93 at Castle Junction
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) west of Banff
Bow Valley Trail
Length103 km (64 mi)
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) in Canmore
Major intersections Hwy 1X near Exshaw
Hwy 40 near Ghost Lake
Hwy 22 in Cochrane
Hwy 201 in Calgary
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) in Calgary
Specialized and rural municipalitiesI.D. No. 9, M.D. of Bighorn No. 8, Rocky View County
Major citiesCalgary
TownsCanmore, Cochrane
VillagesLake Louise
Highway system
Hwy 1 Hwy 1X

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 1A is the designation of two alternate routes off the Alberta portion of Trans-Canada Highway 1. However, it is not the only name used for spurs off Highway 1 - Highway 1X is another such designation. Despite these highways being suffixed routes of Highway 1, they are not part of the Trans-Canada Highway network, and are signed with Alberta's provincial primary highway shields instead of the Trans-Canada shields used for Highway 1.[1]

Bow Valley Parkway

The Lake Louise to Banff section of the Banff National Park 1A route is also known as the Bow Valley Parkway.[2] It begins at Highway 1 at Lake Louise, generally paralleling it until it meets Highway 1 again approximately 6 km (3.7 mi) west of Banff. It provides more immediate access to attractions in Banff National Park such as Castle Mountain and Johnston Canyon. This spur has a reduced speed limit of 60 km/h (37 mph), and provides opportunities to view wildlife at various times of the year.

Parks Canada introduced planned and marked pullovers along the route to enhance and educate visitors about the region. The Bow Valley Parkway is one of only two parkways between Lake Louise and Banff, and the only one that allows views of the mountain scenery, waterfalls, and various view points of the nearby rivers and creeks. It was the original highway that connected the valley and is advertised as a "year-round scenic heritage experience".[3]

Parks Canada enacted seasonal travel restrictions along the Bow Valley Parkway on a 17 km (11 mi) segment between the Johnston Canyon Campground and the Fireside Picnic Area (adjacent to the Highway 1 eastern junction). From March 1 to June 25, travel is not permitted between 8 p.m. and 8 a.m. in order to protect wildlife. Highway 1 can be used as an alternate route.[3]

In 2022, Parks Canada announced a three-year pilot project that would see the 17-km eastern portion of the Parkway, between the eastern junction with the Trans-Canada Highway and Johnson Canyon, closed to all vehicular traffic, except for bicycles, between March 1 and June 25, and from Sept. 1 to 30.[4]

Major intersections

Starting from the west end of Highway 1A:[5]

Rural/specialized municipalityLocationkmmiDestinationsNotes
I.D. No. 9
(Banff National Park)
Lake Louise0.00.0Lake Louise Drive – Chateau Lake Louise, Moraine LakeContinues west
Hwy 1 (TCH) / Hwy 93 – Banff, Jasper, GoldenInterchange
0.850.53Whitehorn Road – Lake Louise Ski ResortHwy 1A branches southeast
Castle Junction26.816.7 To Hwy 93 south / Hwy 1 (TCH) – Radium Hot SpringsFormer Hwy 1B
33.620.9Johnston Creek Campground
Seasonal travel restriction
Closed to all vehicular traffic, except bicycles; March 1 – June 25; Sept. 1-30[6]
50.331.3 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Banff, Calgary, Lake LouiseInterchange
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Bow Valley Trail

Bow Valley Trail
Length:89 km (55 mi)
West end: Hwy 1 (TCH) in Canmore
East end:12 Mile Coulee Road, Calgary

The second of the 1A routes, known as the Bow Valley Trail, begins in Canmore, off of the Trans-Canada Highway at exit 91. It formerly began at the Trans-Canada Highway at exit 86 and passed through Canmore; however, ownership of the section was transferred to the Town of Canmore. The roadway still carries the name "Bow Valley Trail".[1]

From exit 91, it heads eastbound, along the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks, until it reaches the Hamlet of Exshaw. From Exshaw, Bow Valley Trail heads to the northeast, past Highway 1X.[1]

Just east of Highway 1X, Bow Valley Trail narrows and the speed limit is reduced to 80 km/h (50 mph) for approximately thirty kilometres as it passes through the Stoney-Nakoda First Nation, where warning signs that there may be livestock and/or pedestrians on the road are posted. Highway 1A passes Mînî Thnî approximately eight kilometres from the eastern boundary of the area; the community is situated just south of the highway. As the Highway leaves the area, it widens and the speed limit increases back to 100 km/h (62 mph). Shortly after resuming its normal speed limit, the highway skirts the north shore of Ghost Lake, a manmade glacier lake that is a popular spot for Calgary's boating and sailing enthusiasts in the summer, as well as ice sailing in the winter.[7] The lake also supplies most of the water power for Calgary through TransAlta Utilities. Highway 1A meets northbound Highway 40 approximately 3 km (1.9 mi) after passing Ghost Lake.

