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Ministry of Energy Mines and Responsible for Core Review

GeoFile 2010-7/GSC Open File 6477:  GeoTour Guide for the East Kootenay, British Columbia:  Geology, Landscapes, Mines, Ghost Towns, Gold, Dinosaur Tracks, and Hot Springs

by R.J.W. Turner, R.G. Anderson, R. Franklin and D. Grieve


View GeoFile 2010-7 (PDF, 4.5 MB)


East Kootenay is a landscape full of contrasts: from dry grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Tranch to high glacier peaks of the Purcell and Rocky Mountains; and from the big Kootenay River and great forested valleys to desert-like hoodoos near Fairmont and Kimberly.

To the curious mind, East Kootenay is also a landscape full of questions. Why is the East Kootenay mountainous, while nearby Alberta is flat? Why are fossils of ancient sea life found high on mountain peaks?  Why are some lakes so green? Where was the gold rush that created Fort Steele? Why so they find dinosaur footprints in coal mines near Sparwood? Why does the East Kootenay have so many hot springs? What wealth financed the fine heritage buildings in Fernie?
This guide explores these and other questions. Is there logic to the landscape? Can geologists explain some of these puzzles? Let’s go take a look! 


All publications of the BC Geological Survey are available digitally, free of charge, from this website.


For questions or more information on geology and minerals in British Columbia contact BCGS Mailbox or call toll free (B.C. residents only).