Kootenay Pass

Kootenay Pass is an awe-inspiring route in Canada

Kootenay Pass is a high mountain pass at an elevation of 1.782m (5,846ft) above the sea level, located in the province of British Columbia, in Canada.

How long is the Kootenay Pass?

The road to the summit, also known as Salmo-Creston, is totally paved. It’s called Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway). The pass is 64km (40 miles) long, running east-west from Nelson Nelway Highway to Creston.

Where is Kootenay Pass?

Set high in the Selkirk Mountains of western Canada, within the Stagleap Provincial Park, the pass is the highest point of the road. It was the highest road in the country when it was built but has long since been surpassed by Highway 40 over Highwood Pass in Kananaskis Country, in Alberta, at 2.217m (7,273ft) above the sea level.

Is the Kootenay Pass open?

It’s one of the highest highway-served passes in Canada that is open year-round, although it is frequently closed in bad weather for avalanche control and clearing of debris. The pass is famous for early and late season snow. Every year the road is hit by hundreds of avalanches. Winter tires or chains are required on most routes in British Columbia from October 1 to April 30.

How long does it take to drive the Kootenay Pass?

Cutting the frozen half of the Rocky Mountains in western Canada, the road over the pass connects some remote towns. Plan about 45 minutes to complete the drive without any stop. 1.600 vehicles every week go through this road. It’s a long beautiful route through one a grand region of big lakes and steep mountains. At the summit, don’t forget to visit the awesome Bridal Lake.

Is Kootenay Pass steep?

The road to the summit is very steep, hitting a 13% of maximum gradient through some of the ramps. Starting at Creston, the ascent is 40 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1154 meters and the average percentage is 2.9 %. The route winds its way at a moderate grade until the last section that kicks up to 7.4%. As part of a loop through Nelson BC starting in Creston, this climb starts it off with a bang. And starting from Burnt Flats, the ascent is 23.1 km long. Over this distance, the elevation gain is 1134 meters and the average percentage is 4.9 %. It’s a more arduous ascent than the eastern slope due to the aspect and the even grade from start to finish.