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Rocky Mountain House

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Dec 16, 2021

Rocky Mountain House is a town in Central Alberta.

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Rocky Mountain House is located approximately 77 km (48 mi) west of Red Deer at the confluence of the Clearwater and North Saskatchewan Rivers, and at the crossroads of Highway 22 (Cowboy Trail) and Highway 11 (David Thompson Highway). The surrounding Clearwater County’s administration office is located in Rocky Mountain House. Rocky Mountain House is the gateway to David Thompson County, a wilderness recreational area located west of the town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains.

The town’s history dates back to the 18th century with the presence of British and Canadian fur traders during the westward Canadian expansion. In 1799, the Hudson’s Bay Company and the North West Company each established the Rocky Mountain House, the westernmost post on the North Saskatchewan and was within sight of the Rocky Mountains, and Acton House fur trading posts. Trade with the local aboriginal peoples continued until 1821 when the companies merged, they continued to trade until 1875 and closed the Rocky Mountain House post. The name of the settlement however remained. The Rocky Mountain House settlement also served as a launching point for many explorers such as David Thompson, in search for a passage west to the Pacific Ocean. Many travellers used this location as a stop on their way further west or northwest.

Rocky Mountain House can be accessed from Edmonton or Calgary by taking the Queen Elizabeth II Highway (Highway 2) to Red Deer, then going west on Highway 11. Rocky Mountain House is also accessible from the west via Icefields Parkway (Highway 93).

Map of Rocky Mountain House

  • 52.361807-114.9704791 Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site (6 km west of Rocky Mountain House on Hwy 11A). An archaeological site that contains the remains of several early 19th-century fur trade forts known as Rocky Mountain House. It is located on the North Saskatchewan River, the designation refers to the remains of trading establishments built and occupied between 1799 and 1875 on the west bank of the North Saskatchewan River above its confluence with the Clearwater River together with an associated burying ground. (updated Feb 2019)

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