Coleman Alberta

The Destination
A weekend tour of Crowsnest Pass, Alberta. This particular stop was in the old mining town of Coleman.

Just ‘Google it’, or plug in Crowsnest Pass into your GPS system.  You don’t need anything too fancy to get yourself here.  That being said, there are apparently some really great off road trails in the area.


The Small community of Coleman was once an incorporated town, but in 1979 it was amalgamated with other small communities on this highway to form Crowsnest Pass. Like most of the other small communities along this route, it was built to support nearby coal mining operations of the early 1900’s.

If you enjoy the history of old mining communities, you’ll enjoy a road trip to Coleman and exploring the area to find several historical buildings, the ruins of the old coke plant and ovens, and the nearby abandoned mines.

Day 1
Crowsnest Pass from Edmonton Alberta is a fairly extensive drive. The plan was to simply drive, and setup camp for the night.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

I wish I had made note of where I had camped, but a review of the map has me thinking it was Beauvais Lake, one of Alberta’s many provincial parks.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

There were a few trails throughout the area you could some some hiking on including this lake front path.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Always making tea:
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Day 2
Time to hit the road and go exploring. Crowsnest Pass offers up a lot of very interesting places to visit, and this is just one of my entries regarding this area, so I’ll concentrate on the visit to the town of Coleman.

Coleman is full of interesting stops, but I enjoy the old, run down and abandoned sights, so my eyes were immediately drawn to the old Cameron School.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Unfortunately, vandals have ruined the experience and it’s all boarded up now. I would have been quite interested to see inside and taken some great photos.

The town is relatively small and you can drive every street in town in short order.
A few interesting sites to see include the old fire hall…
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

… and the general store.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Just on the South edge of town you’ll find coal processing buildings and equipment.

Here are the old coke ovens. These ovens were used to cook the impurities out of the coal to create ‘coke’ which is a high carbon fuel, not the sugary solution you buy out of the soda machine.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Many buildings are still standing, but not being certain as to if a person can enter these, I simply took a few photos from the outside.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

The broken window:
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Of course, I had to have a Jeep photo!
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

Interesting Finds
When exploring you’ll want to watch for critters. I believe this fellow is a wolf spider, and yes, it is venomous, but generally only if provoked. Apparently you’ll have mild pain, some swelling and itching. I’m not one for spiders, so I grabbed this photo and left him alone.
Crowsnest Pass Alberta

I want to return to Crowsnest Pass in 2015. The town of Coleman would very likely be another stop, but there is so much to see and explore throughout the Crowsnest Pass area, it’s hard to say. It would be nice to see the town offer up an official tour of some sort, or a way to know if it’s ok to explore inside the buildings on the coal processing site. If you’re in the area, make a stop and explore as I’m quite certain you won’t be disappointed.  When I return, I’ll be looking for off road adventure trails – there is a 4×4 only trail that takes you to the site of a plane crash that occured in 1946.

My Flickr Album contains 140 photos on this trip. View it here.

3 thoughts on “Coleman Alberta”

  1. Bill says:

    Great pics, I went up to the wreck this summer…

    I like your style

  2. Crowsnest Pass is like a second home for us. So much to see. Great post!
    Chris @

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