Crowsnest Pass: Continental Divide on Highway 3


Fortunately, as I approached Crowsnest Pass, the weather was growing increasingly beautiful, giving me the chance to enjoy the mountain peaks that surrounded the highway.  In the final few kilometers of Alberta, there are a few places you should stop to enjoy the scenery…

… such as this viewpoint at the side of the road.  The turnout is easier to access for eastbound traffic, and I actually made a u-turn to come back to this spot.  Here, you’ll get a nice look down the valley that stretches out towards the pass.

Just down the hill from the viewpoint, you’ll probably want to stop again, to admire Crowsnest Mountain.  It’s to the north of the highway.  Crowsnest Mountain tops out at 2,785 meters (9,137 feet).

I don’t think you’ll find a crow’s nest here.  But you probably will find some on the mountain itself — which was given its name by the Cree Indians, because of the ravens that nested in the area.

Crowsnest Lake

Just before the pass, there’s one final place worth stopping.  A big roadside parking area allows you to easily pull off and take a look at Crowsnest Lake.  This deep, natural lake was frozen and snow-covered in late March.  I can only imagine that it’s more stunning in summer.

The actual pass at Crowsnest Pass is a bit anticlimactic.  You wouldn’t even know you’ve crossed some special line, if not for the collection of road signs welcoming you to British Columbia, then warning you to buckle your seatbelt and observe the speed limit, among other rules.  And as you continue westward into BC, the lack of excitement continues.  It’s still a beautiful drive, but the quirky mining towns are behind you, and there isn’t much to do except keep driving on to Sparwood,

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive from the Alberta/BC line, to Sparwood, and on to Elkford:

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