Population: 3,784 (2016 Census)
Elevation: 1,140 m (3,740 ft)
Claims: World's largest tandem axle dump truck, the Terex Titan.
Sparwood is home to the Terex Titan - the world's largest dump truck (350 ton capacity). A tour of the mine site, 909 metres (3,000 feet) above Sparwood, is also a unique opportunity. Be sure to check out the Terex Titan before you take the Open Pit Mine Tour so that you get a feel for the gigantic scale of things.
The Coal Mine Tours are scheduled to originate from the Sparwood Chamber of Commerce / Visitor Centre during July and August, every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Tours start at 1pm and are approximately 2 hours in duration. All ages are welcome. Tours cost $10/adult, $8/senior and youth & children under 5 years are free. Tour reservations can be made by phone or email.
Just beyond this alpine community exists a treasure trove of high country adventure. Fly-fishing in pristine lakes and streams exceeds every angler's expectation. Whitewater rafting exhilarates even the most experienced. Hiking or biking old forestry trails earn glimpses of deer, elk or bighorn sheep and promise rare photo opportunities.
The Sparwood Golf Club is a 9-hole course featuring rolling fairways and beautiful mountain vistas. Beautiful community parks are favoured for picnics and the Henry Volkman Memorial Leisure Centre is always a popular place with the young and old. Coal Miner Days takes place each year in June. Join Sparwood's celebration of their heritage with a parade, sport tournaments and street market.
In 1873, Michael Phillips, the first white man to traverse the Crowsnest Pass, came to the valley in search for gold, disappointed to find coal. The community of Michel was established in 1898 to house the miners. To meet the demands of the area's rapid development, a subdivision was created in 1907, Natal. In 1964, the provincial government announced a relocation scheme whereby residents would be moved to the newly developed town of Sparwood. The government was interested in beautifying the southeastern gateway to British Columbia.
The Sparwood Community Arch is made from the historical brick from the Michel Powerhouse, honouring the coal miners. And, the Michel-Natal-Sparwood Heritage Society offer a photo and artifacts display at the Miner's Memorial in the Square.