Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass Alberta Canada


Road Trip Destinations Along the Crowsnest Hwy 

Where Is the Crowsnest Pass and What Is There To Do

Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass Alberta Canada. This is a mountain pass highway route, including a municipality, in southwestern Alberta, Canada neighbouring the border of British Columbia. This is an outdoor lovers paradise. The Pass technically continues on into British Columbia towards Fernie. There are multiple little towns on the Alberta side, along the Crowsnest Hwy aka Hwy 3. Blairemore, Coleman, Bellevue and Frank are some town names you will find here. Each with its own charm and unique offerings. Many of these communities are home to local businesses such as a candy shop, bakeries, multiple restaurant options, outdoor stores including the Fly Shop and Cafe, antiques, and many additional shopping opportunities. There are not many large corporations or chains down here. It is mostly independent unique stores and small town charm. And I don't know about you, but I much prefer to spend my money in areas like this! Supporting local goes a long way down here!

Stunning scenery in the Crowsnest Pass of Alberta Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
The Crowsnest Pass has many beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and creeks. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass Includes A History Lesson

This area of southern Alberta has a deep history in the coal mining industry and it shows when visiting. From ruins, to mining disaster cemeteries and even an underground mine tour that is still available today, there is a ton to see and learn about. The Crowsnest Pass is also a very rich archeological section of the Rocky Mountains as well. With some ancient tools found in this region dating back to over 10,000 years ago! Furthermore, many of the head waters for our rivers start in these mountains and head out west to the pacific and also east to Hudsons Bay. The Crowsnest Pass is a nature and history lovers playground! Interestingly, in 1979 the communities of Hillcrest, Bellevue, Blairmore, Coleman and Frank amalgamated to form what is now known as the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass. This Pass is the most southern highway route in the Canadian Rocky Mountains and is one of the lowest elevation passes in Canada, making it a relatively safe and easy to enjoy road trip through the mountains. This is a 324 km paved highway pass through the Canadian Rockies. A quieter, less explored pocket of the Rockies. 

Old ruins in the Crowsnest Pass. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
History lessons while visiting the Crowsnest in Alberta Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

10 Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass Alberta Canada

1. Campgrounds, Day Use Areas & Parks 

Whether you are just passing through or looking to stay awhile, the Crowsnest offers a variety of locations to suit your needs. You'll find many day-use areas with pavilions, picnic tables and amazing views. As well as a plethora of fun campgrounds to use as a basecamp for some fun adventures. Try the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Memorial Park, or Chinook Lake Day-Use pavilion for a lunch break. Planning to stay? Book your accommodation at the Lost Lemon Campground and Cabins, drop your trailer at Island Lake Recreation Area, or pop a tent in the backcountry of the Livingstone PLUZ. The Livingstone Public Land Use Zone stretches right into The Pass and is a great location to find those random camping spots. As it goes, that's just to name a few of the many options available in The Pass.

2. Find Some Waterfalls

We love waterfalls! But who doesn't? The Crowsnest Pass in Alberta has no shortage of waterfalls to find. Most require a bit of hiking to get to, but hiking in the Crowsnest is actually pretty easy compared to other mountain areas in Alberta. The trails are generally in amazing shape, and quite family friendly. Throw Rainbow Falls, Crowsnest Creeks Falls, Allison Creek Falls, and Star Creek Falls onto your waterfall bucket list. Just so you know, you won't typically find gigantic waterfalls here, Star Creek being the largest I have found yet at a still impressive 30ft drop. There is even an intermittent waterfall annually that is very easy to access from your vehicle at Emerald Lake.

There are a number of amazing waterfalls waiting to be found in the Crowsnest Pass. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Biggest Piggy Bank in the world is found in Flumerfelt Park, Coleman, Alberta, Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Around Town in the Crowsnest Pass

3. Support Local and Shop and Eat Around Town

So not only can you take in some great outdoor activities around here, you'll notice the cute towns that make up the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass have a lot to offer as well. With 5 communities in less than 20 kms along Hwy 3, there are a ton of small town options for shops, restaurants, bakeries, grocery stores, liquor and 420 stores, boutique shops and much more. Walk the downtown areas and enjoy the small town vibes. 

4. Discover The Crowsnest Heritage Route

History runs deep in the Crowsnest Pass. For example, Coleman has a number of historical buildings. You can walk or drive around town and view the plaques on the buildings speaking to their part of the Crowsnest story. There is even a little map and information pamphlet available to download here on the Alberta Governments website, to help you check all the stops off and learn more along the way. In addition, to the specific Coleman tour, there are numerous signs, sights and experiences that tie into the history in this region and all over the Pass; from Ghost Towns to ancient artifacts, and hidden backroad finds. Do something different on your summer vacation this year and book your family a tour of the Bellevue Mine!

