East Access Route Connects: Great Falls, MT, to Dawson Creek, BC
Routes#: I-15, Alberta Highways 2, 3, 4, 43, BC Highway 2
Length: 872 miles/1,403 km
Road Surface: Paved
Season: Open all year
Maps (2 detailed pdf files available):
Great Falls, MT to Edmonton, AB
Edmonton, AB to Dawson Creek, BC

The East Access Route from Great Falls, MT, is one of 2 major access routes to the Alaska Highway logged in The MILEPOST®—along with the West Access Route from Seattle, WA—that take you to Dawson Creek, BC, and the start of the Alaska Highway. (Three other approaches logged as driving routes are the Canadian Rockies Route from Coeur d’Alene, ID, to Jasper, AB; the Central Access Route from Ellensburg, WA, to Tete Jaune Cache, BC; and Vancouver Island Highway.)

The East Access Route was the first and only access route to Dawson Creek, BC—and the start of the Alaska Highway—when the Alaska Highway opened to civilian traffic in 1948. The original route differed from today’s route because Highway 43 was not completed until 1955. Instead, motorists had to drive north from Edmonton via Highway 2 to Athabasca, then west to High Prairie, then south to Grande Prairie, AB. Today’s route goes directly from Edmonton to Grande Prairie and Dawson Creek through Whitecourt and Valleyview via Highway 43. Total driving distance is 869 miles/1,399 km.

Alternate routes logged in the East Access Route section are Trans-Canada 1 Highway from Calgary to the Icefields Parkway and the Devonian Way Bypass at Edmonton.



The MILEPOST® Quick Reference Log 
Miles from Great Falls (GF) shown.

GF 0 GREAT FALLS (pop. 58,950); all services.

GF 85 Exit 363 to Business Loop 15 to SHELBY (pop. 3,376); all services.

GF 86 Exit 364 to Lewis & Clark RV Park.

GF 120 Shared 24-hour U.S.–Canada Port-of-Entry at international border (Sweetgrass, MT/Coutts, AB).

GF 132 Milk River Travel Information Centre has helpful staff and interesting exhibits. The large dinosaur model on display here makes a fun photo subject.

GF 132.3 Municipality-owned Under 8 Flags Campground.

GF 185.5 LETHBRIDGE (pop.98,198) at junction of Highways 3, 4 and 5; all services.

Fort Whoop-up Interpretive Center recreates the trading post that served the Lethbridge area in the 1800s.

GF 187.8 Access to Bridgeview RV Resort; camping.

GF 215.6 FORT MACLEOD (pop. 3,117), at junction of Highways 1 and 3; all services. Visitor information at the Fort Museum.

GF 218.1 Junction with Highway 2 North. Northbound travelers on Highway 3 West exit here for Highway 2 North to Calgary and Edmonton.

GF 219.7 Turnoff to the west on Highway 785 and drive 10 miles/16 km to reach the UNESCO World Heritage Site Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump Interpretive Centre.

GF 241.3 CLARESHOLM (pop. 3,758); all services. Lazy J Motel, phone 1-888-625-3899.

GF 266.6 NANTON (pop. 2,132); all services. Home of the Bomber Command Museum of Canada.

GF 282.8 Exit 194B west to HIGH RIVER (pop. 13,584); all visitor facilities.

GF 292 Exit 209 to Highways 7 West/547 East to OKOTOKS (pop. 28,881). Don’t miss the Okotoks Erratic, west of town: It is the largest known glacial erratic in the world.

GF 319.5 CALGARY (pop. 1,624,524), one of Alberta’s 2 major population centers; all services available.

View from Calgary Tower.

GF 321.5 Junction with Trans-Canada Highway 1 West to Lake Louise and the Icefields Parkway to Jasper.

GF 328.1 Southbound travelers may exit east on Stoney Trail/Highway 201 to bypass Calgary and reconnect to Highway 2 south of the city.

GF 335.1 Exit 282 to AIRDRIE (pop. 49,560), all services.

GF 344.3 Exit 295 to West 2A Crossfield and Highway 72 to Drumheller. Alberta Highways 72 and 9 lead 60 miles/97 km east to Drumheller in the Canadian Badlands. Besides its fantastic scenery, the Badlands are also famous for dinosaurs, on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum and in Drumheller.

GF 403.8 Exit 391/McKenzie Road to “Gasoline Alley” (first exit northbound), a tourist service area on frontage roads both sides of Highway 2; all services.

