The remains of the Leitch Colleries is a provincial historic site which is easily accessed from the #3 highway west of Bellevue. Admission is minimal, and donations are gratefully accepted. 2007 admission rates are: adults $2.00, seniors $1.50, children 7 and over $1.00, families $5.00. Children 6 and under are free.What is left here are the wall...more
The Bellevue Mine was originally owned by Western Canadian Colleries, and closed its operations in 1962. It was reopened to the public a few years ago. The mine, like others in the area, was no stranger to disaster. It suffered a major explosion in 1910 and 30 men were killed.Visitors don hard hats fitted with a head lamp and battery pack and tour...more
The Hillcrest Mine Disaster has the dubious distinction of being the worst mining disaster in Canadian history. 189 miners were killed June 19, 1914 when an explosion rocked the mine. No one knows for sure what caused the explosion, but it is suspected that the cause was a build up of methane gas. Miners had complained for several days prior to the...more
In Coleman you can follow the original path that miner's once took to get to work at the McGillivray Mine. The path is approximately 1/2 km one way and follows the Nez Perce Creek. Bring your insect repellent! We almost got eaten alive the day we took this walk!To reach the trailhead, drive to Flumerfelt park in Coleman. The park has a small...more
The #3 highway passes through the Frank Slide, but it is not the original roadway. To access the original old road through the slide, turn south just past the road to the Interpretive Centre, into the Frank Industrial Park. This is the original townsite for Frank and only part of the original town was buried by the slide.As soon as you enter the...more
In the early morning of April 29, 1903, the side of Turtle Mountain collapsed, partially burying the tiny town of Frank, as its inhabitants lay sleeping. About 70 people were killed. In about a minute and a half, the rockslide covered just over one square mile of ground about 500 feet deep. The interpretive centre discusses the slide, how and why...more
There is no shortage of wildlife in the Crowsnest Pass area. You will find virtually anything you want - black bears, grizzlies, cougars, deer, elk, moose, fish of every type imaginable, ducks, grouse and other game birds (I saw a wild turkey running along the road one day!), eagles, hawks and small birds of every species imaginable.....Whether you...more
As you drive down the old road through the Frank Slide, you will eventually reach the eastern edge of the slide. A short distance further east down this little road, the road takes a sharp turn to the right. Look to your left before the turn, and you will see the 3 towers from the old limestone kilns which briefly mined limestone from the slide.You...more
The Pass Powderkeg ski hill is right in the town of Blairmore. Talk about convenient!But "hill" is the operative word here. This is not a particularly challenging spot to ski, nor do they have any really long runs. Native Albertans would never drive here to ski, but if you've never tried skiing before, or you really don't care where you go skiing,...more
The Burmis Tree is a well-known landmark of the Pass, and silently stands watch over the area. It is located at the eastern edge of the Pass, a few miles east of Bellevue along the #3 highway.The tree is a 300 year old limber pine. The chinook winds have taken their toll on this tree, as evidenced by its steep lean to the east. It has been dead for...more
When travelling through the Crows Nest Pass District, stop in at the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre. Just to see the site itself is amazing. The whole side of a mountain, Turtle Mountain, collapsed one morning, taking out the town of Frank with it. It is pricey to go inside, and I actually haven't been in the centre itself, but I've walked around...more
This is an excellent place but Camping Girl has fabricated part of her review. This place is a Pub but they do let kids in until 8 PM, just returned with our 7 year old. She also stated the burgers are 6 oz patties, they are indeed great burgers but they are actually 8 oz patties. Now you know the real story, you CAN take kids and you will get a...more
This is another adult-only spot, but the food here is really great. The menu features the typical appetizers, steaks, burgers, sandwiches, etc. We have never had a bad meal here, and the portions are quite large.The decor of the bar is that of an old country saloon. They have live entertainment occasionally. My ex loves the appetizer platter so...more
The Rum Runner is a pub, so children are not allowed. But if your group of adults is looking for a great place to eat, look no further than The Rum Runner in Coleman.The food here is fantastic. The menu features thin-crust pizzas, salads, pastas, the biggest home-made burgers you'll find anywhere (I dare you to order the 2-pounder!), excellent...more
Thunder in the Valley is held in conjunction with the Pass's annual Rum Runner Days. For 2007 the fireworks will be held on July 21st, at 11:00 pm. This is a fireworks display of phenomenal caliber. It is amazing and well worth your time. Put on by the Blairmore Fire Department.
I don't have any photos of the fireworks because I am a really BAD! photographer! You'll have to take my word for it. People come from far & wide to watch the fireworks. The link to their official website below will allow you to see some photos of previous years' shows.
Parking is tricky. Get there hours in advance, plan which way you need to go when you leave & park accordingly. Or better yet, get a hotel room or campsite & you can worry about getting out of town the next day!
The fireworks are held at the Isabel Sellon school grounds in Blairmore.
Dress Code: ENTERING BLAIRMORE PRIOR TO FIREWORKS: After 5 p.m. please enter Blairmore from the EAST & WEST accesses, the CENTRE access south bound lane will be CLOSED TO ALL VEHICLES except emergency vehicles. If you are traveling back towards BC after the fireworks make sure to park your vehicle facing west and if you are traveling east towards, Lethbridge, then park with your vehicle facing east.
LEAVING BLAIRMORE AFTER THE FIREWORKS: After the fireworks traffic will be forced to make “RIGHT TURNS” only from their respective parking spots, with NO EXCEPTIONS! This will ease the congestion in the area. KNOW THE DIRECTION you will be traveling after the fireworks, BEFORE YOU PARK!
You will see abandoned coal mines all over the Pass area. A tipple is still standing directly south of Bellevue along the #3 highway.
These old buildings are very interesting to a history buff. My hubby is completely enthralled with old mines, for some reason. But no matter how interested or curious or excited you may be about discovering an old mine, DO NOT enter any old mine buildings or shafts. This is extremely dangerous. Gases are still present in many abandoned mine shafts. As well, the old mine shafts and buildings have been abandoned for a long time (some as much as 100 years now). They are very unstable and can collapse without warning. Even the ground around some of the old mines is very unstable - old mine shafts often collapse in this area.
A friend of ours was almost swallowed up by an unknown mine while walking a cat across an open field a few years ago. The ground under him collapsed under the weight of the dozer. No one knew there was an old mine shaft there. There were so many mines in the late 1800's in this area, that not all of them are known at this time.
So, admire and photograph from a safe distance. Avoid exploring at all costs!
The West Castle Ski Resort is about 40 miles south of the Pass. This is getting to be a very popular spot to ski. They have just opened a whole new ski hill and they now offer many levels of skiing, from extreme skiing, to double black diamond and easier runs. This spot has been a local secret for quite a few years. I am not a skier, but I am told...more
The first time I ever went far south into Alberta, I was amazed by two things; the irrigation systems, and the windmills. Up north here, we have neither.If you stop at a giant windmill, there are actually pamphlets you can pick up at them that explain all about wind power, hows its used, who uses it, etc. Very interesting, if thats your type of...more