Exit the TransCanada Highway to discover 3 more off-the-beaten-path driving adventures.
HIT THE BADLANDS
It would be almost sacrilegious to do a road trip across the Canadian prairies without stopping to see the world’s largest moose/Easter egg/ dinosaur, etc. So before you head up the Dinosaur Trail northwest of Drumheller, Alta., you need to check out the view from the city’s 25-metre-tall T. Rex. Next stop: mustsee dino mecca the Royal Tyrrell Museum, where new exhibits just opened this spring. Then go north to Horsethief Canyon, where cowboys once hid their stolen horses among the distinctive hoodoos. Continue across the Red Deer River via the Bleriot ferry before you loop back down the North Dinosaur Trail on the other side of the river. On the way back to Drumheller, stop at the Orkney Viewpoint—preferably around sunset—for a stellar view of the Badlands’ red-rock cliffs. Total mileage: 50 kilometres.
New electric-car-charging stations are popping up every day. So why not book a Nissan Leaf through Vancouver-based car-sharing service Modo and head for the Okanagan Valley, one of B.C.’s densest charging zones? It will take some serious planning since the car’s charge range is small, but the PlugShare app will help you choose charging stations, which are located everywhere from provincial parks to wineries. Total mileage: 1,046 kilometres round-trip from Vancouver to Kelowna (via Osoyoos).
For the first time, Canadians will soon be able to drive all the way to the Arctic coast in summer. The missing link to an ice-road-free trip is a new 120-kilometre-long allseason road that will connect Inuvik to Tuktoyaktuk, which sits on the coast of the Beaufort Sea in the Northwest Territories. The road is expected to be finished in the fall of 2017—giving adventurous travellers who want to go beyond the already legendary Dempster Highway an even farther-flung way to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday next year. Total mileage: 7,180 kilometres round-trip from Calgary to Tuktoyaktuk.