GF 407 RED DEER (pop. 100,418); all services.

GF 413.7 Exit 405B Highway 11A West, Sylvan Lake. Many visitor attractions including camping at RV There Yet Campground.

GF 461 Exit 482A Highway 13 East to community of WETASKIWIN (pop. 12,665); all services available.

GF 507.5 Northbound travelers exit north to merge with Anthony Henday Drive North/Highway 216. Southbound travelers exit east to Whitemud Drive NW/Highway 2 to follow log or continue south on Highway 216 to bypass downtown Edmonton.

GF 510 EDMONTON (pop. 877,926), capital of Alberta; all services.

This pirate ship is one of many attractions found inside West Edmonton Mall.

GF 515 Junction of Highway 16A West with Devon Bypass/Highway 60; access south to Glowing Embers RV Park & Travel Center.
GF 520 SPRUCE GROVE (pop. 23,326); all services. Area attraction: Spruce Grove Grain Elevator. Camping: Turn left on Century Road for Diamond Grove RV Campground; head south on Century Road across railroad tracks and continue 0.6 mile/1 km to off leash dog park, then turn right into Diamond Grove RV Park.
GF 524 STONY PLAIN (pop. 15,051); all services. Visitor Information at the Dog Rump Creek Railway Station. Attraction: outdoor murals.
GF 527.5 First of 2 exits westbound for Spring Lake; Drive south 0.2 mile via RR 14 to stop sign, turn right on Parkland and drive 1 mile to stop sign, then turn left on RR 15 and drive 2 miles south to park entrance.on Range Road 14, then west on Township Road 524.
GF 528.7 Beach Corner; gas/diesel. Second access to Spring Lake south 2.9 miles via RR 15.
GF 533 Junction of Highway 16A with Highway 43 North. Northbound travelers exit for Highway 43 North to Whitecourt, Valleyview and Grande Prairie.
GF 542 ONOWAY (pop 1,039); all services.
GF 585 MAYERTHORPE (pop. 1,398); food, gas, lodging. Fallen Four Memorial Park.
GF 611 WHITECOURT (pop. 10,574); all services. Camping at Lion’s Club Campground. Visitor information at Whitecourt & District Forest Interpretive Centre (across from Whitecourt Lions Campground).
GF 664 FOX CREEK (pop. 1,969); all services.
GF 693.3 LITTLE SMOKY (pop. 34) to south; quilters make sure to stop in Little Smoky and visit Pink Petunia’s Patchworks Quilt Shop. Waskahigan River Provincial Recreation area to north; camping.
GF 718 VALLEYVIEW (pop. 1,972); all services. Visitor information. Located at the junction with Highways 49/2 north to Peace River and the Mackenzie Route to Northwest Territories (Deh Cho Route).
GF 783 Junction with Highway 2 north to Grimshaw, Mile Zero of the Mackenzie Highway to Northwest Territories (Deh Cho Route).
GF 787 GRANDE PRAIRIE (pop. 68,556); all services. Visitor information at the Centre 2000 building, off of the Highway 43 Bypass; look for the 40-foot-high sundial at the intersection (pictured here) that marks the entrance to Centre 2000.

Sundial at entrance to Grande Prairie visitor information center.

Camping at Country Roads RV Park, Camp Tamarack RV ParkMcGoverns RV & Marine Campground and Nitehawk Wilderness RV Park and Bear Paw Campground.
GF 788 Junction with Highway 40 (Bighorn Route) south 118 miles to Grande Cache, 204 miles to Yellowhead Highway 16.
GF 802 Turnoff for the Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum, a 41,000 square-foot state-of-the-art facility that includes new Alberta species never displayed before.
 (pop. 2,365); all services. Visitor information in the cultural centre next to the giant beaver statue; gift shop, tea room.
GF 823 HYTHE (pop. 827); food, gas, lodging, camping.
GF 844 Alberta–British Columbia border.
GF 845 Junction with Heritage Highway 52, which leads southwest 91 miles to Tumbler Ridge.
GF 849 Turnoff to north for Swan Lake Provincial Park (2.5 miles); camping.
GF 862 POUCE COUPE (pop. 741); food store, museum/visitor centre, gas and lodging.
GF 869 DAWSON CREEK, Mile 0 of the Alaska Highway.

Alaska Highway monument in downtown Dawson Creek, BC.