Yellowhead Pass

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Yellowhead Pass
CNR Yellowhead.jpg
CNR GP9 in the Yellowhead Pass
Location Alberta, British Columbia, Canada
Coordinates 52°53′33″N 118°27′50″W / 52.89250°N 118.46389°W / 52.89250; -118.46389Coordinates: 52°53′33″N 118°27′50″W / 52.89250°N 118.46389°W / 52.89250; -118.46389
Elevation 1,131 m (3,711 ft)
Founder Canadian Northern Railway
Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Original use Mountain pass
Governing body Parks Canada
Yellowhead Pass
Elevation 1,131 m (3,711 ft)[1]
Traversed by Yellowhead 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
Location Jasper National Park, Alberta / Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada
Range Canadian Rockies
Yellowhead Pass is located in British Columbia
Yellowhead Pass
Yellowhead Pass in British Columbia

The Yellowhead Pass is a mountain pass across the Continental Divide of the Americas in the Canadian Rockies. It is located 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. This proposal was rejected in favour of a more direct and southerly route through the more difficult Kicking Horse Pass, opened in 1886. However, both 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, uses the CN tracks as does the Jasper – Prince Rupert train and the Jasper section of the Rocky Mountaineer. The pass is now also traversed 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 B.C. through the pass in 1820.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Flickr. Yellowhead Pass

External links[edit]