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Howse Pass #480
SaddleHeight: 1530 m (5020 ft)
Key Peak: Mount Assiniboine
Lat Long: (from Mtn Saddle) 51.7991,-116.7560
Prominence (depth) is 2086m below Mount Assiniboine.
Ranges: North America Ranges / Rocky Mountains / Canadian Rockies / Continental Ranges / Park Ranges

Located on the divide between the Blaeberry River (Columbia R) and the headwaters of the Howse River (N Saskatchewan R).. Howse Pass is on the BC-Alberta border, northwest of Lake Louise. It is the lowest point on the divide between the North Saskatchewan and Columbia rivers. It is the lowest point on the height of land between Mount Assiniboine and Mount Columbia.

To the north it is drained by Conway Creek into the Howse River which joins the North Saskatchewan River at Saskatchewan Crossing. To the south it is drained by the Blaeberry River, which eventually joins the Columbia River just north of Golden BC.

The pass has a relatively obscure trail through it which can be accessed either from the Howse River or from the Blaeberry River. FtrAccess: Can be accessed only via trails. FtrHistory: Howse Pass was named by David Thompson in 1811 for Hudson's Bay explorer Joseph Howse. Thompson had met Joseph Howse 2 years earlier at Kootenay Plains. Howse and a party of seventeen traversed the pass in 1809 trying to establish contact with native groups in BC. It is interesting that David Thompson chose to name the pass after a Hudson's Bay explorer even though Thompson worked for the North West Company.

The Pikuanni natives carefully guarded this stretch of the Rocky Mountains. They did not want either explorer to gain direct access to trade with western Native groups, such as the Kutenai. The Pikuanni were a formable threat which was possibly why Thompson went north, where he eventually explored and utilized the Athabasca pass. Although Howse returned to England with a 1500 pound profit from a successful season trading with the Flathead peoples of present day Kalispell, Montana, the pass was deemed too dangerous for future trade. The Howse pass was not used by the Hudson's Bay Company for another twelve years.

At various times, the pass has been considered by railways and highways as a "third crossing" of the Rockies, to supplement the Kicking Horse Pass or the Yellowhead Pass.

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