Nestled in the majestic Kootenay Rockies region or British Columbia, the historic, heritage town of Fort Steele is located just 16km Northeast of Cranbrook, and is only 31 minute drive east from Kimberley.
Fort Steele, first known as Galbraith’s Ferry during the 1864 Kootenay Gold Rush, was renamed in 1888 in honour of Superintendent Samuel Steele of the North West Mounted Police, who peacefully settled tensions between white settlers and the Ktunaxa people. Fort Steele thrived during the mining boom of the late 1890s, and was a commercial, social and administrative centre of the region. However, Fort Steele declined after 1989, when the BC Southern Railway bypassed the town in favour of nearby Cranbrook.
Today, Fort Steele is a Heritage Town, where visitors can travel back in time to the 1890s and enjoy daily re-enactments of the town’s past history and heritage year-round, with full programming from mid-June to Labour Day. Throughout British Columbia, diverse historic 19th-century forts have been preserved as reminders of how the west was settled by Europeans. Fort Steele Heritage Town, near Cranbrook on Highway 93/95, is undoubtedly the best example and is well worth a day’s visit when travelling through the East Kootenays in summer months.