13 BEST Stops on the Drive From Calgary to Revelstoke

The drive from Calgary to Revelstoke or Revelstoke to Calgary is one of North America’s most looked-over road trips. On a clear day, the mountains seem to rise and never end through Rogers Pass. While the drive says it will take just under 5 hours, you can bet it will take the entire day with just a few stops on this list.

We recommend taking two to three full days to drive between Calgary and Revelstoke, with a stop in Banff or Canmore and a stop in Golden, so that you can delve deeper into Banff and Yoho National Park. There are many amazing natural attractions on this route, and it would be a shame to miss waterfalls like Tak and Wapta Falls or skip out on driving the Bow Valley Parkway. If you want a memorable road trip in Western Canada, keep reading for the best stops!

Castle Mountain on the Bow Valley Parkway
Castle Mountain seen from the Bow Valley Parkway
How Far is the Calgary to Revelstoke Drive?

Without any stops, the drive will take 4 hours and 34 minutes (408.3 km), and it will travel almost solely on the Trans Canada. Though realistically, with just a few stops, the drive is guaranteed to take you all day.

Can You Do the Calgary to Revelstoke Drive in One Day?

Yes, you can drive from Calgary to Revelstoke in one day, though to make the most out of your road trip, we suggest taking two days to explore a bit of Banff and Yoho National Park. Start early and plan to drive well into the evening.

Can You Drive from Calgary to Revelstoke in the Winter?

When driving in Western Canada during winter, it’s important to exercise extra caution, especially through Rogers Pass. We’ve driven through Rogers Pass way too many times in the winter, and let me tell you, it can be a pretty scary experience if it is snowing. We also like to avoid driving Rogers Pass at night if possible, which is pretty hard to do in the winter and the sun sets at 5pm.

Take caution on this section and know that there are no services, so fill up your car in Golden or Revelstoke, fill your windshield wiper fluid, and have some snacks. Drive according to the conditions and don’t speed. If there’s been heavy snowfall, they will shut Rogers Pass to do avy work.

From October 1 to April 30, winter tires or chains are mandatory on most British Columbia routes, as well as a few in Alberta. It’s essential to stay updated on driving conditions in Alberta via 5.11 Alberta and British Columbia via Drive BC.

The Best Stops From Calgary to Revelstoke



Once primarily associated with cowboys and oil, Calgary has transformed over time into an innovative city with many amazing restaurants, breweries, and attractions. Though Banff draws most people to Alberta, Calgary is a destination that should not be overlooked.

Calgary provides convenient access to Banff and Canmore, making it an excellent base for travelers seeking to venture out. Many travelers to the Rockies will likely travel in and out of YYC. Of course, you can pick up your rental car and get on with it, ignoring Calgary, but if you have an extra day or two to spare, we suggest enjoying some of the best things to do in Calgary.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Calgary

Head To The Top Of The Calgary Tower: You can see the Calgary Tower anywhere in Downtown Calgary, but did you know you can head to the top? On a clear day, you can see the Rocky Mountains!

Studio Bell: Visiting Studio Bell is easily one of the most popular things in Calgary. The building and museum are located in downtown Calgary, so it’s an easy walk from a hotel if you’re staying in the city center. This is a non-profit museum and performance venue and a must for any music lover as the museum has plenty of interactive exhibits and hosts the Canadian Music Hall of Fame. However, what’s most impressive is the stunning architecture and design of the entire building.

Calgary Stampede: If you are visiting Calgary in the summer, it’s best to look up the dates for the Calgary Stampede. Every two weeks in July, visitors worldwide come to enjoy Calgary’s biggest party. Think world-class rodeo events, concerts, amusement rides, fair food, local brews, and one big party – that is stampede – and it would be a shame not to check it out on your visit!

Wolfdog Sanctuary

Wolfdog Sanctuary

On your way out of Calgary, you’ll drive on the Trans Canada on your way to Canmore/Banff. About halfway between Calgary and Canmore, at the foothills of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in Cochrane, is the Yamnuska Wolfdog Sanctuary. This sanctuary is home to more than 35 magnificent wolfdogs and offers visitors the chance to observe, learn, and interact with them.

The sanctuary’s mission goes beyond providing a haven for displaced wolfdogs. It is also dedicated to raising awareness and promoting knowledge about these majestic animals. Guests can enjoy a leisurely walk around the sanctuary or take an interactive tour to learn about the wolfdogs of Canada.

If you have children who are interested in animals, and especially wolves or dogs, we consider this a must-visit stop between Calgary and Revelstoke.

Book Your Yamnuska Wolfdog Experience


Kananaskis Lakes
Kananaskis Lakes

While Banff often steals the spotlight and is well known to most international visitors, Kananaskis Provincial Park is its neighbor and presents another amazing escape into the mountains. There are plenty of hikes, lakes, and attractions in Kananaskis. We strongly recommend dedicating at least a day to discovering the enchanting beauty of this park, as its allure becomes evident in no time. For those with limited time, even a scenic drive down Highway 40 for about an hour promises a taste of breathtaking vistas.

