Crowsnest Highway

From Academic Kids

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Crowsnest Highway marker shields.

The Crowsnest Highway, also known by many people as the Interprovincial or the Southern Trans-Provincial, is an extra 1,163 km-long branch of the Trans-Canada Highway system through the southern parts of British Columbia and Alberta, providing the shortest land connection between Vancouver and Lethbridge. The highway, which is mostly two lanes, was officially incorporated in 1932, mainly following a mid-19th century gold rush trail originally traced out by an engineer named Edgar Dewdney. It takes its name from the Crowsnest Pass, the route the highway takes when crossing the Continental Divide from B.C. to Alberta. The highway is designated as Highway 3 for its entire length.

While not signed as a Trans-Canada route, it is part of the National Highway System and could easily be considered a southern route of the Trans-Canada.

Route Details

The Crowsnest Highway's total length in British Columbia is 837 km, and its total length within Alberta is 326 km. The Crowsnest Highway's western terminus is at Hope, B.C., where it branches off from Highway 1. The highway goes east for 7 km to its junction with Highway 5, then through Allison Pass and Manning Provincial Park for 127 km to the town of Princeton, where Highway 5A begins.

After Princeton, the Crowsnest goes southeast for 67 km, through Hedley, to the town of Keremeos, where a junction with a length of highway designated as 3A is located. Another 46 km southeast, and the Crowsnest reaches the city of Osoyoos and a junction with Highway 97. The highway then proceeds to hug the Canada-U.S. border east through a stretch of switchbacks.

52 km east of Osoyoos, the Crowsnest reaches its junction with Highway 33 at Rock Creek, then the highway heads east for 70 km to its junction with Highway 41 at a location called Carson. Another 26 km east, passing through Grand Forks enroute, the Crowsnest meets Highway 395 at the southern end of Christina Lake.

Further east from Christina Lake, the Crowsnest travels for 47 km through Bonanza Pass to its junction with Highway 3B at Nancy Greene Lake. It is another 26 km east to the junction with Highway 22 at Castlegar, and another 2 km east to a junction with another stretch of Highway designated as 3A, also within Castlegar. Leaving Castlegar, the Crowsnest reaches its eastern junction with Highway 3B 26 km east. Highway 6 converges with the Crowsnest at Salmo, 11 km east of the 3B junction, and the two highways proceed south for 14 km to the Burnt Flat Junction, where Highway 6 diverges south.

East of Burnt Flat, the Crowsnest heads through the Kootenay Pass. The section of the Crowsnest within Kootenay Pass is considered to be the highest point on any paved road in Canada. 67 km east of Burnt Flat, the Crowsnest reaches the town of Creston, just past junctions with Highways 21 and 3A. 40 km later, at Yahk, Highway 95 merges onto the Crowsnest. The two highways share a common alignment for 72 km northeast along the Moyie River to a junction with Highway 95A at Cranbrook. Another 6 km east, Highway 95 diverges north from the Crowsnest and Highway 93 merges onto the Crowsnest from the north. Highway 93 and the Crowsnest share a common alignment for the next 53 km southeast to Elko, where Highway 93 diverges south. 31 km north of Elko, the Crowsnest reaches Fernie, then it goes north another 30 km to its junction with Highway 43 at Sparwood, and another 19 km east, the highway reaches the boundary with Alberta at Crowsnest Pass.

Once into Alberta, the Crowsnest Highway goes east 16 km to Coleman, then 27 km east to its junction with Alberta Highway 22, another 20 km to its junction with Highway 6, then another 44 km to its junction with Highway 2 north, then proceeding 4 km east into the city of Fort MacLeod and the Crowsnest's junction with Highway 2 south. After Fort MacLeod, the Crowsnest goes 27 km east to Monarch, then another 23 km east to the city of Lethbridge, where the Crowsnest's only freeway segment is located. 50 km east of Lethbridge, the Crowsnest arrives at Taber at the Crowsnest's junction with Highway 36, finally ending at the east junction with the Trans-Canada Highway at Medicine Hat, 115 km east northeast.

Flag of British Columbia Provincial Highways of British Columbia British Columbia highway marker
1 1A 2 3 3A 3B 4 4A 5 5A 6 7
7A 7B 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17
17A 18 19 19A 20 21 22 22A 23 24 26 27
28 29 31 31A 33 35 37 37A 39 41 43 49
52 77 91 91A 93 95 95A 97 97A 97B 97C 99
99A 101 395  
Template:Alberta Provincial Highways

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