Canada is world famous for its natural splendour and historical places, so you can expect the road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton to be one for the books. This manageable journey features beautiful scenery and charming towns Canada is known for without having to drive great expanses.
The 1,350 km road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton will take 13 hours and 50 minutes to drive. Notable sights en route are Watrous, Saskatoon, Wanuskewin, Bresaylor, Kenilworth Lake, Regina, Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Calgary, and Fort Normandeau.
This drive from Winnipeg to Edmonton will be the Canadian road adventure of a lifetime. Read on below to learn more about our recommended routes, the best places to stay, top highlights, and the best seasons to travel.
How far is Edmonton from Winnipeg, and how long will the road trip take?
|13 hours and 50 minutes
The Saskatoon Route from Winnipeg to Edmonton passes through the scenic Riding Mountain National Park and the city of Saskatoon in Saskatchewan. This journey stretches over 1,350 km and takes approximately 13 hours and 50 minutes to drive.
Alternatively, the Calgary Route spans 1,640 km and requires around 16 hours of driving. This route takes you through Moose Jaw and Medicine Hat in Saskatchewan before reaching Calgary in Alberta.
You can complete both routes within a couple of days, but there's much to see and enjoy along the way. To fully appreciate the journey, consider extending your trip to 4-5 days.
Best road trip route from Winnipeg to Edmonton
The best route on a road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton will depend on how much time you have and what you'd like to see on the way. That being said, both of our recommended routes are dotted with attractions to enjoy, so there is no right or wrong decision here!
On the Saskatoon Route, you'll encounter tons of captivating sights. The journey begins with a stop at Lake Manitoba, where you can enjoy the picturesque beaches and see endless wildlife in their natural habitat.
As the road unwinds through prairie grasslands, you'll drive through small towns and picturesque bridges. This route is also an excellent opportunity to learn about the rich indigenous culture of Saskatchewan Province, especially in Saskatoon.
The Calgary Route, in contrast, takes you through the heart of the Canadian prairies, where you'll see small, yet enchanting towns along the way. This route is rich in historical and cultural attractions, with towns like Regina hosting remarkable indigenous museums.
The route passes through the bustling urban landscape of Calgary, Alberta's cowboy city. This urban high-rise setting offers a refreshing change of scenery, with plenty of fun things to do and experience before ending your exciting drive.
How to drive from Winnipeg to Edmonton
The map above shows our suggestions for the best road trip routes between Winnipeg and Edmonton. Keep reading for detailed descriptions of both routes, where to stay on either, and the best things to do on the way.
Start the Saskatoon Route by heading west from Winnipeg on Trans-Canada Highway 1. Your first notable stop could be the Fort La Reine Museum near Portage la Prairie, offering a glimpse into the local history.
Further along, check out Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa near Watrous, renowned for its healing waters and beautiful natural surroundings, just a short detour from the route.
As you approach Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo is a delightful family-friendly experience. Continuing west, you'll find the Saskatchewan Railway Museum, where you'll get to learn more about the area's industrial history.
Wanuskewin, a little north of Saskatoon, is the perfect detour to learn more about indigenous culture. The Western Development Museum in Saskatoon is another must-see historical place.
Heading towards Edmonton, stop by the Bresaylor Museum and Kenilworth Lake for a peek into local heritage and natural beauty. Near Vegreville, visit the giant Vegreville Pysanka, a symbol of Ukrainian culture, and explore more of this heritage in the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village.
End your amazing journey with a visit to Elk Island National Park, an ideal spot for wildlife viewing and outdoor activities, before arriving in Edmonton.
Starting your journey on the Calgary Route from Winnipeg, head west on Trans-Canada Highway 1. Your first major stop is the town of Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, home to attractions like the Tunnels of Moose Jaw and the Western Development Museum Moose Jaw.
Continuing west, you'll arrive in Medicine Hat, Alberta, where you can explore the Saamis Tepee and enjoy the natural beauty of Echo Dale Regional Park.
As you drive further, the route takes you through the heart of the Canadian prairies, with picturesque landscapes and charming towns.
When you reach Calgary, immerse yourself in the city's vibrant culture at the Heritage Park Historical Village and the Calgary Zoo. You can also see the amazing Alberta Sports Hall of Fame and Fort Normandeau, each offering its own glimpse into Alberta's rich history and sporting achievements.
After Calgary, the road leads you through beautiful Canadian rural landscapes to Edmonton, Alberta's capital. Along the way, you can make a stop at Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park to learn about the area's indigenous history.
Best places to stop between Winnipeg and Edmonton
There is so much to see and do along both routes on a drive from Winnipeg to Edmonton that you'll want to stop and rest along the way before exploring more of the region. Below are our favourite stops along the way, so you can rest well and get the most out of this amazing journey.
