Crowsnest Pass: Travelling Off-The-Beaten-Path
It’s always great to see popular tourist attractions! But, more often than not, I find I like to "take the road less travelled". Here are some reasons why you should consider adding Crowsnest Pass as a destination on your next road trip itinerary.
What to Do
Frank Slide Interpretive Center
The town of Frank is home to Canada’s most deadly rock slide. In 1903, almost 110 million tonnes of a mountain crashed down on the town. The highway has since been rebuilt and you can drive straight through the rubble. Geologists are constantly assessing the mountain’s stability. Geologists believe that there will be another rockslide. While that may sound scary, rest assured the current data suggests the mountain is moving at “turtle-like speeds”.
To learn more about Frank Slide, visit the Interpretive Center. There are exhibits, artifacts, a viewing area, and a 1-mile interpretive loop.
Hike Turtle Mountain
You can hike up the mountain that collapsed in the Frank Slide and look down at the rock spread from the summit. If you carry on to the second summit, you reach the mountain monitoring station. This is where geologists are monitoring the mountain’s stability with state-of-the-art technology.
The hike up turtle mountain starts at the Blairmore side of the mountain. There is good signage on the streets when driving to the trailhead.
Hiking with Barry has a great summary of the hike.
Hike Crowsnest Mountain
Crowsnest Mountain is a neat looking mountain with a very tempting peak. We loved this hike for the technical aspects and the views from the top.
Trailpeaks has an excellent trail summary.
Bellevue Underground Mine Tours
Have you ever been in a coal mine before? Or been curious about the history of Albertan underground mining? Bellevue Underground Mine Tours goes 1,000 feet down an authentic coal mine.
The Lundbreck Falls is one of 4 waterfalls in the Pass. We find this spot is a great pit stop to stretch the legs since it’s right off the highway into town.
There are lots of viewpoints (and photo opps). You can even swim at the base of the falls!
Where to Sleep
Chinook Provincial Campground
Each campsite at this campground is very well treed, cozy and private. The campground is part of Chinook Provincial Recreational Area. There is easy access to Chinook Lake and all the lake activities. Have a picnic by the lake, enjoy the beach and water, go fishing, or run/walk/bike the many trails.
Beaver Mines Lake Campground
Beaver Mines Lake is another picturesque Albertan Lake in the Crowsnest Area. Many of the campsites at the Beaver Mines Campground back onto the lake, and offer mountain views. The lake is trout-stocked and has a boat launch, making it a great place for fishing and boating.
Where to Eat
Cinnamon Bear Café and Bakery
We have yet to try something from the Cinnamon Bear that we didn’t like! It’s right off the highway in Coleman, so accessible when driving to and from activities. Further, the food and drinks cater to most dietary restrictions including vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free, and gluten-free.
Great spot for dinner in Coleman. Passersby know this restaurant for its burgers and pub foods. They offer a variety of meal options and a selection of our favourite: poutine!
If you’re thinking about a campervan road trip in Southern Alberta, consider stopping in Crowsnest Pass. The less-trafficked area has a lot to offer travellers by way of history and activities. Better yet, plan out this 7-day road trip: Crowsnest to Fernie to Radium to Banff.
If you have any recommendations on other hidden gems, please pass them along! New Age Travel and Services loves to hear about your travels.