Centrally located in southern Alberta, Lethbridge is less than two-hours drive from a National Park, two Unesco World Heritage Sites and features some of the best antiquing you’ll find in the province!
Before hitting the road to choose your own adventure, be sure to check out road conditions on Alberta 511 – especially if you’re heading into the mountains or driving in winter.
Now, let’s see where these open Alberta highways will take you!
Getting to Lethbridge — Driving
Crowsnest Highway (#3) — West
When you're coming from B.C., Highway 3 connects you to Southern Alberta and Lethbridge! On your way here, you’ll find:
BC Border — 1 hour and 45 minutes
Crowsnest Pass (Frank Slide) — 1 and a half hours
Castle Mountain Resort (via HWY #507)— 1 and a half hours
Fort Macleod — 45 minutes
Crowsnest Highway (#3) — East
Heading east, Highway 3 connects Lethbridge to the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy. 1). Follow it east and you’ll find:
Medicine Hat – less than 2-hours
Dinosaur Provincial Park (via HWYs #36 and #544) — 2 hours
Saskatchewan Border — 2 and a half hours (via Hwy. 1)
Highway 5 South
Highway 5 heads southwest to the Canadian Rockies. Follow it past prairie vistas to mountain views (and literally through the hamlet of Mountain View!) and you’ll get to:
Waterton Lakes National Park — 1 hour and 45 minutes
Highway 4 South
Highway 4 heads southeast to the border crossing at Coutts, turning into the I-15 after Sweetgrass.
Writing-On-Stone Provincial Park — An hour and 30 minutes
Coutts (Border Crossing) — 1 hour
Queen Elizabeth II Highway (#2) North
Though Highway 2 doesn’t run through Lethbridge, it’s a main thoroughfare in southern Alberta. To get to the Queen E Highway, head west on Highway 3 for 45 minutes, where you’ll find the turnoff just after Fort Macleod.
From here, you can head to:
Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump — 45-minutes*
Calgary — 2 and a half hours (via Hwy. 22)*
Banff — 3 and a half hours (via Hwy. 22 & Hwy. 1)*
*Drive times are calculated from Lethbridge
Land Border Crossings
(listed from east to west)
Chief Mountain (open seasonally) — An hour and 45 minutes
Carway (open year-round) — An hour and 15 minutes
Del Bonita (open year-round) — One hour
Coutts/Sweetgrass (open year-round) — Just over an hour
Aden/Whitlash (open year-round) — 2 hours
Wild Horse (open year-round) — 2 hours and 45 minutes
YQL Lethbridge Airport
You can fly into Lethbridge. The Lethbridge Airport (YQL) is located just south of the city on Highway 5. It's a quick 15-minute drive from the airport into downtown (or just five minutes from the south end of town). Whether you’re renting a car at the airport or catching a taxi or an Uber, it’s a quick, easy trip to your hotel, and vice versa.
Southern Alberta is defined by its prairies and wide open spaces, which makes car-travel nearly essential. Lethbridge, however, becomes more walkable and bikeable each year – especially in and around downtown. When you do need to drive, traffic is usually light and the streets are often scenic.
The city is commonly broken up into three distinct districts, each of which is just a few minutes drive from the other:
The South Side, which is everything south of Highway 3 and east of the coulees. This includes most major shopping areas (like Costco), most hotels and the downtown core.
The North Side, which includes everything north of Highway 3 and east of the coulees.
13th St. N. is the heart of shopping and dining on the north side, and features a few unique restaurants and cafes, as well as some big-box retailers and grocers.
The West Side, which encompasses everything west of the coulees, and includes a few small shopping malls, as well as the new ATB Centre.
The ATB Centre, and the shopping area just east of it, offers a number of restaurants and activities for visitors. The nearby university grounds also offer great walking trails.
If driving isn’t your cup of tea, there are plenty of options for alternative transportation that will make travelling around the city a little more interesting.
Park your car (if you brought one) at the Lethbridge Regional Park and Ride Parkade. From here, hop on a bus, or take a five-minute stroll to explore the downtown core.
The Lethbridge Regional Park and Ride Parkade is the main hub for public transportation in the city. Buses connect all major districts and run:
Monday – Friday: 5:45 AM – 12 AM (midnight)
Saturday: 7 AM – 12 AM (midnight)
Sunday & Holidays: 8 AM – 7 PM
*Not all routes run on evenings and weekends
For more information, download the Lethbridge Transit app
Lethbridge is committed to making alternative and self-propelled transportation convenient, adding in new bike paths every year to connect more areas of the city.
The main bike paths of Lethbridge include:
7th Ave. S. is a gorgeous, traffic-controlled roadway shaded by mature elms which connects Henderson Lake to just south of downtown.
Mayor Magrath Bike Path is a separate path connecting the far south to North Lethbridge. It’s not the quietest ride, but there are plenty of coffee and ice cream shops along the way to sweeten the deal.
Scenic Drive Bike Path is a separate path following the coulees from downtown Lethbridge to Mayor Magrath Drive. Like the name suggests, it’s got some great coulee views along the way!
Coalbanks Trail follows green spaces and quiet residential streets, connecting Henderson Lake to the coulees – a local-favourite.
The Coulees feature tons of pathways on both the east and west side of The Oldman River to tempt you off-course.
Whoop Up Drive connects the West Side to South Lethbridge and features a scenic, separate path and pedestrian/bike bridge. Fair warning: with the extreme hills on either side, it’s a challenge even for the fit.
Downtown Lethbridge is extremely walkable, with wide sidewalks and the expansive Galt Gardens at its centre. The area offers access to local shopping, art galleries, museums, restaurants and the coulees – all on foot!