Relax in "Paris of the Prairies", Saskatoon
Saskatoon, the exciting heart of Saskatchewan, is an ideal stopover on the Saskatoon Route, around 8 hours and 20 minutes into the journey.
This wonderful city, named after the indigenous berry found in the region, is not only Saskatchewan's most populous metropolitan area but also a hub of cultural diversity, hosting tons of festivals, concerts, and sporting events throughout the year.
The city's appeal is magnified by attractions like the Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo and the indigenous cultural site of Wanuskewin. Adding to its charm is the fact that Saskatoon is affectionately nicknamed "Paris of the Prairies" and "Bridge City", thanks to its many river crossings.
For your overnight stay, we highly recommend the James Hotel. This contemporary boutique hotel, nestled in the bustling downtown area along the South Saskatchewan River, offers an unparalleled guest experience.
At the James Hotel, you can unwind at the James Lobby Bar, which offers a splendid view of the Meewasin River Valley. Each morning, a full hot breakfast awaits you in the Odessa Room, ensuring a delightful start to your day.
In the vicinity of the hotel, explore the rich heritage at the Ukrainian Museum of Canada, just a few steps away. Additionally, The Prairie Lily, situated a mere 1.2 km from the hotel, offers scenic river cruises that provide a unique perspective of the city.
Explore the tunnels underneath Moose Jaw
Moose Jaw, a key industrial centre and important railway junction, is an excellent stopover option on the Calgary Route, situated approximately 6 hours and 30 minutes from your starting point.
The city is the home of the Snowbirds, Canada's world-famous military aerobatic team, so you might be lucky to catch a show flight during your visit. Adding to its appeal are a casino and a geothermal spa, making it a fun and relaxing stop after your drive.
The city is famous for the Tunnels of Moose Jaw, a fascinating network of underground passages, and the Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, which features local art and history. You will find the latter in the beautiful Crescent Park.
For your stay, the Grant Hall Hotel is the perfect choice. This boutique hotel offers a blend of quiet comfort and intimate hospitality. Conveniently located off the Trans-Canada highway, it provides upscale accommodation with a range of amenities.
Here, you can relax in the lounge or savour fine dining in the Grant Hall Dining Room & Lounge. The hotel also features a winery and a rooftop terrace, ensuring a memorable stay. Its prime location makes it an ideal base for exploring major attractions.
The Tunnels of Moose Jaw, a key highlight of the city, are just 450 metres from the hotel, giving you an intriguing glimpse into the city's past. The Moose Jaw Museum and Art Gallery, located only 220 metres away, is another must-visit for art and history enthusiasts.
Where to stay when you reach Edmonton
Edmonton, Canada's youngest and fastest-growing capital city, is a hub of cultural diversity and plenty of big-city fun. On top of the nightlife, it has plenty of exciting highlights, such as the Muttart Conservatory, famous for its plant life in its four distinct glass pyramids.
If you love the outdoors, head to Elk Island National Park, a haven for wildlife and nature activities. Adding to Edmonton's unique charm is its claim to fame, housing the world's largest indoor roller coaster within one of the world's most extensive shopping malls.
Nestled in the heart of this amazing Canadian city is the JW Marriott Edmonton ICE District, Alberta's premier modern hotel. This luxury accommodation is ideally situated with easy access to Rogers Place and the bustling ICE District.
The hotel boasts an indoor pool and hot tub, perfect for relaxation after a day of city exploration. For dining, you can indulge in the best North American steakhouse cuisine at the hotel's restaurant.
One of the JW Marriott's highlights is its sun terrace, offering a space for you to unwind and soak in the city atmosphere. The hotel's location makes it the perfect starting point for activities like hiking and cycling, allowing you the chance to experience Edmonton's natural beauty and cityscape.
Things to see on a road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton
Even though this wonderful road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton takes you through beautiful rural areas, there's still plenty to see and do. To help you plan easier, we've listed our favourite highlights along the way.
- Fort La Reine Museum - Located near Portage la Prairie, this museum showcases over 25 historic buildings, providing a glimpse into the lives of pioneers and explorers of the Canadian prairies.
- Quill Lakes International Bird Area - A haven for birdwatchers, this area is known for its significant populations of migratory birds and is one of Canada's most important bird habitats.
- Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa - Situated in Watrous, this resort offers a therapeutic mineral spa, drawing from the naturally occurring mineral-rich waters of Little Manitou Lake.
- Saskatoon Forestry Farm Park and Zoo - This park and zoo in Saskatoon, originally established as a tree nursery, offer a blend of wildlife viewing and historical insights.
- Big Valley Park - Located near Saskatoon, this park provides a tranquil outdoor setting, perfect for picnics, hikes, and enjoying the natural beauty of Saskatchewan.
- Saskatchewan Railway Museum - Situated near Saskatoon, this museum celebrates the rich railway history of Saskatchewan with various exhibits and historic trains.
