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Visit Rogers Pass BC in Glacier National Park

By touring - Posted on 09 May 2011

Visit Rogers Pass BC in Glacier National Park

has been used for thousands of years to cross the interior of what is now British Columbia, Canada. The route winds through the mountainous beauty of Glacier National Park and is the main east-west corridor between Revelstoke and Golden, BC.

Near the summit (elevation 1330m/4363 feet), visitors will find the park’s main interpretation center, a monument to this civil engineering achievement and a memorial to the worst avalanche disaster in Canadian history.

Source: - Current Driving Conditions, Rogers Pass, BC.

In summer, the majestic beauty of the towering peaks and stoic glaciers surrounds the valley. In winter, the landscape is just as spectacular but the heavy snowfall (over 10m/30 ft) poses serious avalanche threats to motorists. Avalanches are common in the Roggers Pass and there are 5 snow-sheds along the Trans Canada Highway to protect the roadway from the constant snow slides.

In addition, to keeping the highway open during the winter, Parks Canada & the Department of Defense regularly induce controlled avalanches with the use of military artillery. This ‘slopes adjustment’ program is the largest mobile avalanche-control program in the world.

Due to the treacherous snow conditions, the opened an 8 kilometer tunnel in 1916 through the Rogers Pass to avoid service interruptions. This was later replaced in 1988 by the 14.7 kilometer , one of the longest tunnels in North America.

History of the Rogers Pass

The Rogers Pass was named after Major A.B. Rogers who, on behalf of the CPR, was the first European to discover the route through the Selkirk Mountains (actually, he was American). In 1882, he and his team confirmed the route between Golden and Revelstoke, BC. By 1885, the rail line was complete but was quickly shut down in winter due to numerous avalanches in the valley.

On March 4, 1910, the worst avalanche in Canadian history took place in the Rogers Pass and claimed the lives of 62 people, many of them Japanese labourers. Today, the sacred site is commemorated at the monument near the summit as well as along the , an easy walking and biking path.

Where is Glacier National Park?

Rogers Pass is located 71 kilometers east of Revelstoke and 81 kilometers west of . This is not the , but one of the most scenic!

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Things to Do near Rogers Pass, BC

Due to its remote location, amenities are few but the beauty and outdoor adventures are plentiful.

  • Learn about the history of one of the great civil engineering feats in Canada at the Rogers Pass Discovery Center.
  • Bike or hike the Abandoned Rail Trail.
  • Stop at the Memorial Arch which commemorates the paving of the Trans Canada Highway through the valley.
  • , BC was the second national park in Canada and has over 400 glaciers. The entire park has been designated as a . spent a few days .
  • There are plenty of hiking trails in this rugged park which become snowy backcountry ski trails in the winter.
  • Even though this is a spectacular mountain park, it's not one of the more popular national parks due to its remote location and limited amenities. But it is well worth a day trip from the surrounding towns.
  • The closest downhill ski resorts are near Revelstoke and Golden, BC. Only diehard backcountry skiers and hikers stay at the limited accommodations in the Rogers Pass.
  • In winter & spring, the Trans Canada Highway is subjected to delays and closures due to road conditions and avalanche control. Delays of up to 3 days are common. Travel plans should accommodate for these unexpected hold-ups.

Distance to the Summit at Rogers Pass

  • Calgary – 342 kilometers (4.5 hours)
  • Vancouver– 630 kilometers (7.5 minutes)
  • Banff – 216 kilometers (3 hours)
  • Kelowna - 264 kilometers (4 hours)

This scenic valley is located in Glacier National Park and a park pass is required if visitors plan to stop. Taking a road trip through the Rogers Pass is one of the most scenic trips in the province.

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Get more insider tips on Canadian Adventures at Scenic Travel Canada.

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