Alberta Highway 16

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Alberta Highway 16 shield Alberta Yellowhead Highway shield

Highway 16
Yellowhead Highway
Route information
Length: 641 km (398 mi)
Major junctions
East end: Saskatchewan border in Lloydminster
continues as Hwy 16 (TCH)
  Hwy 17 in Lloydminster
Hwy 41 at Vermilion
Hwy 36 near Lavoy
Hwy 15 near Mundare
Hwy 21 near Sherwood Park
Hwy 216 between Sherwood Park and Edmonton
Hwy 15 in Edmonton
Hwy 28 in Edmonton
Hwy 2 in Edmonton
Hwy 216 in Edmonton
Hwy 60 at Acheson
Hwy 43 west of Stony Plain
Hwy 22 from Entwistle to west of Evansburg
Hwy 47 west of Edson
Hwy 40 near Hinton
Hwy 93 (Icefields Parkway) in Jasper
West end: British Columbia border west of Jasper
continues as BC 16
and rural
Jasper, I.D. No. 12, Yellowhead County, Parkland County, Strathcona County, I.D. No. 13, Lamont County, Minburn No. 27 County, Vermilion River County
Major cities: Spruce Grove, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Lloydminster
Towns: Hinton, Edson, Vegreville, Vermilion
Villages: Wabamun, Innisfree, Mannville, Kitscoty
Highway system

Provincial highways in Alberta

Hwy 15 Hwy 16A
Yellowhead Trail westbound between 50 Street and 66 Street in Edmonton

Alberta Provincial Highway No. 16,[1] or the Yellowhead Highway, is the main east-west highway traversing central Alberta, Canada. It is designated a core route in Canada's National Highway System[2] and forms the Yellowhead branch of the Trans-Canada Highway. Highway 16 spans approximately 633 km (393 mi) from Alberta's border with British Columbia in the west to its border with Saskatchewan in the east.[3][4] As of 2010, all but less than 95 km (59 mi) of the route was divided, with a minimum of two lanes in each direction.[4]

Route description[edit]

From west to east, Highway 16 passes through Jasper National Park, Hinton, Edson, Spruce Grove, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Elk Island National Park, Vegreville, Vermilion, and Lloydminster.[3] Signalized intersections exist in Jasper, Hinton, Edson, Edmonton, and Lloydminster. Highway bypass alignments have been planned for Hinton, Edson, and Lloydminster, all of which have been designated as Provincial Highway No. 16X.[3]

Within the City of Edmonton, Highway 16 is named Yellowhead Trail. Most sections of Yellowhead Trail are free-flowing, while numerous intersections between 156 Street and 50 Street are signalized. Plans call for replacement of all signalled intersections with interchanges, flyovers and closures to bring Yellowhead Trail up to freeway standards by the year 2041.[5][6]


The Yellowhead Highway follows a native trail of the same name. During the early 1800s, Pierre Bostonais, an Iroquois-Métis trapper with streaks of blonde in his hair, worked for the Hudson's Bay Company. Because of his hair colour, French Voyageurs referred to him as "Tête Jaune", literally "Yellow Head". By 1819, Bostonais acted as a guide for the company and had explored a route between the Fraser River and the present city of Prince George.[7] Half a century late, the Canadian National Railway (CNR) would construct a routeline along what came to be known as the Yellowhead Trail.[8]

Following World War I, as automobile use increased exponentially, CNR surveyor Fred Driscoll and Edmonton Automobile and Good Roads Association president formed a committee lobbying for the creation of the Yellowhead Highway. Discoll believed the abandoned railway bed would be an ideal base for a road. The Edmonton Automobile Association offered a gold medal to the first person to travel from Edmonton to Victoria through the gap. Charles Neiymer and Frank Silverthorne left in 4x4 on June 17, 1922. The following week, George Gordon and J. Sims departed Edmonton in a Ford Model T, following the same route. On July 4, both pairs arrived in Victoria and were each awarded gold medals.[8]

However, it would take until World War II for any improvements to be made this overland route. The displacement of many Japanese-Canadians from the Pacific coast to internment camps in the interior led to some developments. 30 km (19 mi) of road was constructed along the railway bed, and an additional 40 km (25 mi) through steep terrain. By 1944, the Tote Road was opened through Jasper and into the Fraser Valley.[8]

In August 1948, a motorcade was organized as a demonstration of the need for the highway. he Trans-Canada Highway Act was enacted in 1949, providing a 90% subsidy to upgrade selected routes to modern standards. However, the Tote Highway was not included under this subsidy.[8] During the same time frame, the Trans Mountain Oil Pipe Line Company began looking at the Tote Road as a potential route for a pipeline between Edmonton and Vancouver. Construction began in 1952, and largely resulted in the destruction of the road along the pipeline's path.[8]

Gradually, work progressed to reconstruct the highway. Elsewhere, the main route of the Trans-Canada Highway was completed in 1957. The Yellowhead Highway became eligible for federal funding soon thereafter.[9] By 1969, the Tote Road was generally rebuilt and paved. On August 15, 1970, British Columbia Premier W. A. C. Bennett officially opened the Yellowhead Highway.[10]

Major intersections[edit]

The following is a list of major intersections along Alberta Highway 16 from west to east, including exit numbers where applied.[3][4]

Municipality Exit km Description
Municipality of Jasper   0 Begins at the Alberta–British Columbia border
Enters Jasper National Park
  24 Alberta Highway 93.svg Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) branches south

