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  1. #1
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    Touring Saskatchewan 2013

    Planning a trip next late spring through/around Saskatchewan so I was just wondering if anyone on here had put any miles on through the province. Just wondering as far as road conditions, shoulder width, and traffic volume experienced by other tourers.

  2. #2
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    Just wondering... have you been everywhere else already in Canada? Don't get me wrong, I love Saskatchewan (especially my 'Riders), but it is far from the top of my list in places in Canada that I would tour.

    However, if you're dead set on Saskatchewan, the roads are alright - off of the major highways like highway 11 connecting Saskatoon and Regina or the Trans-Canada you won't find much for a shoulder, and the quality is probably a little lower than those in Alberta, but better than Manitoba. Traffic volume isn't super high off of the main routes (and on the good side, they can see you for many miles), but it might be surprising how busy it can be in some places you'd think would be quiet, like around Estevan in the south.

  3. #3
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    Tragically I think the road conditions of Saskatchabush are going to make me adjust my tour back to Alberta. Being as 80% of the planned tour was secondary highway and even checking the route on google street view, it may just be safer to find some roads back here in AB that are more bike friendly.

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    The secondary highways are safe. They may be narrow with no shoulder, but there's also virtually no traffic.

  5. #5
    Senior Member adventurepdx's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by keenancook View Post
    However, if you're dead set on Saskatchewan, the roads are alright - off of the major highways like highway 11 connecting Saskatoon and Regina or the Trans-Canada you won't find much for a shoulder, and the quality is probably a little lower than those in Alberta, but better than Manitoba.
    I agree with that sentiment. My girlfriend and I rode Hwy 16, the Yellowhead Hwy, from the Alberta line at Lloydminster to Yorkton in the east, just shy of the Manitoba line. The Yellowhead west of Saskatoon was a four-lane divided highway, east of Saskatoon it's mostly a two-lane road. Shoulders were wide and paved on both sections with maybe one or two exceptions. Not the most exciting, scenery-wise, but enough services scattered about on regular intervals, and a decent amount of camping opportunities.

    Traveling on the secondary roads may be more interesting, most likely. A lot of dirt/gravel from what I remember.
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  6. #6
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Where are you from (generally, not specifically)? Have you been to Saskatchewan before? I have lived in Saskatchewan, and have cycled there, and it could be interesting to cycle certain parts ... but it isn't usually the first choice of a place for a tour.

    What part of Saskatchewan are you thinking of touring ... it's a big place.

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    Originally from Saskatoon area now living across the western border in eastern Alberta. The plan was head through Cold Lake to Meadow lake Provincial park, Chitek lake, Spiritwood, the battlefords, head south towards swift current a little east then back up towards and ending in Saskatoon.

  8. #8
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    In that case, you should have some idea what the roads are like ... and the fact that you're talking about quite a remote part of the world. Did you do any cycling when you were in Saskatoon?

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    I was just a wee lad when I lived there, so my recollection of the highways and byways are a little foggy and it probably been at least 10 years since I've been cycling in Saskatoon. I do have a very nice plan B route here in Alberta going from Grande Prairie to Jasper, under half the distance but 3x the elevation gain.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Livefreebikes View Post
    I was just a wee lad when I lived there, so my recollection of the highways and byways are a little foggy and it probably been at least 10 years since I've been cycling in Saskatoon. I do have a very nice plan B route here in Alberta going from Grande Prairie to Jasper, under half the distance but 3x the elevation gain.
    Along which road?

    The Forestry Trunk Road (Hwy 40) should be all paved by now (last time I was on it, it was still partially gravel, but they were working on it), but will likely have relatively heavy logging trucks. And that is a very, very remote road.

    The other highway down to Valleyview, Whitecourt, etc. might be a bit better, but longer.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    I lived in Saskatchewan for several years and I've been in and through the province many times as I have relatives there. I've done some short touring around Prince Albert when I lived there. The route you've suggested looks like a good one. From Swift Current to Saskatoon, I would personally avoid the Trans-Canada Highway and Highway 11. There's nothing wrong with those highways, but I find secondary highways a lot more enjoyable than the main highways.

    The secondary highways in Saskatchewan are good, even though the shoulders are narrow. Motorists in the province tend to be polite. They're used to slow-moving farm vehicles, so they won't get too annoyed with a slow-moving cyclist.

    One suggestion I have is to make sure your bike is in good condition and you have what you need in case of a breakdown along the way. Plan this trip the way you would plan a trip in any remote area. Your route is primarily rural with only a few towns of any size along the way. It is not likely you will find a bike shop in most of the smaller communities.
    Life is good.

  12. #12
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    Yeah highway 40 is the alternate route. Ive driven it a couple times in the past couple of years and absolutely love that route. Its all paved with decently wide shoulders, where as it is a very remote area its still not so bad as it concerns me. Between google maps and my backroad mapbooks I've mapped out my stops. I'll keep researching both routes and see what the spring brings

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