One of the highest communities in Canada, Elkford sits at an elevation of 1,300m/4,265ft.
This relatively new community, incorporated in 1971, was developed to house mineworkers at the remote mines of the upper Elk Valley. There's no real downtown core, but there is a small shopping mall and a few other commercial buildings close to the highway.
Running in a north/south orientation, close to the Continental Divide, the Elk River flows through a broad valley. Under this big sky, the prairie people who have purchased vacation property feel right at home in Elkford. The rolling terrain of the valley floor is covered with a mix of open grassland and forests, providing an environment that supports abundant wildlife.
On the eastern flank of the valley, the Rocky Mountains have been literally pushed up out of the earth's crust, exposing layer upon layer of sedimentary rock. These are the mountains that are being strip-mined of their enormous coal deposits. From south of nearby Sparwood, all the way up the valley north of Elkford, huge excavators work around the clock at multiple open-pit mining operations.
To learn more, take one of the mine tours that are offered in the summer.
North of Elkford, a small gravel road heads out into the wilderness beyond the Greenhills and Fording River Mines, to two of British Columbia's most spectacular provincial parks: Elk Lakes and Height of the Rockies.
Climate & Weather
High in the mountains, temperatures tend to be lower and precipitation higher than those of the relatively low elevation communities of the Rocky Mountain Trench.
July and August high temperatures average 23°C/70°F, but be prepared for cool nights and rapidly changing conditions. In winter, average minimum temperatures are in the vicinity of -10°C/14°F, but extremes can be much colder.