Western access into Jasper

  25 Alberta Highway 93A.svg Highway 93A branches south
Central access into Jasper
  28 Eastern access into Jasper
I.D. No. 12
(Jasper National Park)
  74 Exits Jasper National Park
Yellowhead County   93 Alberta Highway 40.svg Highway 40 branches north near Entrance
Highway 40 concurrency begins
Town of Hinton   95 Alberta Highway 40.svg Highway 40 branches south
Highway 40 concurrency ends
Yellowhead County 180 177 Highway 47 branches south
Future Highway 947 branches north
Town of Edson   187 Intersects 51 Street, which connects to Highway 748
Yellowhead County   219 Highway 32 branches north
  232 Passes through Niton Junction
  245 Highway 751 branches north at Nojack
  256 Highway 753 branches south
  275 Alberta Highway 16A.svg Highway 16A branches northeast
  278 Alberta Highway 22.svg Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) branches north
Highway 22 concurrency begins
n/a 284 Crosses Pembina River
Parkland County 289 285 Alberta Highway 16A.svg Highway 16A branches northwest at Entwistle
Alberta Highway 22.svg Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) branches south
Highway 22 concurrency ends
  294 Highway 757 branches north
  299 Passes south of Gainford
306 302 Highway 759 branches south towards Seba Beach
  309 Passes through Fallis
  312 Highway 765 branches north
Village of Wabamun 324 321 Intersects Range Road 40B/50 Street
Parkland County 327 324 Former Highway 30 branches south
  329 Intersects Duffield access road
  336 Highway 770 branches south
340 337 Alberta Highway 43.svg Highway 43 branches north
344 341 Alberta Highway 16A.svg Highway 16A branches southeast
355 352 Intersects Highway 779 north of Stony Plain
City of Spruce Grove 360 356 Intersects Range Road 274/Campsite Road
363 359 Intersects Range Road 272/Century Road)
Parkland County 368 364 Highway 44 branches north
371 367 Alberta Highway 60.svg Highway 60 branches south at Acheson
City of Edmonton 376 372 Intersects Winterburn Road
378 374 Intersects Alberta Highway 216.svg Highway 216 (Anthony Henday Drive)
379 376 Intersects 184 Street NW
381 377 Intersects 170 Street NW
383 379 Intersects 156 Street NW
385 381 Intersects Mark Messier Trail/St. Albert Trail
Alberta Highway 2.svg Highway 2 branches north
389 386 Intersects 97 Street NW
Alberta Highway 28.svg Highway 28 branches north
391 387 Intersects 82 Street NW
392 388 Intersects Fort Road/Wayne Gretzky Drive
394 391 Intersects 50 Street NW
Alberta Highway 15.svg Highway 15 branches north
397 393 Intersects Victoria Trail/118 Avenue NW
n/a 394 Crosses the North Saskatchewan River on the Beverly Bridge (eastbound) and Clover Bar Bridge (westbound)
City of Edmonton/
Strathcona County
398 395 Intersects Hayter Road/17 Street NW
400 396 Alberta Highway 216.svg Highway 216 (Anthony Henday Drive) branches south
400C 398 Intersects 17 Street NE/Broadmoor Boulevard
403 399 Intersects 33 Street NE/Sherwood Drive
Strathcona County 405 401 Intersects Range Road 231/Clover Bar Road
406 403 Intersects Alberta Highway 21.svg Highway 21
413 409 Highway 824 branches south to Ardrossan
  414 Intersects Highway 830
I.D. No. 13 (Elk Island National Park)   430 Range Road 201A branches north within Elk Island National Park, which connects to Highway 831
Lamont County   442 Intersects Highway 834
  463 Intersects Alberta Highway 15.svg Highway 15 and Highway 855 south of Mundare
County of Minburn No. 27   474 Highway 631 branches east
481 478 Alberta Highway 16A.svg Highway 16A branches southeast towards Vegreville
  487 Intersects Highway 857
492 489 Alberta Highway 16A.svg Highway 16A branches northwest towards Vegreville
  499 Passes through Lavoy
  505 Intersects Alberta Highway 36.svg Highway 36 (Veterans Memorial Highway)
  514 Passes through Ranfurly
Village of Innisfree   526 Intersects Highway 870
County of Minburn No. 27   538 Passes south of Minburn
Village of Mannville   551 Intersects Highway 881
County of Vermilion River 577 573 Intersects Alberta Highway 41.svg Highway 41 (Buffalo Trail) south of Vermilion
  594 Intersects Highway 893 at Kenilworth Lake
Village of Kitscoty   609 Intersects Highway 897
County of Vermilion River   621 Passes south of Blackfoot
City of Lloydminster   633 Ends at intersection with Alberta Highway 17.svg Highway 17 (50 Avenue) at the Saskatchewan border
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ Provincial Highways Designation Order, Alberta Transportation, p. 4 
  2. ^ "National Highway System". Transport Canada. 2009-12-13. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  3. ^ a b c d "2010 Provincial Highways 1 - 216 Series Progress Chart" (PDF). Alberta Transportation. March 2005. Retrieved 2011-02-13. 
  4. ^ a b c Alberta Official Road Map (Map) (2010 ed.). Alberta Tourism, Parks and Recreation. § J–2, J–3, I–3, I-4, I–5, I–6, I–7, J–7, I–8, and J–8. 
  5. ^ "Yellowhead Freeway in 2041". 630 CHED. June 14, 2011. Retrieved June 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ R. Gibbard/R. Toohey (June 14, 2011). "Yellowhead Trail Strategic Plan" (PDF). Project Status Report. City of Edmonton. Retrieved June 15, 2011. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c d e
  9. ^ "Saskatchewan's Highway Network". Department of Highways. Saskatchewan Government. Retrieved March 24, 2008. 
  10. ^ Anderson, Frank W. (1998). The Yellowhead Trail in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. Box 9055, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan: Frank W. Anderson. p. 105. 

External links[edit]

Route map: Bing / Google

Preceded by
BC Highway 16
Trans-Canada Highway
Highway 16
Succeeded by
SK Highway 16