Alberta Highway 1

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Highway 1

Trans-Canada Highway
Highway 1 highlighted in red
Route information
Maintained by Alberta Transportation
Length533.8 km[1] (331.7 mi)
Major junctions
West end Hwy 1 (TCH) at BC border
Major intersections
East end Hwy 1 (TCH) at SK border
Specialized and rural municipalitiesI.D. No. 9, Bighorn No. 8 M.D., Kananaskis I.D., Rocky View County, Wheatland County, Newell County, Cypress County
Major citiesCalgary, Brooks, Chestermere, Medicine Hat
TownsBanff, Canmore, Strathmore, Bassano, Redcliff
Highway system
Hwy 986 Hwy 1A

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 1, commonly referred to as Highway 1, is a major east–west highway in Southern Alberta that forms the southern mainline of the Trans-Canada Highway. It runs from the British Columbia border near Lake Louise through Calgary to the Saskatchewan border east of Medicine Hat. It continues as Highway 1 into both provinces. It spans approximately 534 km (332 mi) from Alberta's border with British Columbia in the west to its border with Saskatchewan in the east.[3] The route is a divided 4-lane expressway throughout the province with the exception of a section in central Calgary where it is an arterial thoroughfare and Urban Boulevard carrying 4 to 6 lanes. The highway is a freeway between the Sunshine exit near the town of Banff and Home Road in Calgary. Other rural sections have at grade intersections with Interchanges only at busier junctions. Twinning of the final 8.5 km (5.3 mi) of Highway 1 between Lake Louise and the British Columbia border was completed by Parks Canada and opened to traffic on June 12, 2014 making the whole length of Alberta Highway 1 a divided minimum 4-lane route.[3]

Route description

Westbound to the Rocky Mountains
Eastbound near Canmore

Highway 1 is designated as a core route in Canada's National Highway System[4] and is a core part of the developing Alberta Freeway Network.

British Columbia border to Calgary

Wildlife overpass on eastbound Alberta Highway 1 in Banff National Park

British Columbia Highway 1 becomes Alberta Highway 1 as it crosses Kicking Horse Pass into Alberta.[3] It generally travels southeast along the wide Bow River valley through Banff National Park (Improvement District No. 9) crossing the Bow River three times. After descent from the pass with views of Mount Temple it crosses the Bow River. Its first junction is an interchange with Highway 93 north (the Icefields Parkway), which runs concurrent with Highway 1 for the next 25 km (16 mi). Shortly after that Highway 1/93 crosses the Pipestone River passes through a single interchange servicing the Hamlet of Lake Louise, the Lake Louise Ski Resort and access to Lake Louise itself as well as Moraine Lake. From there the highway crosses the Bow River and travels along the west bank of the river passing by several trailheads until reaching the interchange for Highway 93 south (Banff–Radium Highway) which contributes significant eastbound traffic and is also a midpoint access to the Bow Valley Parkway. From there the highway continues past several more trailheads turn-offs (all at grade) with views of the Sawback Range. After passing an interchange for the Banff Sunshine Ski Area the highway bends to the east and approaches the town of Banff. The highway climbs up from the river and scales the side of a cliff above the town. A pullout at the top of the climb allows visitors to overlook Town of Banff,[5] Vermilion Lakes and Mount Rundle. The highway then passes two interchanges servicing Banff and surrounding attractions. From there the highway bends to the southeast and leaves the park. The entire segment of Highway 1 through the national park is maintained by the Government of Canada,[6] all sections of Banff Park highway have wildlife fences and overpasses to keep animals off the road. The speed limit on most park sections is 90 km/h (56 mph).