Looking east along the Bow Valley Trail crossing the Grand Valley Creek about 8 km west of Cochrane

From Highway 40, Bow Valley Trail proceeds towards the east, and then slightly to the southeast, before reaching the Town of Cochrane, where it intersects with Highway 22. There, the highway widens to 4 lanes as it leaves Cochrane and proceeds 18 km (11 mi) southeast until it reaches Calgary, meeting northbound Highway 766 about 6 km (3.7 mi) west of the city limits. Upon reaching the Calgary city limits at 12 Mile Coulee Road, it continues as Crowchild Trail, a major north-south expressway, (although it travels in a southeasterly direction from the city limits to 24 Avenue NW) through the northwest and southwest parts of the city. Within Calgary, it crosses Stoney Trail (Highway 201) as well as a number of major streets, before reuniting with the Trans-Canada Highway (known as 16 Avenue N) near McMahon Stadium and the University of Calgary. The section along Crowchild Trail is maintained by the City of Calgary rather than Alberta Transportation.

Before 1972, this route was the only road to Banff National Park.

Major intersections

Starting from the west end of Highway 1A:[5]

Rural/specialized municipalityLocationkmmiDestinationsNotes
M.D. of Bighorn No. 8Canmore−4.7−2.9 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Banff, CalgaryInterchange (exit 86 on Hwy 1); former western terminus
0.00.0 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Banff, CalgaryInterchange (exit 91 on Hwy 1); western terminus
21.913.6 Hwy 1X south – Seebe, Kananaskis Country
Stoney Nos. 142, 143, and 144
(Stoney Nakoda First Nation)
Mînî Thnî43.226.8Mînî Thnî Road
M.D. of Bighorn No. 8
No major junctions
↑ / ↓Ghost Lake54.133.6Crosses Ghost Lake
Rocky View County58.236.2 Hwy 40 north (Forestry Trunk Road) – Benchlands, Waiparous, Sundre, Nordegg
Cochrane71.344.3 Hwy 22 (Cowboy Trail) to Hwy 1 (TCH) – Sundre, Bragg CreekTraffic lights; interchange proposed[8][9]
73.945.9Gleneagles DriveEastbound exit and westbound entrance
76.247.3Gleneagles Drive / Retreat Road (Range Road 40)Traffic lights
83.651.9 Hwy 766 north (Lochend Road / Range Road 32) – Madden
Bearspaw87.154.1Bearspaw Road (Range Road 30)Traffic lights
City of Calgary89.655.712 Mile Coulee RoadCalgary city limits; traffic lights; becomes Crowchild Trail
92.057.2 Stoney Trail (Hwy 201)Interchange (exit 41 on Hwy 201)
94.258.5Nose Hill DriveInterchange
96.259.8Sarcee Trail / Silver Springs GateInterchange
97.360.553 Street NWInterchange
98.661.3Shaganappi TrailInterchange
99.361.7Northland DriveInterchange
100.162.2Brisebois Drive / 40 Avenue NWInterchange
101.062.8Charleswood Drive / 32 Avenue NWInterchange
101.262.924 Avenue NWTraffic lights
101.663.123 Avenue NW (to Banff Trail)Traffic lights; westbound access from Hwy 1
102.063.4 16 Avenue NW (Hwy 1 (TCH)) – Medicine Hat, BanffInterchange; eastern terminus
Crowchild Trail − Calgary City CentreContinues south
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

Former alignments

Icefields Parkway

Highway 1A marker

Highway 1A

Icefields Parkway
LocationBanff N.P, Jasper N.P.
Length228 km (142 mi)

When initially constructed, the Icefields Parkway was designated as Highway 1A between Lake Louise and Jasper. The route was renumbered to Highway 93 in 1959.[10]

Kicking Horse Pass

Highway 1A marker

Highway 1A

LocationBanff National Park
Length6 km[11] (3.7 mi)

