Frank Slide Interpretive Centre, Crownsnest Pass, Alberta
The Frank Slide Interpretive Centre in Crowsnest Pass, Alberta took me about as close to the awesome fury of an avalanche as I'd ever want to be.
I'd planned just a brief stop. But I got caught up in the gripping story of the 90-second rock slide that dumped nearly 90 million tons of Turtle Mountain limestone on the sleeping town of Frank in 1903, killing about 70 of its 600 residents.
Two excellent videos and a host of displays explained the details of the avalanche before I ventured out to the walkways. A self-guided trail nearly a mile long took me over the slide and up to boulders as big as houses.
Crowsnest Pass is on Highway 3 in southwestern Alberta, about 14 miles east of the Alberta/British Columbia border and about 89 miles west of Lethbridge.
The Frank Slide center is about a mile north of Highway 3. It's open daily from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (open later in summer). National admission fee applies. The center is wheelchair accessible, though the trail is not.
To learn more, call the center at 1-403/562-7388.