Upon exiting Banff National Park, Highway 1 is maintained by Alberta Transportation for 91 km (57 mi) until it reaches Calgary.[5][7] This segment of the highway travels generally east through the rural municipalities of the Municipal District of Bighorn No. 8 and Rocky View County, It also briefly crosses a portion of Kananaskis Improvement District.[8] Shortly after leaving Banff Park the highway passes through the Hamlet of Harvie Heights and the mountain town of Canmore which is serviced by four interchanges. Since many people from Canmore commute to Calgary weekly, traffic levels pick up after passing the town. From there the highway travels by the hamlets of Dead Man's Flats and Lac des Arcs each serviced by its own interchange. A rest area on the shore of Lac des Arcs provides access to the water. From there the highway exits the mountains passing the interchange for Highway 1X, a 1 km (0.62 mi) connection to Highway 1A and access to Bow Valley Provincial Park. It then crosses the Kananaskis River and enters the Morley Reserve and passes the interchange for Alberta Highway 40, the main access to Kananaskis Country. From there the highway passes across the Morley Reserve and climbs a hill to a highpoint at Jack Lake Summit before descending to the prairies. From there it continues due east across level terrain and agricultural lands. As it approaches Calgary the highway passes an interchange at Highway 22 servicing the town of Cochrane and Bragg Creek,[5] where traffic volumes double. Traffic continues to pick up as it passes through the Springbank semi-rural area until it arrives at the edge of Calgary itself. The speed limit on most Alberta Transportation–maintained segments of Highway 1 is 110 km/h (68 mph). Highway 1A, the original Highway 1 from Canmore to Calgary, is an alternate route to this segment of Highway 1, providing access to the Hamlet of Exshaw, the Summer Village of Ghost Lake, and the Town of Cochrane.[5]


Highway 1 and 1X interchange and with crossing of the Kananaskis River visible.

In Calgary, Highway 1 is 16 Avenue N and maintained by the City of Calgary. Plans for a crosstown Highway 1 freeway were cancelled decades ago, leaving the city section of Highway 1 as primarily an urban arterial road, particularly in the Montgomery area and between Crowchild Trail and Deerfoot Trail (connected by a short limited-access section). The latter section features 21 signal lights and the speed limit in both urban sections is 50 km/h (31 mph).[3] Stoney Trail (Highway 201) provides an alternate controlled-access freeway route around the north side of the city and is the signed bypass of 16 Avenue. Despite being a longer distance, Highway 201 generally takes less time. Using Sarcee Trail, Glenmore Trail and Deerfoot Trails to access Highway 22X E which connects back to Highway 1 near Gleichen is another bypass of 16 Avenue and is commonly used by truckers to get through the city. It is shorter and faster than Stoney or 16th Avenue most times of the day, however it involves travels on freeways that are sometimes congested during rush hour. The length of Highway 1 (16 Avenue) within Calgary is 27 km (17 mi).

Calgary to Saskatchewan border

Upon exiting Calgary, Highway 1 is maintained by Alberta Transportation for 273 km (170 mi) until it reaches the City of Medicine Hat.[5][7] This segment of the highway generally travels in a southeast direction through the rural municipalities of Rocky View County, Wheatland County, the County of Newell, and Cypress County.[8] For urban communities, this segment passes through the City of Chestermere and the Town of Strathmore, by the Town of Bassano, the City of Brooks, and the Hamlet of Suffield, and through the Town of Redcliff.[5] Chestermere Boulevard (formerly Highway 1A), the original Highway 1 from Calgary to Chestermere, is an alternate route to initial portion of this segment of Highway 1.[5]

Within Medicine Hat, Highway 1 is a controlled access highway with maintained by Alberta Transportation.[7] The majority of the highway is a freeway; however, a section between the South Saskatchewan River and Seven Persons Creek still has a few at-grade intersections. The length of Highway 1 within Medicine Hat is 13 km (8 mi).[5] East of Medicine Hat, Highway 1 is maintained by Alberta Transportation for 48 km (30 mi) until it enters the Province of Saskatchewan,[5][7] continuing as Saskatchewan Highway 1.[3] This segment of the highway generally travels in an east direction through Cypress County.[8] For urban communities, this segment passes through the Hamlet of Dunmore and by the hamlets of Irvine and Walsh.[5] The speed limit on the highway east of Calgary is 110 km/h (68 mph) except in some urbanized areas.


A review of historical Alberta Official Road Maps shows that Highway 1 was numbered Highway 2 prior to 1941 (while Highway 2 as it is known today was numbered Highway 1 prior to 1941).[2]

Exit numbering along Highway 1 began in 2005.[9][10] As of March 2010, only the stretch of Highway 1 between Banff National Park and Calgary had been assigned exit numbers.[5]

Between 1964 and 1972, a completely new route from Calgary to Canmore was built. The route included new overpasses, bridges, the Canmore Bypass, and 4-lane divided highway. In 1976, Parks Canada began twinning Highway 1 through Banff National Park, with the highway twinned to Banff by 1985 and to Castle Junction by 1997.[11] Twinning of the 33.5 km (20.8 mi) section between Castle Junction and the British Columbia border was completed in 2014,[11] with the final 8.5 km (5.3 mi) of Highway 1 between Lake Louise and the British Columbia border opening to traffic on June 12 of that year.[12] Between 1973 and 1990 the highway was twinned from Calgary to the Saskatchewan Border.


