Kicking Horse Pass

Kicking Horse Pass, elevation 1627 m, straddles the CONTINENTAL DIVIDE on the BC-Alberta border, 10 km west of Lake Louise . Sir James Hector and a party of the Palliser Expedition explored the pass in 1858. The peculiar

Kicking Horse River
In the Kicking Horse Pass, BC (Corel Professional Photos).

Kicking Horse Pass, elevation 1627 m, straddles the Continental Divide on the BC-Alberta border, 10 km west of Lake Louise. Sir James Hector and a party of the Palliser Expedition explored the pass in 1858. The peculiar name derives from an incident in which Hector was kicked in the chest by a packhorse. The pass was selected as the route for the transcontinental Canadian Pacific Railway, despite its severe inclines; construction was completed in 1884. The steep rail grades of 4.5% on the BC side of the pass were lessened to 2.2% by construction of Spiral Tunnels (1909), now a popular tourist attraction. The pass, which connects Yoho and Banff national parks, is also crossed by the Trans-Canada Highway.