Steele Heritage Town
While you're travelling in the eastern Kootenays make sure that
you visit Fort Steele Heritage Town. It has a pioneer theme to it
reminiscent of a 1890's boom town.
Fort Steele Heritage Town is located on the Kootenay River just
16 km (10 miles) north-east of Cranbrook
on Highways 93/95.
The area around Fort Steele first looked at by Europeans was in
the late 1800's with the discovery of gold. At the same time Fort
Steele was very important to the Ktunaxa First Nations especially
along the Kootenay River.
With the settlement of Europeans into the historical home of the
Ktunaxa First Nations, disputes often arose over land ownership
issues. Fort Steele was established as a North-West Mounted Police
outpost on the west side of the Rocky Mountains to help settle some
of these disagreements.
Fort Steele was also part of the dream of building a Canadian trading
route across southern British Columbia. Edgar Dewdney in 1865 forged
a route from BC's West Coast to the goldfields in the Kootenays.
Wild Horse Creek near Fort Steele was going to be the start of the
eastern terminus of the Dewdney Trail that eventually went all the
way to Hope.
Parts of the Dewdney Trail are still in existence and combine with
the Trans-Canada Trail in crossing southern BC.
If you don't want to rush your visit to Fort Steele there is camping
close by. There is Fort Steele Resort , the Original Fort Steele
Campground south towards Cranbrook or Wasa
Lake Provincial Park only 24 km (15 miles) further north on
Hwy 93/95 at the small community of Wasa.
You'll need reservations during the peak season at Wasa Provincial
Park which occurs during July and August. If you like swimming Wasa
Lake is a very warm - some say just as warm as Osoyoos Lake.
on Fort Steele
click map for
Fort Steele Heritage
Elk River Colliery