If you’re a movie buff, it might interest you to know that Kananaskis has served as the backdrop for numerous films, so challenge yourself to identify familiar peaks showcased in movies like The Revenant, Inception, and The Edge.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Kananaskis

Barrier Lake: One of the first lakes in Kananaskis you’ll come across when driving from Calgary into Kananaskis is Barrier Lake. Barrier Lake is an excellent lake to relax at in the summer and ice skate on in the winter. However, my favorite thing to do is hike the Barrier Lake Trail, which gets you a fantastic fantasy point above Barrier Lake and out towards Mount Baldy.

Relax at the Kananaskis Nordic Spa: No matter the summer or winter, the Nordic Spa is where you will want to head for ultimate relaxation. This 50,000 sq foot spa is open year-round and is centered around relaxation and calmness. If you like to stay onsite, book a room at the Kananaskis Mountain Lodge.

Ski at Nakiska:  Nakiska Ski Resort has family-friendly terrain perfect for beginner skiers and children. It’s an excellent alternative for beginner and intermediate skiers compared to Banff Sunshine and Lake Louise Ski Resort.


Canmore in the fall

After Kananaskis, Canmore is the next town you’ll come across on your drive. A mining town turned tourist town, Canmore used to really live in the shadows of Banff, but in recent years it’s seeing quite a bit of tourism, it provides a great alternative or addition to Banff.

Canmore is well worth many days of exploration, with some even choosing to base themselves out of a Canmore hotel for their entire trip. That’s because there’s quite a bit to do in Canmore, and the views from just about everywhere are out of this world.

Our Favorite Things to do in Canmore

Stroll Main Street: On a nice day, we love strolling 8th Avenue and venturing into all the galleries and and Stonewaters, grabbing a coffee at Eclipse, and enjoying views of the Three Sisters from the bridge.

Have a picnic on Quarry Lake: Quarry Lake is a local favorite as it’s just a short distance from downtown but provides a relaxing environment to hang out with your friends and family under the Little Sister.

Stand-Up Paddleboard on the Reservoir: The Canmore Reservoir is another local favorite, especially on a summer day. On a beautiful day, you’ll see plenty of people bring their paddleboards here to enjoy the calm waters under Ha Ling Peak.


Downtown Banff

Sitting at nearly 1400 meters, the Town of Banff proudly claims the title of Canada’s highest town! If you’re driving from Calgary to Revelstoke, chances are you have plans to stop in beautiful Banff.

No matter the season, Banff offers various activities and festivals that ensure boredom remains at bay. This entire website is dedicated to traveling around Banff, so if you stay a long time in Banff, we encourage you to click around, as you could stay years and never check off the attractions!

Our Favorite Things to Do in Banff

Drive the Lake Minnewanka Scenic Road: Hit the road and drive just five minutes outside of Downtown Banff to enjoy this scenic road trip. Cascade Ponds will be your first stop, followed by Johnson Lake, Two Jack Lake, and finally Lake Minnewanka, where you can enjoy a scenic cruise.

Catch Sunset at Vermilion Lakes: This is our favorite place in the park to catch sunset at. There are some docks where you can easily walk to with a drink in hand before watching the sun set over Mount Rundle.

Stroll Through Cascade Gardens: This is one of the best things to do if you have someone who really loves plants and flowers in your party. This is one of the most beautiful gardens in all of Canada, and after you can walk right to Bow Falls before having lunch at a cafe in Banff.

Bow Valley Parkway


The Bow Valley Parkway, also called the 1A, is an alternative road to the Trans Canada Highway that every visitor driving through Banff should drive at least once. Well before the Trans Canada in the early 1900s, the Bow Valley Parkway was the original road linking Banff and Lake Louise.

Now, it’s a scenic drive primarily used for sightseeing and outdoor recreation. It’s not a road to be driven quickly, as you’ll want to take your time at plenty of beautiful stops along the way, including Morants Curve and Johnston Canyon. So if you’re in a hurry, don’t hop onto the Parkway and continue driving on the Trans Canada to get from Calgary to Revelstoke.

Though if you have time, Johnston Canyon is one of Banff’s most family-friendly hikes and a popular site year-round and provides access to some stunning waterfalls in Banff.

Lake Louise


Lake Louise is one of the most popular lakes to visit in Banff, and if you have never been, you likely already want to work it into your Banff itinerary. Be forewarned that parking here can be a significant problem, so we recommend planning for an early visit, a late one, or taking the Lake Louise Shuttle. No matter what, one thing is for certain – however you decide to visit Lake Louise, it’s best planned in advance in the summer. Parking is rarely an issue during the winter months at Lake Louise.

