Discover the 8 Longest Roads in Canada

Written by Justin Sexton
Published: October 6, 2023
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If you’re thinking of crossing the border to visit the wonderful sights of Canada, this article will give you some of the longest roads in Canada. Some roads you may go on as you cross the border and other roads can give you wonderful views of towns like Toronto, Ottowa, and Vancouver.

Trans-Canada Highway

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The Trans-Canada Highway is one of the longest roads in Canada. Construction for the highway began in 1950 under the declaration of the Trans-Canada Highway Act. This allowed the general Canadian government to work with the provincial governments to create the highway on a cost basis. This road stretches east-west from Victoria, British Columbia, and St. John’s to Newfoundland and Labrador, passing through each of the ten Canadian provinces to connect all ten of Canada’s major cities. Ferries link the Newfoundland and Vancouver Islands to the mainland.

The Trans-Canada Highway isn’t just one route. It’s composed of many different routes that form the Trans-Canada Highway. Two of them run from the most eastern cities of Nova Scotia to New Brunswick. Then, one of the routes goes to Prince Edwards Island through a Confederate bridge. Then, two routes start west of Montreal and have some of the routes cut through Ontario. As one travels west, the main Trans-Canada Highway, aka Highway 1, goes through Winnipeg, Regina, Banff, and Calgary. After passing Banff, the road takes a scenic route on the Kicking Horse Pass through the Canadian Rockies and goes through Kamloops to Vancouver Island, British Columbia.

This specific Canadian highway is 4,860 miles, making it the third-longest highway in the world. Only Australia has a longer highway on Highway 1 at 9,000 miles and the Pan-American Highway which spans from Alaska to Argentina in a 30,000-mile road!

The Canadian Part Of The Pan-American Highway

View of the South Pan-American highway in the desert at Nazca in Peru

View of the South Pan-American highway in the desert at Nazca in Peru.

©Leonid Andronov/Shutterstock.com

Since this was mentioned already, the Canadian part of the Pan-American Highway must be discussed. This is a part of the 30,000-mile highway that cuts through Alaska, Canada, the United States, Central America, AND South America. The Canadian portion of the Pan-American Highway spans over 2,100 miles from the eastern part of Alaska to Montana. Some of the Canadian cities one would pass through are Edmonton and Calgary. The Trans-Canada Highway is a part of the Pan-American Highway. It includes British Columbia Highway 97 and Highway 2. The Pan-American Highway is split into different portions within Washington State and Montana on Interstate 15.

Technically, it depends on which route one takes on the Pan-American highway to see how long the road is. If one goes down the Washington State route, it’s 2,100 miles. The road is approximately 2700-2800 miles longer if someone drives down to Montana. Regardless of route, this is one the longest roads in Canada, and if not, the longest Canadian road.

Crowsnest Highway, British Columbia

Kimberley British Columbia ski resort views of Rocky Mountains

Kimberley British Columbia ski resort views of Rocky Mountains.

©Chelsey Bird/Shutterstock.com

The Crowsnest Highway provides a beautiful scenic route of mountains and forests. Crowsnest Highway stretches from British Columbia to Alberta, Canada. After one leaves Vancouver in British Columbia, drivers would start on Highway 1. A great stop to get some rest and hike to get the blood moving is the E.C. Manning Provincial Park.

The provincial park is two hours outside Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. After getting enough rest, travelers can drive to the Similkameen Valley and visit the majestic vineyards around Keremeos in the Similkameen Valley. The trip on Crowsnest Highway ends at Osoyoos, Canada. Osoyoos City has the warmest lake in North America, Lake Osoyoos. The Canadian Lake is regularly at seventy-five degrees Fahrenheit. The Crowsnest Highway is 722 miles long.

Icefields Parkway, Alberta, Canada

This twelve-minute video gives a sneak peek of all the beauty the drive has to offer.

The Icefields Parkway is 143 miles long. However, the drive feels much longer due to the beauty of the Icefields Parkway. It was named one of the top 10 drives in the world by Condé Nast Traveler. Icefields, better known as Highway 93, runs north-south from Lake Louise, Alberta at the Highway 1 Junction to Jasper, Alberta at the Highway 16 Junction.