A former section of Highway 1A exists along the former Kicking Horse Trail, the original road between Lake Louise and Golden, British Columbia that opened in 1926.[12] When the Trans-Canada Highway was realigned in 1962, the segment became Highway 1A.[13] It began at British Columbia Highway 1, 3 km (2 mi) west of the Alberta border in Yoho National Park. It meandered eastward through Kicking Horse Pass to Lake Louise, generally paralleling the main Highway 1 and CPR rail line to the south.[1] The section between Lake Louise (townsite) and Lake Louise (lake) is known as Lake Louise Drive, while the remainder of route is now closed to vehicle traffic and is part the Great Divide hiking trail.[14]

17 Avenue SE

Highway 1A marker

Highway 1A

17 Avenue SE
LocationCalgary, Chestermere
Length14 km[15] (8.7 mi)

Highway 1A used to be an alternate route that followed 17 Avenue SE in Calgary and linked with Highway 1 in Chestermere. It began at Highway 2 (Deerfoot Trail) and Blackfoot Trail interchange and continued east along 17 Avenue SE where it passed through the former town of Forest Lawn. It crossed 116 Street SE, entering Chestermere and terminated at the Highway 1 interchange. It was dropped by the province in 2013 and the section within Chestermere was renamed to Chestermere Boulevard.[16] As of 2016, remnant Highway 1A signage still remains on Deerfoot Trail and sections of 17 Avenue SE within Calgary; however, it has been removed along Stoney Trail, through Chestermere, and along the Trans-Canada Highway.

Downtown Calgary

Highway 1A marker

Highway 1A

Length11 km[17] (6.8 mi)

The existing Bow Valley Trail / Crowchild Trail section and former 17 Avenue SE section of Highway 1A used to be connected by following a series of streets through inner-city Calgary. From its present terminus, Highway 1A followed 16 Avenue NW east and was cosigned with Highway 1 to 14 Street NW. Highway 1A turned south, and after crossing the Bow River using the Mewata Bridge, and then branches east at its interchange Bow Trail. Highway 1A passed through downtown Calgary on a pair of one-way streets, with eastbound traffic following 9 Avenue S and westbound traffic following 6 Avenue S. East of 6 Street SE, both directions of Highway 1A followed 9 Avenue SE, crossing the Elbow River on the Inglewood Bridge and passing through the community of Inglewood, linking with eastern section of Highway 1A by either using 16 Street SE and Blackfoot Trail, or directly along 17 Avenue SE.[18] This section of Highway 1A was dropped in the 1970s.

Brooks – Medicine Hat

Highway 1A

Old Trans-Canada Highway
LocationCounty of Newell, Cypress County
Length101 km (63 mi)

A former alignment of the Trans-Canada Highway between Brooks and Medicine Hat, through County of Newell and Cypress County, is locally referred to as Highway 1A. Running parallel to Highway 1, it runs to the south along the Canadian Pacific Railway mainline. The road is paved between Brooks and Highway 875,[19] with long-term plans to pave it to Tilley,[20] as well as some sections around Suffield.[21] Between Tilley and Suffield, the road has both gravel and unimproved sections and serves as a local ranch-access road.[19][21] Once in Cypress County, it is referred to as the Old Trans-Canada Highway, while in Redcliff and Medicine Hat, it goes by South Railway Avenue and Saamis Drive.

Despite the Highway 1A name, the route is maintained by the local municipalities and is not part of the provincial highway system.

Highway 1X

Highway 1X marker

Highway 1X

Highway 1X highlighted in red
Route information
Auxiliary route of Hwy 1
Maintained by Alberta Transportation
Length4.5 km[22] (2.8 mi)
Major junctions
South end Hwy 1 (TCH) west of Seebe
North end Hwy 1A east of Exshaw
Specialized and rural municipalitiesKananaskis I.D., Bighorn No. 8 M.D.
Highway system
Hwy 1A Hwy 2

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 1X is a spur highway between Highway 1 and Highway 1A approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) east of Exshaw near the western edge of the Stoney-Nakoda First Nation.[1] It serves as the only Bow River crossing between Canmore to the west and Mînî Thnî to the east, providing access to First Nations lands and communities in the area. At 4.5 km (2.8 mi) in length, it is one of Alberta's shortest provincial highways.[5]


