The Crowsnest Highway is a scenic drive that takes you through wind turbine speckled prairies that give way to purple foothills and, eventually, rugged rocky mountains. When the highway is suddenly flanked by boulders bigger than your car, you’ll know you’ve reached your first stop: Frank Slide.
The deadliest landslide in Canadian history, 110 million tonnes of rock enveloped three square kilometres of The Crowsnest Pass (and the town of Frank) in about 100 seconds. Wander through the eerie wreckage of broken limestone on your own, or head to Frank Slide Interpretive Centre for an in-depth look at the tragic story.
A local’s advice
The best part of the Pass is the easily accessible outdoor activities. If you need a hiking challenge, Turtle Mountain (the part of the mountain still standing) offers an amazing bird’s-eye view of the Slide. Over this seven-kilometre hike, you’ll gain nearly one kilometre of elevation, so pack water, snacks, and another set of legs for the way back down – because they’re going to feel a little bit like Jell-O.
Frank Slide attracts all kinds of outdoor adventurists like:
Rock climbers wishing to challenge the thousands of bouldering problems
Skiers looking for an inexpensive run at Pass Powderkeg Ski Hill
Golfers seeking a panoramic mountain round at Crowsnest Pass Golf Club
After all that activity, head to Cinnamon Bear Cafe for region-renowned cinnamon buns, the historic Rum Runner for a pint, or grab a scoop from The Old Dairy Ice Cream Shoppe in Bellevue on your way back to Lethbridge.
The trip at a glance
Duration: 1.5-hour drive, one-way
Expected cost: $15 for tickets to the Frank Slide Interpretive Centre