Yellowhead Pass

Length: 105 km (1.5 to 2.5 hours)
Overall Rating:
08 - Highly Recommended
Scenery:
10 - Iconic
Sport:
05 - Gentle corners
Solitude:
06 - Moderate traffic, quieter off-peak

The Yellowhead highway (running from Winnipeg to the Pacific at Prince Rupert) is named after this Rocky Mountain pass. It’s part of a long-standing historical route across Canada, and has been favored due to its relatively wide valley and slight gradients on either side. Accordingly the highway is surprisingly straight and has few hilly sections.

The mountains are a bit more sedate compared to the more southern Rockies, with one monstrous exception: the 13000 foot Mt Robson, with a sheer rise of 10000 feet from the valley floor (it is the most prominent peak in the North American Rockies). Driving eastward you'll find a nice straight stretch of road to take in the mountain — and if you’re not heading east strongly consider doubling back on this short stretch to appreciate the view. In any case stop at the Mt Robson Provincial Park visitor center, and take in some hikes around the center if you have the time (better yet, camp in the park and hike to the mountain's base for even more spectacular views).

In summer the road can be moderately busy, so take advantage of the pull-outs and take your time. Also make sure to check the weather, as Mt Robson is often shrouded in cloud.


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