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Lowest grades Calgary to Spokane towing trailer

NewTripoli
Explorer
Explorer
Hi, I need to drive from Calgary Alberta to Spokane pulling a loaded U-Haul behind a Toyota Rav4. Don't want to overload on the grades. So which would be the easiest grade route: through Banff & over Vermillion Pass, or going over Crowsnest Pass near Sparwood, please? We do need the least challenging grades for this.
5 REPLIES 5

nickthehunter
Traveler II
Traveler II
Using google earth you can plot the routes and see the grades for yourself. Then change and modify the route to your hearts content until you are fully satisfied.

time2roll
Explorer II
Explorer II
Drive moderately, avoid excessive shifting and keep the RPM up in the mid range on power and none of these hills will be an issue. Don't ride the brakes while declining. Brake before the curves with moderately firm braking to shed 15 to 20+ mph each time and then let it coast back up. Allow extra time to go slower.

enblethen
Traveler
Traveler
Can 2 then Can 22 to Can 3 to Can 95 which changes to US 95, then I 90 into Spokane.
US 93 to I 90 would encounter a couple passes on I 90 near moulan< ID is a big one.

Bud
USAF Retired
Pace Arrow


2003 Chev Ice Road Tracker

paulj
Explorer II
Explorer II
My memory of 93, is that the climb to Vermillion Pass from the east is long and straight, which may makes it's apparent grade more significant. Then a gentle run through the Kootenay River valley, and other grade of the ridge to the Columbia river valley. That passes the hot springs resort, goes through a narrow canyon, and then a relatively steep straight grade to 95.

On streetview I see a 11% down grade sign near the hot springs.


Crowsnest is reputedly the lowest pass across the Rockies. Grades aren't particularly noticeable in either direction - when not towing anything. The summit itself is a set of lakes. Last time I took 22 north, rather than 2. That's closer to the foothills, but no real grades.

ON GMaps, Crowsnest is 1400m, while towns on either side are 1200.

On GMaps, I like to check a route with the bike mode. It shows elevations.

AKsilvereagle
Explorer II
Explorer II
I never driven thru the Crowsnest Pass so I cannot compare, as I taken BC 93 northbound thru Kootenay Nat'l Park in my 70 Ford 2WD Truck with my camper in Sept 2012 when I visited the Kootenays...

Driven BC 93 again thru Kootenay Nat'l Park in Oct 2018 southbound in my 75 Ford 2WD Truck with my camper in which I had to time it just right after their early 10 inches of snowfall and before the next stormfront on my way to Sandpoint ID via Spokane WA via Redding CA via Bellingham WA while having to revert taking the Alaska Ferry home because the roads in central and northern Canada were snowy and icy....

Their are two gradual grades on that BC 93 route between Trans Can 1 and BC 95 in my opinion that should be OK for a loaded U Haul trailer and a Toyota Rav 4 to accomplish the feat....

The North end on the Banff Nat'l Park side is around a long gradual 5% to 7% grade, and the South end is a little more hilly and winding with 5% to a short 9% grade and is not as long as the gradual mellower grade on the north end - neither of the two major grades on the entire route seemed bad to me.

Once you reach Radium Hot Springs at BC 95, the rest of the way is a much easy travel and relatively flat without any mountainous driving all the way to the Kingsgate-Eastport Border Port of Entry.

Hope this helps the OP.
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