Elkford, British Columbia is a small community in the southeast region of the Canadian Rockies known as the ‘Wilderness Capital of BC’. Surrounded by pristine wilderness, its proximity to Elk Lakes Provincial Park and Height of the Rockies Wilderness Area situated on the continental divide, attracts outdoor enthusiasts year-round. Hiking, world-class fly fishing, horse riding, plus cross-country skiing, snowmobiling and skiing on the local Wapiti hill provide fun for all ages and abilities in Elkford and the surrounding area.
Located 66 km (41 mi) north of Fernie and 35 km (22 mi) north of Hwy 3 at Sparwood, via Hwy 43. Situated a 45-minute drive from the British Columbia/Alberta border via the Crowsnest Hwy (Hwy 3) and 133 km (83 mi) north of the USA border on Hwy 93.
The town of Elkford, British Columbia was created in the early 1970s to house mine employees and their families. Coal mining had thrived in the area around nearby Sparwood since the early 20th century but mining further north in the Elk Valley was cost prohibitive. However, with the high demand for coal pushing up prices, in 1971 Fording Coal Ltd. (now Elk Valley Coal Corporation) opened its open-pit mine in the area and Elkford was born. The name of the community is derived from the Elk River and the original coal company’s name. Several coal mines developed in the area creating an economic boom in the region.
Today, there are five open-pit coal mines within an hour’s drive from the town all owned by Teck Resources. Many residents of the town work for the mines or in service industries connected to the mines.