This 1,350 square kilometre park lies on the Trans-Canada Highway between Golden and Revelstoke.
This park encompasses the rugged Columbia Mountains, which lie just west of the Rockies. The mountains here have steep walls and deep, narrow valleys. Snowfall here can reach 50 -100 feet (15-30 metres) a winter, causing the conifer trees to be very tall and slender, with downward pointing branches. It also makes the area Canada’s top avalanche area, with some attaining speeds of 325 kilometres an hour. The park has over 400 glaciers, which cover 10 percent of the park’s area, scattered around the park.
The pass is named for Major A.B. Rogers, the Engineer-in-Chief for the Canadian Pacific Railroad, who discovered the pass through the mountains that now bears his name. When the railway was built, it has numerous “snow sheds” to protect the track from known avalanche hazards. The railway also built the elegant Glacier House hotel atop the pass. In 1916, the new Connaught Tunnel took trains underneath the pass, increasing both the speed and safety of trains. Unfortunately, it isolated the Glacier House hotel. In the 1990s the CPR double-tracked the railway with a second (and less steep sloped) Connaught Tunnel which enables trains in both directions to pass.
In the 1960s, the construction of the Trans-Canada Highway used much of the original railbed, and built new concrete-reinforced snowsheds to protect the highway. In the wintertime, though, the highway may often be closed either for avalanches, or for preventative shelling, where a special brigade of the Canadian military shoots howitzers with special shells to start small avalanches before snow accumulates to cause larger, more dangerous ones. Along the highway, visitors can still see the Glacier House foundations, as well as stone bridges and trestles of the abandoned right of way. On the eastern approach to the pass, you can clearly see two railway tracks on the western side of the valley, often with a moving train visible.
Roger’s Pass Attractions
Rogers Pass Information Center
.8 km east of the summit
The Information Centre is a must-see stop for travellers, with exhibits than include railway models, railroad tunnels, and information about the natural and railway history. Open daily 8 am to 6 pm in July & August, 9 am to 5 pm September & October, and 10 am to 4 pm the rest of the year.
Rogers Pass Information