Alberta Transportation has long term, conceptual plans for Highway 1 to have a phased upgrade to a freeway standard within its area of jurisdiction (outside Banff National Park and Calgary city limits). Currently, areas that have been studied are a proposed interchange located between Garden Road and Conrich Road,[13] Rainbow Road near Chestermere,[14] and Highway 36 near Brooks.[15] There is not timeline for construction of these interchanges.


Alberta Transportation has plans for a bypass around the Town of Strathmore.[16] Initial proposals included a realignment northwest of Gleichen, continuing west to run south of Eagle Lake and then continuing northwest where it will rejoined the existing alignment near Cheadle, between Highway 24 and Strathmore, as well as a link to the Highway 22X corridor.[17] The final proposal is a more scaled back realignment around Strathmore to the south, bypassing approximately 8 kilometers (5 mi) of existing Highway 1,[1][16] and the right-of-way is currently designated as Highway 1X.[5] There is no timeline for construction.

Medicine Hat

The Trans-Canada Highway has a few remaining signalized intersections within Medicine Hat, and Alberta Transportation is studying both a long-term realignment of Highway 1, as well as possible upgrades to the existing alignment. The realignment would bypass Redcliff, Medicine Hat and Dunmore to the south, bypassing approximately 33 kilometers (21 mi) of existing Highway 1,[1][18] and the right-of-way is also currently designated as Highway 1X.[5] Possible upgrades to the existing alignment include a new interchange at 1 Street SW and intersection closures at 6 Street SW and 16 Street SW.[19][20] There is no timeline for the bypass construction or any upgrades to the existing alignment.

