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Crowsnest Pass - History & Beauty in Southwestern Alberta, Canada

Updated on October 20, 2014
Back Side of Crowsnest Mouintain
Back Side of Crowsnest Mouintain | Source
Crowsnest Mountain - Winter Beauty
Crowsnest Mountain - Winter Beauty | Source

Seen from all corners of the Crowsnest Pass, Crowsnest Mountain stands proud as an icon of the area I live in.

Hiking up Crowsnest Mountain - 5.8 km to summit - 1040 meters elevation gained

Crowsnest Mountain is the crown jewel of hikes in the area. The massive form of the mountain can actually be summited by hikers without having to do any technical climbing. However, it is a long and difficult hike, with many hazards including danger from falling rock and some very exposed sections.

If you would like more information please refer to Hiking in the Southern Rockies by Joey Ambrosi.

Behind Crowsnest Mountain lays numerous trails that give locals and visitors alike hours of quadding, fishing, camping, horse back riding, snowmobiling, cross country skiing, and just about any other outdoor activity you can think of.

Crowsnest Mountain

Crowsnest Mountain
Crowsnest Mountain | Source

Turtle Mountain Slide

Turtle Mountain as seen from the East
Turtle Mountain as seen from the East | Source
Frank Slide as seen from the West
Frank Slide as seen from the West | Source

Turtle Mountain Slide

In Frank, Alberta, on April 29, 1903 at 4:10 in the morning, 90 Million tons of limestone rock slid 4 kilometers across the valley floor and rose to 152 meters above the valley floor. One of the largest landslides of Canadian History and still remains one of the deadliest. (70 to 90 people were killed, the actually number remains uncertain with the remains buried under the rock.

If you would like more information on the Frank Slide, check out the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre's website.

Hiking Turtle Mountain's North Peak - 3.1 kilometers to summit - 780 meters elevation gain

Turtle Mountain devastation as seen from the North
Turtle Mountain devastation as seen from the North | Source

Lille, Alberta - An Abandoned Ghost Town

Old Coke Ovens in Lille, Alberta
Old Coke Ovens in Lille, Alberta | Source
Abandoned Structure in Lille, Alberta
Abandoned Structure in Lille, Alberta | Source

Walking into Lille is a great way to take up a sunny Saturday afternoon, with a 6.3 kilometer walk one way.

With status as an Alberta Provincial Historic Site, a bit of searching will find basement depressions, bricks, rusted metal and a couple of fire hydrants. Along with a couple of old brick structures, there is still a large pile of slack coal and the remains of Lille's Bernard-type coke ovens.

Basement Foundation of Lille, Hotel
Basement Foundation of Lille, Hotel | Source

Window Mountain Lake - High Mountain Beauty

Fishing at Window Mountain Lake
Fishing at Window Mountain Lake | Source

Window Mountain Lake is a very popular spot in the Crowsnest Pass, as day hikers and anglers take the 2 kilometer hike to view the spectacular beauty of this high mountain lake. I myself can attest to the vibrant colors in the trout that live in this lake.

Although you are not able to see the window from the lake, it can be hiked to. It is only 1.6 kilometers from the lake to the summit with a 630 meter gain. The mountain itself is named Mount Ward.

Window Mountain
Window Mountain | Source

Castle Falls - Local Swimming Hot Spot

Castle Falls
Castle Falls | Source
Taking a Break at Castle Falls
Taking a Break at Castle Falls | Source

A favorite spot of my children, Castle Falls is a local hot spot for those looking for a place to cool off on a hot summer day. On one side of the river, tall rocks offer various places to dive into the clean, crisp water. The other side boasts large rocks to soak up the sun and warm up after a splash.

There is a campground located just above the falls and anglers come from all around to enjoy the fight of the bull trout, cut throats and rainbows that make this river home.

Crossing Below Castle Falls
Crossing Below Castle Falls | Source

Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake

Sunset at Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake
Sunset at Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake
Cross Country Skiing at Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake
Cross Country Skiing at Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake

Chinook Lake also known as Allison Lake is a favorite spot of mine, with over 30 Kilometers of Cross Country Skiing the groomed trails are a great way to work of the stress of the week,

With great summer camping, I've spent many nights beside this lake with my kids. The lake is just the right temperature to cool off on a hot summer day and the warm summer evenings are a perfect companion for a fireside evening.

It is also a great place to take pictures of wildflowers and pick mushrooms in season, with the same elevation as Banff, Alberta, it's a milder place in The Crowsnest Pass to visit.


Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake in Winter
Chinook Lake aka Allison Lake in Winter

This is just an example of all the things that are available to see and learn in The Crowsnest Pass, I look forward to bringing you more beauty from the backyard that I play in.

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