Once at Lake Louise, most people simply just take in the views of the bright blue lake. However, there are some hikes to enjoy here, and getting out on the water is always possible!

Our Favorite Things to Do in Lake Louise

Canoe on Lake Louise: This is on most visitors Banff bucket list, despite the high cost to rent a canoe from the Fairmont. Fair enough, as it’s hard to find a more scenic place to canoe (well, besides Moraine Lake).

Hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House: A 7.6 km will get you to not only a stunning lake, but also to a historic tea house where you can enjoy tea and scones in the mountains. We highly recommend getting to the tea house well before 9am so you can have a more crowd-free experience.

Hike the Plain of Six Glaciers: Not as popular as the Lake Agnes Tea House, this 13.8 km round trip hike gets you up close and personal with some very big glaciers. There’s a tea house here too, so bring some cash and get ready for a delicious lunch.

Yoho National Park

Cilantro Cafe - calgary to revelstoke drive
Emerald Lake

On your way from Calgary to Revelstoke, you’ll pass through a new park after you leave Banff. You may not even realize you have entered British Columbia and another amazing national park called Yoho.

The word “Yoho” comes from the Cree expression, meaning “wonder and awe,” which is a great way to describe the beautiful park. It’s truly stunning, and as you’re driving, you might notice that the mountains seem to rise straight from the highway to the sky. Yoho has a couple of great pull-off points, but if you have longer or if you start your drive very early, you’ll be able to hit quite a few of the sites.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Yoho

Emerald Lake: This is truly a must visit lake in the Canadian Rockies, it’s one of the most stunning lakes that just shines emerald green. You can book a stay at the Emerald Lake Lodge and really have this place to yourself in the morning and evening or just pop by for the day and walk around the lake or take a canoe out.

Takkakaw Falls: One of the tallest waterfalls in all of Canada, it is pretty easily accessible in Yoho. The best part is reaching the waterfall is just a short 5 minute walk from the car park.

Wapta Falls: Much different from Tak Falls is Wapta Falls, which is closer to Golden along your Calgary to Revelstoke drive. Wapta Falls is the largest waterfall on the Kicking Horse River and is located in Yoho National Park. It is 18 meters high and a whopping 107 meters wide. It is easily one of the most beautiful waterfalls in BC, and its average flow can reach 96 cubic meters per second. It’s a short 1 hour hike to reach Wapta Falls, but it’s more than worth carving out time in your day for.

Truffle Pigs

Field - best small towns in BC
Truffle Pigs is in the tow of Field

The small hamlet of Field is the only town in Yoho National Park, and near Emerald Lake. There’s not a ton to do in Field, but it’s well worth a stop and walk around, and if you’re hungry, a stop at Truffle Pigs is an absolute must. Recently named the best restaurant in the mountains, Truffle Pigs is a gem in Yoho National Park’s heart. Their menu has some absolute delights on it, like Slow and Low Lamb Shank and the Galbi Korean Ribs. Stop by here, and you’ll see why they have such rave reviews.


Golden Skybridge
Golden Skybridge

Golden is a small town in British Columbia, and though it may seem easily overlooked as you drive by, it harbors a wealth of activities that can easily fill a few days with mountain enjoyment. We visit Golden multiple times a year and greatly love the small mountain town.

If visiting in the summer, embark on a Via Ferrata adventure with Kicking Horse Mountain Resort or indulge in some adrenaline-pumping downhill mountain biking. For a family-friendly experience, stroll across the new Golden Skybridge, where you can spend at least half a day. Never seen a grizzly bear? It’s here you can pay a visit to Boo, the Grizzly Bear that lives at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.

If traveling through Golden in the winter, a day of skiing at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort is a must, just consider wearing a nappy, this resort is steep, steep, steep.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Golden

Meet Boo the Bear: No trip to Golden would be complete without paying a visit to Boo the Grizzly Bear first! At Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, there is actually a Grizzly Bear Refuge, the largest one in the world.

Kicking Horse Via Ferrata: This is one of the best Via Ferratas in Canada and offers many different route options from beginner to advanced. The “ascension route” is the most difficult and is even said to be one of the hardest Via Ferratas in North America. At 465 meters and a summit of Terminator Peak, it just may be one of the best!

Golden Skybridge: This is one of the most exciting things to do in Golden for all ages, as it’s not every day you can walk 426 feet above a vast canyon. Surrounded by the Columbia Valley, walking across this skybridge while a river and waterfall crash below you is quite memorable.

Rogers Pass/Glacier National Park

Rogers Pass/Glacier National Park

Located in Rogers Pass in the Selkirk Range, Glacier National Park is home to beautiful mountain views. It is often overlooked for the more popular locations of Banff and Jasper National Park. Now, every visitor must drive Rogers Pass from Calgary to Revelstoke, and it’s possible to just sit in the car and enjoy the views.