Major intersections

Rural/specialized municipalityLocationkm[1]miExit[5]DestinationsNotes
I.D. No. 9
(Banff National Park)
0.00.0 Hwy 1 (TCH) west – Field, Golden, KamloopsContinental Divide; continues into British Columbia and Yoho National Park
Kicking Horse Pass – 1,627 m (5,338 ft)
5.93.7Crosses the Bow River
6.74.2(7) Hwy 93 north (Icefields Parkway) – Jasper, Rocky Mountain HouseInterchange; west end of Hwy 93 concurrency
Lake Louise9.35.8(10) Hwy 1A east (Bow Valley Parkway) / Lake Louise Drive westInterchange
12.37.6Crosses the Bow River
34.721.6(35) Hwy 93 south – Kootenay N.P., Radium Hot Springs
To Hwy 1A (Bow Valley Parkway) – Castle Mountain
Interchange; east end of Hwy 93 concurrency
56.735.2(56)Sunshine Road – Sunshine VillageInterchange
58.736.5Crosses the Bow River
58.836.5(59) Hwy 1A west (Bow Valley Parkway)Interchange; seasonal travel restrictions[21]
Banff64.540.1(65)Mount Norquay RoadInterchange
66.541.3(67)Industrial area (Compound Road)Eastbound right-in/right-out
68.642.6(69)Banff AvenueInterchange
81.450.6East gate of Banff National Park
M.D. of Bighorn No. 8Harvie Heights82.651.383Harvie Heights RoadInterchange; no eastbound entrance
Canmore85.353.086Bow Valley Trail – Harvie HeightsInterchange; former Hwy 1A
85.853.3(87)Mountain AvenueEastbound exit and entrance
88.254.889Town Centre (Palliser Trail, Benchlands Trail)Interchange
90.156.091 Bow Valley Trail (Hwy 1A east) – Exshaw, CochraneInterchange
91.556.9Crosses the Bow River
92.657.593 Three Sisters Parkway (Hwy 742 south)Interchange
97.260.498Dead Man's FlatsInterchange
104.564.9105Lac des ArcsInterchange
Kananaskis I.D.Bow Valley
Provincial Park
113.270.3114 Hwy 1X north / Ranch Road – Seebe, ExshawInterchange
Stoney 142, 143, and 144
(Stoney-Nakoda First Nation)
117.372.9118 Hwy 40 south (Kananaskis Trail) – Kananaskis Country, Kananaskis VillageInterchange
123.876.9124No name exitInterchange
Morley130.781.2131Morley RoadInterchange
136.284.6137Bear Hill RoadInterchange
M.D. of Bighorn No. 8140.187.1Scott Lake Hill – 1,410 m (4,630 ft)
Rocky View County142.688.6143 Hwy 68 south (Sibbald Creek Trail)Interchange
155.096.3156Jumping Pound RoadInterchange
159.899.3161 Hwy 22 (Cowboy Trail) – Cochrane, Redwood Meadows, Bragg CreekInterchange
Springbank168.0104.4169Range Road 33 – Calaway ParkInterchange
171.2106.4172 Old Banff Coach Road (Hwy 563 east)Interchange
City of Calgary175.0108.7176Valley Ridge Boulevard / Crestmont BoulevardInterchange
176.2109.5177 Stoney Trail (Hwy 201 north) – Edmonton, Medicine HatInterchange; Hwy 201 exit 36
177.8110.5179Canada Olympic Drive / Bowfort Road – Canada Olympic ParkInterchange
179.3111.4(180)Sarcee Trail / 34 Avenue NWInterchange
Freeway ends
180.2112.0Crosses the Bow River
182.6113.5Shaganappi Trail / Memorial Drive / Bowness RoadInterchange
183.1113.8 West Campus Boulevard – Alberta Children's HospitalInterchange
184.1114.4 29 Street NW / Uxbridge Drive – Foothills Medical Centre
Crowchild Trail (Hwy 1A west) / University Drive – McMahon Stadium, University of CalgaryInterchange; direct westbound Hwy 1 to northbound Crowchild Trail ramp under construction[22]
185.3115.1 Banff Trail to Crowchild Trail north (Hwy 1A west)
186.5115.914 Street NW – City CentreFormer Hwy 1A east
187.2116.310 Street NW
188.8117.3Centre Street N – City Centre
189.2117.6Edmonton Trail
191.2118.8 Deerfoot Trail (Hwy 2) – Airport, Red Deer, Fort MacleodHwy 2 exit 258
192.2119.419 Street NEInterchange proposed (no construction timeline)[23]
193.0119.9Barlow TrailInterchange; former Hwy 2A
194.4120.836 Street NEInterchange
196.0121.852 Street NEInterchange
197.7122.868 Street NE
198.7123.5 Stoney Trail (Hwy 201) – Edmonton, Banff, LethbridgeInterchange; Hwy 201 exit 78
Rocky View County202.0125.5Garden Road (100 Street NE)Traffic signals
City of Chestermere208.4129.5Chestermere BoulevardInterchange; former Hwy 1A
Rocky View County212.3131.9 Hwy 791 (Range Road 280) – Indus
218.8136.0 Hwy 9 north – Drumheller, Saskatoon
Hwy 797 south – Langdon
Wheatland County228.6142.0 Hwy 24 south – Cheadle, Lethbridge
Strathmore238.3148.1 Wheatland Trail (Hwy 817) – Carseland
239.9149.1George Freeman Trail
248.1154.2 Hwy 21 north – Rockyford, Three Hills, Drumheller
260.5161.9 Hwy 561 east – Standard, Hussar, Rosebud
Gleichen277.9172.7 Hwy 547 south – Siksika Nation, Arrowwood
282.3175.4 Hwy 901 west – Siksika Nation
292.1181.5 Hwy 842 – Chancellor, Cluny, Milo
308.1191.4 Hwy 56 north / Range Road 201 – Hussar, Drumheller, Crowfoot Ferry
Newell CountyBassano325.1202.011th StreetEastbound exit only
326.4202.86th AvenueFormer Hwy 847
330.1205.1 Hwy 550 east / Township Road 212 west – Rosemary, Bassano
364.2226.3 Hwy 36 (Veterans Memorial Highway) – Hanna, Vauxhall, Taber
Brooks372.6231.5 2nd Street W (Hwy 873) – DuchessInterchange
375.8233.5 Cassils Road (Hwy 542 west)Interchange
385.0239.2 Hwy 875 south – Rolling Hills
393.4244.4 Hwy 876 – Tilley, Patricia
Cypress CountySuffield438.6272.5 Hwy 884 north – CFB Suffield, Ralston, Jenner
465.2289.1 Hwy 524 west – Hays, Rolling Hills
Redcliff471.0292.7Mitchell Street
471.9293.2Broadway Avenue
City of Medicine Hat472.9293.8Boundary Road
475.2295.3Box Springs RoadInterchange
476.5296.13 Street NWInterchange
477.1296.5Crosses the South Saskatchewan River