- Wanuskewin - Near Saskatoon, Wanuskewin is a centre for understanding and experiencing the culture and heritage of the Northern Plains indigenous peoples.
- Western Development Museum (WDM) - This museum in Saskatoon offers an immersive look into the social and economic development of Western Canada, with exhibits from the late 19th century onwards.
- Old Northwest - A historical region that showcases the diverse cultural and natural history of the northwestern part of Saskatchewan.
- Bresaylor Museum - This museum provides insights into the local history of the Bresaylor area, with various artefacts and displays.
- Kenilworth Lake - A scenic spot near the Saskatoon route, ideal for outdoor activities like fishing, boating, and enjoying the serene lake views.
- Vegreville Pysanka - A giant Ukrainian Easter egg, or pysanka, in Vegreville, symbolising the area's rich Ukrainian heritage.
- Elk Island National Park - A national park near Edmonton, famous for its conservation efforts for bison and other wildlife, along with offering hiking, camping, and stargazing opportunities.
- Stone Hall Castle - A unique castle-like structure in Regina, offering guided tours that showcase its luxurious interiors and rich history.
- Royal Saskatchewan Museum - Located in Regina, this museum is dedicated to the natural history of Saskatchewan, featuring various exhibits on the region's flora, fauna, and indigenous cultures.
- Lakeshore Park Kwakiutl Totem Pole - A totem pole in Moose Jaw's Lakeshore Park, representing the Kwakiutl indigenous culture and serving as an important cultural symbol.
- Western Development Museum Moose Jaw - This museum in Moose Jaw focuses on the history of transportation and industry in Saskatchewan, with a variety of engaging exhibits.
- Saskatchewan Burrowing Owl Interpretive Centre - Located in Moose Jaw, this centre is dedicated to the conservation of the endangered burrowing owl and offers educational programs about this unique species.
- Tunnels of Moose Jaw - A network of underground tunnels in Moose Jaw, famous for historical tours that explores stories of early Chinese immigrants and Al Capone's alleged bootlegging activities.
- Swift Current Museum - A museum in Swift Current that provides an in-depth look into the region's history, from its indigenous roots to modern developments.
- Grotto Gardens Family Fun Farm - A family-oriented attraction near Swift Current, offering a petting zoo, play areas, and various farm-themed activities.
- Saamis Tepee - Located in Medicine Hat, this is the world's tallest tepee, standing as a tribute to Canada's native heritage.
- Echo Dale Regional Park - A beautiful park near Medicine Hat, featuring a man-made lake, historical farms, and recreational facilities.
- Blackfoot Crossing Historical Park - Near Calgary, this cultural centre and museum celebrate the history and culture of the Siksika Nation and other Blackfoot tribes.
- Heritage Park Historical Village - Canada's largest living history museum, located in Calgary, showcasing life in the western Canadian frontier from the 1860s to the 1950s.
- Calgary Zoo - A top-rated zoo in Calgary, known for its diverse animal exhibits and commitment to conservation and animal care.
- Alberta Sports Hall of Fame - Located in Red Deer, this facility celebrates Alberta's sports history with interactive exhibits and a collection of sports memorabilia.
- Fort Normandeau - A historic site in Red Deer, representing the meeting of three distinct cultures - Indigenous, European, and Métis - and their roles in the development of Western Canada.
Best time to go on a road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton
The road trip from Winnipeg to Edmonton can be undertaken any time of the year. However, each season will vary with its own highlights and challenges.
In winter, expect Edmonton's average daytime temperatures to hover between -20 to -5 degrees Celsius. Prepare for challenging driving conditions, particularly in rural areas where whiteouts are common.
Despite the cold, Edmonton's winter landscape is picturesque, with plenty of holiday celebrations and outdoor decorations to enjoy.
Spring and autumn are beautiful seasons for this road trip. With Edmonton's temperatures ranging from -2 to 16 degrees Celsius, the weather can be mild at times and you can catch the perfect window for spending time outdoors late spring or early autumn.
These seasons offer a balance of pleasant weather and fewer tourists, allowing for a more relaxed journey. In spring, your trip might coincide with beautiful wildflower blooms. If you're travelling during fall, you can expect one of the most beautiful fall colour shows in North America.
Summer in Edmonton sees temperatures typically ranging from 10 to 24 degrees Celsius. This season is peak tourist time; the city buzzes with activities like the Taste of Edmonton Food Festival in July, but expect heavier traffic around major cities and higher hotel rates.
The city hosts the Edmonton Folk Festival in August, a popular festival for music lovers and anyone wanting to enjoy the culture of rural Canada. Along the Saskatoon Route, the Winnipeg Folk Festival in July and the Saskatoon Fringe Theatre Festival in August are other major summer events not to be missed.
On the Calgary Route, events like the Spectrum Festival in Medicine Hat from May to June and the Calgary Stampede in July offer unique local experiences not to be missed.