Shop the small towns in the Crowsnest Pass, including the historic Blairmore and Coleman. Photo of downtown Blairemore. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Take an underground tour in the Bellevue Mine! Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Cool Off This Summer in the Crowsnest Pass 

5. Bring The Kids to the Pool and Waterslide or Spray Park

This addition on our list of Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass is certainly a seasonal excursion in Canada. Luckily the Blairmore Pool, but better known as The Pass Pool, is pretty awesome! Open from May to September annually, this summer attraction offers a large pool, hot tub, lazy river, waterslide, toddler area and more! With a gorgeous mountain backdrop, it's a lovely place to cool off during a hot summer road trip! Alternatively, if you are looking for something a bit quicker or a light drenching instead, you can always enjoy a quicker visit to the Coleman Spray Park in Flumerfelt Park. 

Flumerfelt Park splash pad. Open seasonally. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Public pool and Waterslide in the Crowsnest Pass. Located in Blairemore. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Tragedy is Common in Crowsnest History

6. Find the Plane Crash Site

This unique find will take some time to find. It's located on the border of the Crowsnest Pass and the Castle Provincial Parks. This is a nice multi-use 9 km in and back trail leading to a deadly military plane crash site. The plane is still there surrounded by 8 crosses, one for each passenger on board. 

7. A Blast From the Past at Frank's Slide Interpretive Centre and Hiking Trails

Frank's Slide Interpretive Centre is a fantastic reminder of what was only a few moments in time, yet it changed this area in vast ways. Not only did the landscape drastically change for ever, but the town of Frank was left devastated in the wake of Canada's deadliest rockslide. Interestingly, all 3 of Alberta's deadliest disasters happened along this strip of hwy just kms from each other and within a short period in history.

North York Plane Crash Trail. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Frank's Slide Interpretive Centre viewing platform. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Endless Adventure Possibilities in Southern Alberta Canada 

8. Take a Tour of the National and Provincial Historic Sites

The Coleman Museum & Archives is located in the Coleman National Historic Site of Canada. A wonderful place to visit and learn a ton about the area. Additionally, you'll find Leitch Colleries which is a Provincial Historic Site, and then there are many historically designed areas to find as well! Such as the Bellevue Mine, the Hillcrest Mine Disaster Cemetery, Frank's Slide and more.

9. Hiking, Mountain Biking and OHV Trails

I think it's well known across the world that the Canadian Rocky Mountains offer an endless catalog of hikes and trails to explore. But most people automatically think of Jasper or Banff when the Rockies come to mind. There are a multitude of hiking, biking and quadding trails to play around on down here. No matter your skill level, you'll find something to suit your goals.
Leitch Colleries is a Provincial Historic Site along Hwy 3. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Quadding trails in the Crowsnest Pass of Alberta Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
10. Visit a Ghost Town 

Want to visit a Ghost Town in the Canadian Rocky Mountains? Well look no further than the Crowsnest Pass! Frank, Alberta to be more precise. You just head up the Frank's Slide Interpretive Centre road until the construction clearing in the forest, then turn left/north and proceed until the road runs out. You may want a high clearance vehicle for the last portion on the road to the trailhead. There is a small parking area with a Town of Lille trail marker sign to let you know you're in the right spot. It is an easy trail to hike and is also OHV friendly. 
Visiting the Ghost Town of Lille Alberta Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning
Bernard Coke Ovens in Lille Alberta Canada. Photo Credit-Andrea Horning

Take a Road Trip to the Crowsnest Pass Alberta

The Crowsnest Pass has a little bit of everything to offer. From awesome shops and restaurants, to upscale and back country accommodation options. As well as endless outdoor fun and beauty. This is just a drop in the bucket for fun things to do along Hwy 3 in southern Alberta Canada. The Crowsnest Pass is not a park and doesn't require a park pass to explore. It is a mix of crownland, private farms with public trails, Provincial and National Historic Sites, and recreation areas open for travelers to adventure Seekers to explore as they wish. As always, let's help keep these important pristine areas beautiful and clean. Don't forget to always pack out what you pack in!

Experience Alberta Canada

Things To Do In The Crowsnest Pass Alberta Canada

Travel Guide

  • Andrea Horning
    • Restaurant, Cafe
    • RV Park or Campground
    • Golf Course
    • Historical Site
    • Mountain Biking
    • Museum
    • Tours
    • Wildlife Viewing
  • Coleman
  • Alberta
    • Restaurant

Canada Parks

  • Pincher Creek, Alberta
  • Alberta
    • Waterfall
    • Wildlife Watching
    • Open Year Round
  • Easy - Family
  • Year Round
  • https://www.ehcanadatravel.com/community/392-andrea-horning/videos/1121-explore-the-crowsnest-pass-in-alberta-canada.html
  • The Crowsnest Pass is found along Hwy 3 in southwestern Alberta Canada

Location (Map)

Crowsnest Pass, AB T0K, Canada
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Friday, 14 June 2024

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