Crowsnest Pass National Historic Event
Crowsnest Lake, Alberta
(© Parks Canada Agency / Agence Parcs Canada)
ighway 3 pullout, Crowsnest Lake, Alberta
Historic Sites and Monuments Act (R.S.C., 1985, c. H-4)
Canadian Pacific Railway built rail line in 1897, government subsidies led to Crowsnest rates
Existing plaque: ighway 3 pullout, Crowsnest Lake, Alberta
Although known to the Kootenai Indians, this pass was ignored by early explorers. The first white man to use it was Michael Phillips, who crossed from west to east in 1873 and had cut a pack trail through the pass by 1879. Phillips and Sam Steele of the North-West Mounted Police who crossed the pass in 1888, drew attention to the area's coal deposits. In 1897 the C.P.R. built the Crowsnest Pass line to forestall American control of the Kootenay Valley. The opening of the pass by rail played a major role in linking southern Alberta and B.C. and in the exploitation of their mineral resources.