477.7296.81 Street SWAt-grade, uncontrolled; interchange proposed[19][20]
478.6297.46 Street SW / 7 Street SWTraffic signals; proposed intersection closure[19][20]
479.1297.7 Hwy 3 west (Crowsnest Highway) / Hwy 41A east (Gershaw Drive) – Lethbridge, City CentreInterchange; access to Medicine Hat Airport
479.7298.116 Street SWTraffic signals; proposed intersection closure[19][20]
481.5299.2College Avenue / South Ridge DriveInterchange
483.0300.113 Avenue SEInterchange
484.5301.1Dunmore Road / South Boundary RoadInterchange
Cypress CountyDunmore491.4305.3Eagle Butte Road
493.0306.3 Hwy 41 north (Buffalo Trail) / Township Road 120 – OyenWest end of Hwy 41 concurrency
509.0316.3 Hwy 41 south (Buffalo Trail) – Elkwater, HavreEast end of Hwy 41 concurrency; access to Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park
533.8331.7 Hwy 1 (TCH) east – Swift Current, ReginaContinues into Saskatchewan
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Google (October 18, 2017). "Highway 1 in Alberta" (Map). Google Maps. Google. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  2. ^ a b Department of Public Works (1939). "Highway Map of Province of Alberta Canada" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-04-14.
  3. ^ a b c d e Alberta Official Road Map (Map) (2011 ed.). Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. § L–3, L-4, L–5, L–6, M–6, M–7, M–8, and N–8.
  4. ^ "National Highway System". Transport Canada. December 13, 2009. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n "Provincial Highway 1-216 Progress Chart" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2015. Archived (PDF) from the original on April 10, 2016. Retrieved October 12, 2016.
  6. ^ "The Trans-Canada Highway". Transport Canada. 2009-12-13. Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  7. ^ a b c d "August 2009 Contract Maintenance of Provincial Highways" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. May 28, 2009. Retrieved February 20, 2011.
  8. ^ a b c "Alberta Provincial Highway Projects". Alberta Transportation. Retrieved 2011-02-20.
  9. ^ "Exit Numbering – Recommended Practices" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. November 2004. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  10. ^ "TSB Newsletter – Volume 4, Issue 1" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2005. Retrieved February 12, 2011.
  11. ^ a b "Trans-Canada Highway Twinning Project: Phase IVB | Fact Sheet" (PDF). Parks Canada. Government of Canada. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
  12. ^ Schmidt, Colleen (June 13, 2014). "Crews complete twinning of Trans-Canada through Banff National Park". CTV News. Archived from the original on March 3, 2016. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  13. ^ McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (November 22, 2010). "Highway 1 Interchange at Garden/Conrich Road | Recommended Plan" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Government of Alberta. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  14. ^ AECOM (April 2008). "Highway 1 at Rainbow Road Functional Planning Study | Recommended Interchange Configuration and Rainbow Road Alignment" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Government of Alberta. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  15. ^ UMA Engineering Ltd. (September 2007). "Highway 1 and Highway 36 Interchange Functional Planning Study" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Government of Alberta. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  16. ^ a b McElhanney Consulting Services Ltd. (November 2013). "Highway 1 Functional Planning Study (Highway 842 to Highway 797) | Executive Summary" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Government of Alberta. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  17. ^ "Open House #2 – Highway 1 Alignment and Area Network, Highway 842 to Highway 797 Planning Study" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. June 21, 2010. Retrieved December 27, 2019.
  18. ^ "Highway 1 & 3 Functional Planning Study – Medicine Hat | Overview of Bypass Plan" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Stantec. June 8, 2009. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  19. ^ a b c d "Highways 1 & 3 Existing Route Improvements: Highway 1 – 1 Street to 16 Street (Option 1 Revised)" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Stantec. April 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  20. ^ a b c d "Highways 1 & 3 Existing Route Improvements: Highway 1 – 1 Street to 16 Street (Option 2)" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. Stantec. April 2009. Retrieved August 10, 2016.
  21. ^ "Bow Valley Parkway Seasonal Travel Restriction - Banff National Park". Parks Canada. Government of Canada. April 1, 2017. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
  22. ^ "Banff Trail Area Improvements: WB 16th Avenue NW Off-ramp to NB Crowchild Trail NW" (PDF) (Map). City of Calgary. Retrieved September 28, 2020.
  23. ^ "16 Avenue N.E. Functional Planning Study – Deerfoot Trail to Barlow Trail". Transportation Planning. City of Calgary. April 2, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2017.

External links

Preceded by Trans-Canada Highway
Highway 1
Succeeded by