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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Kootenay Rockies > Sparwood

The District of Sparwood is located 29 km (18 miles) north-east of Fernie and 19 km (12 miles) east of the British Columbia/Alberta border crossing along the Crowsnest Pass. The area surrounding Sparwood is called the Elk Valley and contains some of the richest coalmines in the world.

Mine Workers
Sparwood is a small community made up with a small downtown mainly used as a service hub supplying residences for the mineworkers. Various coal-mining operations operate in the Elk Valley and Sparwood helps service the necessary work force.

Sparwood has a few accommodation places if you want to visit overnight. There are a couple of motels plus some guest houses located right in town. If you prefer RV camping there is the Mountain Shadows Campground conveniently located near Hwy 3 and the Sparwood Golf Club.

Terex Titan
If you like big equipment you have to see this. Sparwood is home of the world's largest dump truck - the Terex Titan. This truck was used to haul coal in the mines around Sparwood. The Terex Titan is on display at the beginning of town at the Visitor Information Centre just off Hwy 3.

Elkford, BC
The Elk River that flows past Sparwood comes from the north and the small mining town of Elkford 35 km (22 miles) away. Take Hwy 43 through the beautiful Elk Valley. Once you're at Elkford, you can even access farther up into the Elk Valley, eventually coming to the Elk Lakes Provincial Park.

Fording River
There is a nice trip from Elkford that goes towards Alberta following the Fording River. This is where you'll experience some awesome Rocky Mountain views. The area is also rich in wildlife so be 'animal aware' when walking about.

Crowsnest Pass
When you drive from Sparwood towards Alberta east on Hwy 3, the highway will be following the Crowsnest River towards the Crowsnest Pass. Just before you reach the summit, you will come to a junction that goes south up the Michel Creek towards Corbin.

Flathead River Country
If you take this backcountry road and continue south from Corbin, this eventually arrives at the Flathead River. This is one of British Columbia's more untouched regions and you will be able to experience some incredible snowmobiling, hunting and fishing opportunities.

Akamina Kishinena Provincial Park
The backcountry road follows the Flathead River eventually to Flathead - an abandoned Canada/USA border crossing. At this point you can take a First Nations ancestral trail or 4x4 roads into the west side of Akamina Kishinena Provincial Park.

Waterton Lakes National Park
Otherwise to view the Akamina Kishinena, the easiest route and the preferred access is through Waterton Lakes National Park in south-west Alberta. Once at Waterton there is a paved road that goes to the start of a 1.5 km (1 mile) uphill walk into Akamina Pass, the narrowest point in the Rocky Mountains.

Bear Country
Just remember if you are enjoying the countryside around Sparwood, please remember this is Bear Country as is the rest of BC. Try to avoid the rivers during heavy salmon spawning times unless you feel comfortable with bears around. There is also the possibilities of encounters with wolves or cougars so please play it safe and practice good outdoor wildlife procedures.

Information on Sparwood



Map of Sparwood
click map for larger image


Sparwood Municipal Office
Sparwood Municipal Office


Terex Titan
Terex Titan


Crowsnest River
Crowsnest River


Crownest Pass
Crownest Pass


Sparwood Murals
Sparwood Murals




Elkview Coal Mine
Elkview Coal Mine

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