driving
A stretch of B.C. Highway 1 in the Nicola Valley heading towards Merritt and Hope. (Wikimedia Commons)

It goes without saying that a lot of British Columbia is pretty rugged. And while some residents may take the ups and downs of highway travel through the province for granted, there are just as many who may not be so prepared.

That’s why the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure has put together a useful route for drivers to follow if they want to stay (relatively) level on their journey.

The ministry says that often it’s not the slope of roads that are the problem, but rather the length that the gradient is carried over. The Coquihalla, Rogers Pass, and the Salmo-Creston, for example, tend to have a gradient of 8 per cent, but can extend 20 kilometres or more.

The ministry recommends that drivers unfamiliar with the terrain take things slow while going uphill and downhill, and to make sure not to ride the brakes when descending down hills.

Here’s the flattest route across B.C., heading east:

  1. Swartz Bay Ferry Terminal to Tsawwassen Ferry Terminal
  2. Vancouver to Hope (Highway 1)
  3. Hope to Cache Creek (Highway 1)
  4. Cache Creek to Kamloops (Highway 1)
  5. Kamloops to Highway 5
  6. Highway 5 to Alberta border at B.C. Highway 16

The ministry also advises cyclists that just because this route is the flattest, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the longest, and to plan any bike travel accordingly.

The flattest route from Victoria to Alberta. (Google Maps)

 

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