TRIP REPORT ā€“ Alberta 93 (Castle Junction to Wasa Lake + Whiteswan Provincial Park

October 5, 2023

This route followed Alberta highway 93 Castle Junction to Wasa Lake through Kootenay National Park. Unfortunately, this was the last day that the Trans Canada Highway was closed between Castle Junction and Lake Louise. As you can imagine – the road was stupidly busy !.

 

Whiteswan Provincial Park

A long and poorly marked forestry dirt road to Whiteswan Lake. Arrived late in the evening, needed flashlights to cook dinner and set up the tent. During the night, the elk were calling, and there was one splashing in the lake quite close to my campsite. The morning, calm and foggy. Pulled out the tripod for the first time in the trip, to photograph the foggy – almost mystic scene. Later, a person fishing in the lake surrounded by fog and a slowly rising sun.

TRIP REPORT ā€“ Canmore + Alberta 742 + Alberta 40 loop

October 4, 2023.

This post describes the Canmore + Alberta 742 + Alberta 40 loop. The route heads south on Alberta 742 from Canmore, passes Spray Lakes Reservoir, Spray Valley Provincial Park – Peter Lougheed Provincial Park and returns via Alberta 40.

TRIP REPORT ā€“ Forestry Trunk Road (Hinton to Ghost Valley)

Iā€™d been looking forward to solo roadtrip to the mountains since I had left my Toyota Landcruiser in Edmonton after the mass evacuation in August.  The truck was already packed with camping gear, clothes and food. Being retired I could take a road trip and hit some of the best fall colors in the Alberta.

My truck is slow (the story goes that 1991 FJ80 Landcruisers will only reach 100km/hr going downhill), and not wanting to drive at length on the Trans Canada Highway, secondary and tertiary roads are my preference. As this was also my first solo trip, and my first lengthy road trip with the Landcruiser.  I didn’t want to go on off-road trails, or technically challenging routes. This was to be a ‘Shake-down’ trip.

 

On October 1, with the truck fuelled up (plus 30l in extra fuel) and coffee in hand, I pointed the truck west to Hinton.

Having read reviews for the Forestry Trunk Road I was confident the road would be fine, if not quite dusty. The Forestry Trunk Road (FTR) runs for 1000 kilometers from Grande Cache to Coleman in the Crowsnest Pass. Most of the road (~800km) is gravel and the remaining 200km is  paved. The FTR was a north-south resource road, some segments of the road have been designated as parts of Highway 40 or Highway 734. The Forestry Trunk Road runs mostly through Crown Land, it is possible to camp just about anywhere, or in provincial campsites. 

 

This post describes the route from Hinton via Nordegg to Ghost Valley. I did a modified route. From Hinton taking the Robb Road and Pembina River Road  joining the Forestry Trunk Road near McLoed River. According to Google Maps, this is a 6 hour 51 minute (440km) route. I took three days- beautiful scenery and washboard roads made the drive quite a bit longer than expected. 

Day 1: October 1, 2023. 138km

The Pembina Road runs through appropriately named ‘Coal Valley ‘; coal mining, logging, oil and gas wells.

Camped at McLoed River.

Day 2: October 2, 2023.

To Nordegg and beyond. Google maps did not record the entire route.   I camped near the green dot shown on the map.

 

Day 3: October 3, 2023.

Camped on the Ghost Valley Road overlooking the Ghost River.

Summary. This route is highly recommended. I was especially fortunate, as the road conditions were good, and the fall colours were superb.  Additionally, there were very few vehicles on the road. Other drivers on this route had mentioned an abundance of industry-related vehicles.

Another post will highlight the Canmore + Alberta 742 +  Alberta 40 loop.

1991 Toyota Landcruiser FJ80

One of the youngest trucks in my fleet – Only 31 years old !.

It is a US truck, in miles – slightly confusing when the speed limits in Canada are in Km.  Compared to most trucks of its age (e.g. old battered Ford pickups), there is no rust and a few small dents and scratches.   It does have a crack in the windshield, though where I live that is considered normal.  The combination of extreme cold and gravel roads makes cracked windshields inevitable.

It has a ARB front bumper, Warn Zeon 12 winch, ARB airlocker on rear differential, 2.5″ Old Man Emu heavy lift, rocker guards and a 23Zero rooftop tent on a DIY roof rack with Smittybuilt + 8020 rails.

Needs minor things like a new windshield, mudflaps, and flares. Mechanically very solid.

Maintained properly for the past 4 years for sure, can’t speak past that as no records.

I count the emission delete as an upgrade lol.

 

For winter use, the is a liner for the 23Zero tent and a Propex2000 heater.

Really tempted to have a Campteq poptop tent installed for additional headroom. 

Got any questions or comments – Drop me a line.

 

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For sale: Toyota land cruiser landcruiser diesel manual BJ42

1980 BJ42 Toyota landcruiser.

Diesel (3b engine), 4 speed, two speed transfer case (2H, 4H, 4L). 10% gear reduced transfer case to compensate for the large tires. Drives and runs well. Rear body needs work. missing rear window on passenger side. Winch. Front turn light removed and is included. $5800 – OBO. Clear Title. Not at location shown in photos. **** Don’t ask if still Available. If post is up – it is available.

 
 
Yellowknife