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Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

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Calgary, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 13
Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

I am planning to drive from Calgary to Vancouver in March end. Can someone tell me how the highway conditions are usually at that time of the year? Is there snow/ice still usually at that time of the year?

Jasper, Canada
Destination Expert
for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
posts: 12,336
reviews: 86
1. Re: Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

Hi Serpico and welcome to the TripAdvisor forums.

Yes, there may be snow and ice at that time of year, especially at higher elevations such as through the national parks (Banff and Yoho, and Glacier and Mt. Revelstoke). In the mountains, March is usually a month of significant snowfall. (Note that most of the ski areas stay open until early May, and one near Banff, until mid/late May.) However, as you get closer to the coast, you will also encounter "spring" and improving road conditions.

Those highways in BC require (by law) that your car be equipped with winter tires (with the snowflake symbol - see drivebc.com for more info), and it's always recommended to check on weather forecasts and road conditions before setting out and be prepared to postpone your departure or stop-over en route if the weather gets bad. Highway 1 is a major transportation corridor, so it is well-maintained, and snow is cleared promptly after storms.

Edited: 1:08 pm, January 30, 2013
Calgary, Canada
posts: 9
reviews: 13
2. Re: Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

Thanks for the advice and tips. krp329. I had absolutely no idea about the winter tire law in BC...thanks for sharing that.

Calgary, Canada
Destination Expert
for Calgary
posts: 2,879
reviews: 28
3. Re: Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

I've done that drive a few times in late March, and I have had some white knuckle experiences a few times on the Coquihalla. Spring storms can bring a large dump of heavy wet snow that quickly turns to slush and icy conditions so be prepared. Even if there wasn't a winter tire law in BC I wouldn't want to do that drive without them.

Then again, you could get lucky and have warm weather and clear roads, you never know. The weather in the mountains is pretty unpredictable at that time of year.

Canada
posts: 1,703
reviews: 27
4. Re: Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

Serpico: Sign yourself up for emailed alerts of the highway conditions/road closures/events on http://www.drivebc.ca/

You can set the parameters for the alerts: which highways, regions, etc.

Also, as per Canadian071, be aware that if the signs are warning of slushy sections on the Coq, the translation may very well mean "Snowstorm/blizzard in progress". Unpredictable covers it!!

5. Re: Driving from Calgary to Vancouver in March end

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