Pincher Creek Winter Basecamp for Fast & Slow Tours
A Southern Alberta road trip isn’t complete unless the destinations include outdoor adventures, culinary, learning and cultural experiences.
Create your #MySouthernAB #BucketlistAB itinerary in Southern Alberta and come read more about why Pincher Creek is the perfect basecamp for the backcountry near Castle Mountain.
Our two-day itinerary has you using Pincher Creek as your hub for winter activities.
Getting To Pincher Creek and Castle Mountain Resort and Park
Drive from Calgary: It’s about a 2-hour drive south on the AB-2 S to Pincher Creek. Head south on AB-2 for 153 kilometres. Take exit 89, following the signs for AB-3 W/Pincher Creek. Continue on AB-3 W for 44 km, turn south on AB-6 four 4 km.
Drive from Edmonton: It’s about a 5-hour drive south on the AB-2 S to Pincher Creek on AB-2S. Take exit 89 near Fort McLeod, following the signs for AB-3 W/Pincher Creek. Continue on AB-3 W for 44 km, turn south on AB-6 for 4 km.
Drive from Regina: It’s about a 7-hour drive west on the Trans-Canada Hwy/SK-1 W, Crowsnest Hwy/AB-3 W to Pincher Station. Turn south on AB-6 for 4 km to reach the town.
Overnight in Pincher Creek – Might we suggest staying at either the Ramada Hotel or Heritage Inn. Both properties are easy to access.
Morning – Start the day with a hearty breakfast
Stop in at Harvest Coffeehouse on main street to start your day with a hearty and healthy breakfast. Everything on the menu is from scratch. Fill up the go-cup with coffee is sourced from local providers before starting your adventures.
Castle Mountain Resort and the Powder Stagecoach
Alberta’s best-kept powder secret is only a chairlift away at Castle Mountain Resort. At the top of the Huckleberry chairlift awaits your chariot to the powder heaven. Okay, the chariot is actually a brilliant red snowcat. Two options for you: A scenic mountain-high tour or a wild day of powder bliss.
Cat-Skiing: If you have signed up for the Stagecoach cat skiing, you are in for a day-long treat. By now you have had breakfast (included), met with your guides, listened to the avi-awareness lesson, grabbed your avalanche safety gear and picnic lunch, and are ready to carve the open bowls and powder packed glades.
Sight-seeing tour: Non-skier? Not a problem. Take the Stagecoach every Saturday until Mar. 16 for a scenic tour of Haig Ridge. You will feel you’re on top of the world and the scenery is spectacular. Jump out of the snowcat to take in the view and munch on snacks and hot chocolate. Stop one more time at Haig Lake Lookout before the journey ends at the famous T-Bar Pub.
For the folks who rode the stagecoach in search of powder pockets all day, the adventure continues in the West Castle Lounge to check out the photos of the day and enjoy a complimentary brew before meeting your friends in the T-Bar who are on the scenic snowcat tour. Order up a tray of the T-Bar’s famous nachos before heading back to Pincher Creek for the night.
Evening – Enjoy dinner in Pincher Creek
Dinner suggestions include either The Grill in the legendary King Edward Hotel on main street or Luigi’s for excellent pizza near Walmart. Test the waters at the After dinner, head for the Pincher Creek Swimming Pool on main street before retiring to the Ramada Hotel or Heritage Inn.
Overnight in Pincher Creek
Spend the morning skinny skiing at Beauvais Lake
Beauvais Lake is Pincher Creek’s little secret. It has so much to offer but the rest of the province doesn’t know it exists. But now you do! Don’t expect crowds. Expect a few friendly folks who share your passion for the outdoors. Plan your day around snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, skating on the lake or poking a hole in the lake to try ice-fishing.
Drive to Beauvais Lake from Pincher Creek: Forget the extra-large latte for the road, Beauvais Lake Provincial Park is only 18 minutes away. Take AB-507 west out of Pincher Creek and after you’ve lost count of all the wind turbines, turn south on AB-775 towards Pincher Creek but turn south at the signs for the park. Return to AB-775 four 8 km.
Afternoon – Experience some Blackfoot culture before heading home
After your morning on skis, return to Pincher Creek the way you came and turn north on AB-6 to use AB-3 to resume your journey home. But if you have never stopped in at Head-smashed-In Buffalo Jump World Heritage Site, this is a perfect chance to swing in and experience the facility. In the winter, it’s peaceful except for the quiet voices of the knowledge keepers on hand to share their oral history of the First Nations and their thousands of years of nomadic ways.
Get your map here – there is a shorter route, but in the winter this is the preferred highway.
When you go:
Hit the road to explore Alberta’s South along Highway 3 this month and be sure to share your discoveries on social media with the hashtag #BucketlistAB and #MySouthernAB – you could be featured on our social media channels.