Highway 1X is the designation of two proposed bypasses around Strathmore and Medicine Hat.[22] The Strathmore bypass, temporarily designated as Highway 1X:12, would bypass the town of Strathmore to the south, bypassing approximately 8 km (5 mi) of existing Highway 1.[22][23] The project would also feature a realignment of Highway 24 to follow Highway 817 between Carseland and Strathmore.[23] The Medicine Hat bypass, temporarily designated as Highway 1X:20, would bypass the City of Medicine Hat to the south and west, as well as the Town of Redcliff and the Hamlet of Dunmore; bypassing approximately 33 km (21 mi) of existing Highway 1.[22][24] Both bypasses are currently unfunded with no timeline for construction. Once the bypasses are completed, they would be signed as part of Highway 1.

Major intersections

Rural/specialized municipalityLocationkm[5]miDestinationsNotes
Kananaskis Improvement District0.00.0 Hwy 1 (TCH) – Canmore, Banff, CalgaryInterchange (exit 114 on Hwy 1)
M.D. of Bighorn No. 8Seebe2.21.4Crosses the Bow River
4.52.8 Hwy 1A (Bow Valley Trail) – Kananaskis, Exshaw, Cochrane
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c d e Google (December 16, 2016). "Southern Alberta" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 16, 2016.
  2. ^ Lake Louise Road & Trail Map
  3. ^ a b "Bow Valley Parkway". Parks Canada - Banff National Park. Government of Canada. February 16, 2016. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  4. ^ "Bow Valley Parkway Cycling Experience 3-Year Pilot". Parks Canada - Banff National Park. Government of Canada. June 3, 2022. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d "2016 Provincial Highway 1-216 Progress Chart" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2016. Archived (PDF) from the original on November 12, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "Bow Valley Parkway Cycling Experience 3-Year Pilot". Parks Canada - Banff National Park. Government of Canada. June 3, 2022. Retrieved September 6, 2022.
  7. ^ "Ghost Reservoir Provincial Recreation Area". Alberta Parks.
  8. ^ "Cochrane Interchange". Alberta Transportation. Government of Alberta. April 6, 2017. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
  9. ^ Tucker, Erika (April 7, 2017). "Alberta government announces plans for Town of Cochrane interchange". Global News. Retrieved September 24, 2017.
  10. ^ Official Road Map of the Province of Alberta (PDF) (Map). Department of Highways. 1960. §§ B-6, C-5, C-4.
  11. ^ "Short Hikes - Great Divide". Parks Canada: Yoho National Park. Government of Canada. June 19, 2015. Retrieved January 11, 2017.
  12. ^ Williams, M.B.; National Parks of Canada (1930). The Kicking Horse Trail: Scenic Highway from Lake Louise, Alberta to Golden, British Columbia (PDF). Ottawa, ON: F.A. Acland: Printer to the King's Most Excellent Majesty. p. 21. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  13. ^ "Kicking Horse Pass National Historic Site of Canada". Parks Canada. Government of Canada. March 22, 2012. Retrieved October 13, 2017.
  14. ^ Map of Yoho National Park (PDF). Parks Canada. 2015.
  15. ^ Google (December 21, 2016). "Old Hwy 1A - 17 Ave SE" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  16. ^ "Highway 1A Becomes Chestermere Boulevard". Town of Chestermere. June 17, 2013. Archived from the original on October 11, 2016. Retrieved June 24, 2013.
  17. ^ Google (December 21, 2016). "Old Hwy 1A through downtown Calgary" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 21, 2016.
  18. ^ Province of Alberta Canada Official Road Map 1962 (Map). Government of the Province of Alberta. § Calgary inset.
  19. ^ a b County of Newell (2018). "2. Road Map" (Map). Landowner Map Book. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  20. ^ "Paving Plan". County of Newell. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  21. ^ a b Cypress County. Rural Land Ownership Maps (Map). § 14-15, 20-21. Archived from the original on June 26, 2018. Retrieved June 25, 2018.
  22. ^ a b c d Google (December 23, 2019). "Alberta Highway 1X" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  23. ^ a b "Highway 1 & Highway 22X Functional Planning Study (Highway 842 to Highway 797) - Executive Summary" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. November 2013. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  24. ^ "Highway 1 & 3 Functional Planning Study – Medicine Hat | Overview of Bypass Plan" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Stantec. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
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Alberta Highway 1A
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