Do you want to know how coal miners lived and worked in Alberta during the first half of the 20th century much before liquid gold was discovered at Leduc No. 1? Then head to Bellevue Underground Mine located approximately 2 hours south of Calgary and 90 minutes west of Lethbridge.
The community of Bellevue was built on coal. In 1903, the Bellevue Underground Coal Mine opened to provide coal to the Canadian Pacific Railway.
Over 100 years later, you can strap on a helmet and headlamp and head way below on a surreal walk through the Bellevue Underground Mine. The town of Bellevue is located on the western edge of Alberta, just before the Frank Slide site on the Crowsnest Highway- a popular corridor for those headed to B.C. You can access the mine by taking a short and scenic drive through town.
At the mine’s site, you can shop around the small gift shop, and learn about mining machinery and equipment, as well as about the miners themselves.
The guided underground tour by a heritage interpreter takes about an hour in which you’ll get a short introduction with instructions before heading into the mine for about 45-minutes where it is a crisp 0-2 degrees Celsius). The walk and tour take you along a wide and even walkway suitable for strollers and wheelchairs.
The Bellevue Mine can make for an adventurous yet family-friendly outing that offers some exercise, unique photo opportunities, and chances to learn about one of Alberta’s most influential industries: coal!
The Mine’s rocky mountain location means there is plenty of camping surrounding the Bellevue area and many other attractions. If time allows, you can head further west on Hwy. 3 to the site of the Frank Slide.
If you like to learn more about Alberta’s mining history in Southern Alberta, head to Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site in East Coulee and Leitch Collieries Provincial Historic Site in Crowsnest Pass.
Plan your Trip – Bellevue Underground Mine Tours
Bellevue Underground Mine is a coal mine that was built over 100 years ago. The tour can take you 1000-ft. into the mine and 150 feet below the surface. On this guided tour you can discover exhibits of old carts, machinery, and equipment. Rumour has it that this is a haunted mine. The last coal cart rolled out of the Bellevue Underground Mine in 1961.
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When to go:
Mine Tours open in Summer 2021; sign up for their newsletter to get the latest updates.
Before COVID-19 times, Bellevue Underground Mine opened in May and stayed open until late Fall. The mine also holds special Halloween ghost tours during October.
Youth (6 to 17) $12.60
Family (2 adults and 2 youths) $52.50
Add a Youth for $5.25
Address: 2531 213 St., Bellevue.
South on Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) until the town of Lundbreck; head west on Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) until the town of Bellevue. Enter town on 213 Street and follow until you see the Mine signs on your right.