Athabasca Pass

Athabasca Pass (el. 1,753 m or 5,751 ft) is a high mountain pass in the Canadian Rockies on the border between Alberta and British Columbia.[1] In fur trade days it connected Jasper House on the Athabasca River with Boat Encampment on the Columbia River.[2]

Athabasca Pass
Athabasca Pass sign.jpg
Elevation1,753 m (5,751 ft)
LocationAlbertaBritish Columbia border, Canada
RangeRocky Mountains
Coordinates52°22′35″N 118°11′00″W / 52.37639°N 118.18333°W / 52.37639; -118.18333
Official nameAthabasca Pass National Historic Site of Canada

The pass lies between Mount Brown and McGillivray Ridge. It is south of Yellowhead Pass and north of Howse Pass. The Committee's Punch Bowl, a glacial lake on the continental divide at the summit of the pass, is the headwaters of the Whirlpool River, a tributary of the Athabasca River. It also has an outlet to Pacific Creek, a tributary of the Columbia River to the south.

Athabaca Pass is first mentioned in the historical record in the papers of British explorer David Thompson, who was shown the route in 1811 by an Iroquois man named Thomas.[3] It became a major point on the fur trade route between Rupert's Land and the Columbia District, used by the York Factory Express.[4][5] and in recognition of that usage was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1971.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Athabasca Pass". BC Geographical Names.
  2. ^ Whittaker, John A., "Athbasca Pass — BC — Alberta Heritage Trail", British Columbia History, Vol. 44, No. 2, Summer 2011, p. 19. Victoria: British Columbia Historical Federation.
  3. ^ Allen, W.G.P. (1972). The Trail through the Pembina Valley 1790-1912.[page needed]
  4. ^ "Peakfinder: Athabasca Pass". Archived from the original on 2005-09-14. Retrieved 2005-10-08.
  5. ^ Athabasca Pass National Historic Site. Directory of Federal Heritage Designations. Parks Canada. Retrieved 21 September 2015.
  6. ^ Athabasca Pass National Historic Site of Canada. Canadian Register of Historic Places. Retrieved 30 November 2012.

External linksEdit

  • Dr. Peter Murphy - La Grande Traverse Part 5 (22 Sept. 2013) — YouTube video of presentation by Dr. Peter Murphy, Professor Emeritus of Forestry with the Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, on the route through Athabasca Pass.

Coordinates: 52°22′35″N 118°11′00″W / 52.37639°N 118.18333°W / 52.37639; -118.18333