|<map lat="51.03306000000023" lng="-114.03834000000021" zoom="09" view="0"/>|
|Population:||1,071,515 (22 July 2010)|
|Major roads:||Trans-Canada Highway, Queen Elizabeth Highway|
|Meet fellow hitchhikers on Trustroots|
Calgary is an important city in the province of Alberta, Canada. As with most cities, hitchhiking is easy once at the outskirts; its just getting there and finding that initial spot that can be tricky. Public transit is $3.00 for 90 minutes.
Calgary is located not far from Banff National Park.
- Hitching North out of Calgary can be hard. There are a lot of commuters traveling between Calgary, and Airdrie, but they are mostly interested in getting to work, or getting home so they may not be so accommodating. Airdrie City Transit has an Intercity Express that travels between the cities about 10 times a day. The fare is $8.00. These buses stop at downtown Calgary, and the McKnight west winds LRT station. Hitch hiking north out of Airdie will be much easier.
- The easiest way to get out of the city is find a friend and get a lift to the tiny town of Balzac just North of the city. Then, one simply has to find the highway intersection (traffic-light controlled) and start hitching. For those without friends with cars, one could take public transport to the intersection of Country Hills Blvd NE and the Deerfoot Trail using googlemaps to find a route. Coming from down town, the best way is to take a NE train to McKnight station, and then take the 100 bus route. Once at the intersection, one could either begin to hitchhike or hail a cab and spend some hard earned cash getting to Balzac and going from there.
- You can get to the airport by Bus 300 ($3) and then just walk back following the Airport Trail to Highway 2 (Deerfoot Trail). The ramp has not much of traffic, but as you walk further North to the Country Hills Blvd NE the shoulder gets wide enough.
East towards Strathmore, Medicine Hat (Regina)
Going East one can take a NE train to Rundle station, then take bus number 48 to the intersection of Stoney Trail NE and the Trans Canada Hwy. It should then be easy to get a ride from the onramp. The better onramp is probably the one that branches East off of Stoney Trail NE as the cars are going slower and (for Calgary) its a largish intersection. If you don't mind walking a little bit, around 1.5km further along the highway from the above-mentioned onramp there is a set of traffic lights. Head down to just before where the road branches off to the right, and cars are traveling slow, and all the eastbound traffic along the TransCanada is passing you. Best have a big sign.
South towards Okotoks, Lethbridge, US Border
South is one of the easier directions to hitchhike as its fairly easy to get to an onramp. There are two spots to consider.
The first (and possibly better) option is the onramp at the intersection of the Deetfoot Trail and Cranston Ave SE. Get here by taking a Southbound train to Somerset station (last stop) and then taking the 406 to Cranston and Canarch SE, and then finally walking to the highway.
The second option is the onramp at Macleod Trail and 194 Ave SE. One would assume this option would have less traffic than the other, but it is still possible. Taking bus 78 after leaving the Somerset train station will get you within a couple blocks of the onramp and you can start hitchhiking.
West is tricky. There is a community called Valley Ridge that public transport can get you to. From there you could hitchhike at the onramp to the Transcanada Hwy. However, there may be limited traffic coming from here, the majority of rides not offering to go very far. There is a pull off about 500m west of this overpass that can work very well. It is highly visible, and there is plenty of room for cars to pull off. One could get here by taking a NW train to Crowfoot station (last stop) and then taking bus 408 to Valley Ridge.
Another option would be to start thumbing at the traffic light at the bottom of Canada Olympic Park. This option is likely more favourable, and has been mentioned before. The traffic light is at the junction of the Transcanada and Bowfort Rd NW. The transit instructions are the same as above, however, one should get off the bus on Bowfort road, before the intersection with the Transcanada.