Yellowhead Pass

Coordinates: 52°53′33″N 118°27′50″W / 52.89250°N 118.46389°W / 52.89250; -118.46389
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Yellowhead Pass
CNR GP9 in the Yellowhead Pass
LocationAlberta, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates52°53′33″N 118°27′50″W / 52.89250°N 118.46389°W / 52.89250; -118.46389
Elevation1,131 m (3,711 ft)
FounderCanadian Northern Railway
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Original useMountain pass
Governing bodyParks Canada
Yellowhead Pass
Elevation1,131 m (3,711 ft)[1]
Traversed byYellowhead Highway and Canadian National Railway; Via Rail's Canadian, Via's Jasper – Prince Rupert train and the Jasper section of the Rocky Mountaineer using CN tracks
LocationJasper National Park, Alberta / Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
RangeCanadian Rockies

The Yellowhead Pass is a mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Americas in the Canadian Rockies. It is on the provincial boundary between the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and lies within Jasper National Park and Mount Robson Provincial Park.

Topological map of the proposed, never-built Canadian Pacific Railway line from East Selkirk to Kamloops, passing through the Yellowhead Pass.

Due to its modest elevation of 1,131 m (3,711 ft) and its gradual approaches, the pass was recommended by Sir Sandford Fleming as a route across the Rocky Mountains for the planned Canadian Pacific Railway. The proposal was rejected in favour of a more direct and southerly route, through the more difficult Kicking Horse Pass, which was opened in 1886. Later the Grand Trunk Pacific and Canadian Northern Railways used the Yellowhead Pass for their main lines, built c. 1910–1913, and the main line of their successor, the Canadian National Railway, still follows the route. Via Rail's premier passenger train, the Canadian; the Jasper – Prince Rupert train; and the Jasper section of the Rocky Mountaineer use the Yellowhead Pass, which is now used also by the Yellowhead Highway.

It is believed that the pass was named for Pierre Bostonais (nicknamed Tête Jaune, French for "yellow head", because of his blond hair), an Iroquois-Métis trapper employed as a guide by the Hudson's Bay Company. Bostonais led one of the first expeditions for the company to what is now the interior of British Columbia through the pass in 1820.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flickr. Yellowhead Pass

External links[edit]