However, in the summer, you can enjoy hikes with varying difficulty levels, from family-friendly to more challenging backcountry trips. The park is home to numerous glaciers, and some of the notable ones include the Illecillewaet Glacier and the Asulkan Glacier. These glaciers contribute to the park’s dramatic landscapes and are a major visitor attraction.


Revelstoke in winter - calgary to revelstoke drive
Snowboarding at Revelstoke

After a long drive and hopefully many beautiful stops, you have finally reached Revelstoke, a small mountain town near the Selkirk Mountains and Glacier National Park. We highly recommend Revelstoke, especially for winter sports enthusiasts, as Revelstoke – Revy – has earned its reputation for exceptional powder, drawing visitors year after year.

Unlike busier mountain towns like Whistler, Revelstoke’s off-the-beaten-path location, far away from any major city and near Rogers Pass, contributes to its unique charm. During winter, be aware that the highway around Revelstoke may close after significant snowfall, creating the phenomenon known as getting “Revystuck.” Embrace the experience and head straight to Revelstoke Mountain Resort to relish the pristine powder.

Enough about winter, as there’s plenty to love about summer here too. Revelstoke offers opportunities to paddle on Arrow Lakes, drive the Meadow of the Sky Parkway, enjoy mountain biking at Mount Mackenzie, or experience the thrill of The Pipe Mountain Coaster.

Our Favorite Things to Do in Revelstoke

Ski/Snowboard at Revelstoke Mountain Resort: Revy has some of the biggest vertical in North America (1,713m) and to top it all off, Revelstoke gets plenty of fresh powder at 12m a year on average. If you are traveling to Revelstoke in the winter, chances are you will want to ski at Revelstoke.

Go Mountain Biking: Revelstoke is one of the best places in British Columbia to go mountain biking in the summer. Some recommended trails are the Upper and Lower Mount Macpherson trails, Martha Creek, and Boulder Mountain.

The Pipe Mountain Coaster: If visiting Revelstoke with kids, you can’t miss the Pipe Mountain Coaster at Mount Revelstoke in the summer. It’s a 1.4 km ride across ski runs, glades, and even a tunnel. The ride goes as fast as 42 kilometers per hour!

Important Things to Note

Driving in Yoho National Park - calgary to revelstoke drive
Driving in Yoho National Park
  • Watch out for wildlife on the roads when driving from Calgary to Revelstoke. This includes bears, deer, elk, and moose. They are present, especially during the summer months on the Bow Valley Parkway. If you see wildlife on the road please respect its space.
  • Cell Service is intermittent on much of this drive. Notably between Lake Louise and Golden and Golden to Revelstoke.
  • Make sure to pay attention to your fuel, as highways in Western Canada are not like they are throughout the US, where there is an exit and gas station every 20 miles. Fill up in Canmore, Banff, Lake Louise, Field, Golden, and Revelstoke.

Renting a Car in Canada

Renting a Car in Canada

If you don’t have your own car, it’s best to rent a car in Calgary. You can rent one at the Calgary International Airport (YYC) or Downtown Calgary. You can either rent a one way or do a return trip. One-way rentals often cost more, and there is nowhere to drop off a rental in Revelstoke, so you’ll have to plan to drop it off in Kamloops or elsewhere. We like to use Discover Car Hire and RentalCars.com to find the best deals.

Plan Your Trip to the Canadian Rockies

  • Tours (New in 2024): The Banff Blog is partnering with one of the leading tour companies in Western Canada so readers can experience the magic of the Rockies with other travelers – without having to think about a thing. See all our 2024 tour offerings here!
  • Get to Banff or Canmore Without a Car: The Banff Airporter provides fantastic service connecting you from the Calgary International Airport (YYC) to Banff or Canmore.
  • Get Around: We suggest renting a car to get around. You can search for rental cars on Rentalcars.com. Or embark on an epic campervan trip. We like to compare prices on Motorhome Republic and Outdoorsy.
  • Cheaper Airfare: We also use Going to watch for cheap airfare deals!
  • Hop On, Hop Off: This tour is taking Banff by storm. It’s exactly what it sounds like, hop on and off a bus bound for all the best attractions at your own pace!
About Natasha

Natasha calls Canmore, Alberta home. After traveling across seven continents and 90 countries with Cameron, she settled down in the stunning Canadian Rockies. She loves to help others travel and make their planning easier. She is a winter enthusiast and loves to snowboard, ice skate, and snowshoe and enjoy all the fantastic summer opportunities in Banff like hiking, scrambling, and biking. You can find her in the mountains or enjoying a coffee by the river. Learn more on the about us page!

If you have found the content on this site helpful to your trip planning please consider supporting The Banff Blog. You can say thanks directly by buying us a coffee. All support is much appreciated!

Leave a Comment