This route takes travelers across the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, over one hundred glaciers including the Athabasca Glacier, and many different lakes. The route has brilliant turquoise lakes spanning the parkway. One of the first stops going south is Bow Lake. Bow Lake gives an excellent viewpoint of the Bow and Crowfoot glaciers. People can ride to the Bow Pass which is the highest elevation on public Canadian roads at 6,780 feet above sea level.

Badlands Parkway

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The Saskatchewan route helps people visit the Grasslands National Park. Thanks to the 2019 opening of the Badlands Parkway, the Grasslands Route allows people to visit the national park in two different routes. The Badlands Parkway is 178 miles long. It starts from the village of Wood Mountain to a southern paved parkway that lets people see the East Block of the Prairie National Park. Then people circle to the western part of the park to spot wild bison and ferrets.

Interlake Region

The Interlake Region gives travelers a scenic route of the Manitoba region. The Manitoba Region has plenty of tourist stops and it’s 186 miles long. If you’re driving from south to north, it’ll cut through the capital of Winnipeg and track north to the Lower Fort Garry Historic Site. People can detour west to the Narcisse Snake Dens, and it’ll end at the Lakeview Helca Resort. Lakeview is in the heart of the Manitoba Lake. They provide comfy accommodations with wonderful cabins and well-appointed amenities. Some of the amenities include a golf course, spa, and outdoor activities like hiking and fishing. Then travelers can drive down to the historical Helca Lighthouse, off of Lake Winnipeg. It is a picturesque location where travelers can check out the maritime history and learn about the lighthouse’s significance.

The Irish Loop Of Newfoundland and Labrador

In the most eastern part of Canada, drivers can experience the Irish Loop of Newfoundland and Labrador. This loop takes adventures on a 192-mile coastal loop filled with natural wonders through the foggiest part of the country. It’ll start with a Witless Bay Boat tour where one can see whales and seabirds. People can hike along the coastline as a break from traveling. The 1870 lighthouse is a wonderful location to picnic at and watch icebergs float by. Many Ireland natives stated that the area reminds them of Ireland. The greenery-filled area in Newfoundland creates similar parallels to Ireland along with the different cultures of Newfoundland.

North Cape Coastal Drive

The North Cape Coastal Drive provides a 217-mile road adventure. On the coastal drive across Prince Edwards, people can stop by the Canadian Potato Museum. After stopping by the Canadian Potato Museum, the Prince Edward coast have plenty of oyster barns to get some fresh oyster and fish.

Summary

Overall, the longest roads in Canada are the roads below.

RankRoadLength In Miles
1Trans-Canadian Highway4,860
2Pan-American Highway2,100/2,700-2,800*
3Crowsnest Highway722
4North Cape Coastal Drive217
5Irish Loop Of Newfoundland and Labrador192
6Interlake Region186
7Badlands Parkway178
8Icefields Parkway143
*Depending on if one makes the drive to the Washington State Route (2,100 mi) or the Montana State Route (2,700-2,800 mi) in the Pan-American Highway.

The Pan-American Highway is the longest highway in the world, but for the sake of this list, we are only measuring the distance from the Canadian mainland to the United States. The Pan-American Highway goes north-south and the Trans-Canadian Highway is an east-west highway. A couple of the longest roads in Canada span certain regions such as the Irish Loop of Newfoundland and Labrador. The shortest road in the Icefields Parkway does provide a unique trip that’s filled with gigantic glaciers and gorgeous lakes.

The photo featured at the top of this post is © InnerPeaceSeeker/ via Getty Images


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About the Author

Justin is an A-Z Animals Writer that loves to cover places, unique natural disasters, and travel. He has eight years of experience as a writer in the medical and media fields. He wrote for the likes of VCU Health, theMSQshop, PayDay LA, and Comic Book Resources under the penname Jay Guevara. Although he's a full time writer, Justin graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2019 with a Bachelors in Health, Physical Education, and Exercise Science with a background in Community Engagement. After spending over two decades in Richmond, Virginia, Justin now resides in the suburbs of Rancho Cucamonga, California. He's a dedicated gymrat. He's also a two-time poetry author who's influenced by rappers Joe Budden and IDK along with Dante Alighieri.

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