John Marlor's Canadian Pacific

        Historical Background Choosing the Route Discovery of Rogers Pass Construction through      Rogers Pass Connaught Tunnel Revelstoke Eagle Pass Arrowhead Branch Continue

Major Rogers’ Discovery of Rogers Pass through the

Selkirk Mountain Range

The Kicking Horse Pass provided a route from the east through the

Rocky Mountains to present-day Golden on the upper reaches of the

Columbia River.

Likewise, the Eagle Pass provided a route from the west through the

Monashee Mountains to present-day Revelstoke, also on the Columbia


The portion of the Columbia River between Golden and Revelstoke was

known as the “Big Bend” and provided a potential route around the

Selkirk Mountains.

However, William Cornelius Van Horne, who was in charge of planning

and construction for the Canadian Pacific Railway, was concerned with

the excessive length of construction around the Big Bend of the

Columbia River, a distance of over 200 miles (321 km).

He was also concerned about the additional time it would require to

travel such a circuitous route.

Major A. B. Rogers Discovery

Accordingly, he instructed his new engineer in charge of the Mountain

Division, Major A. B. Rogers, to find a more direct route between

present-day Golden and Revelstoke.

Major Rogers elected to heed the report of Walter Moberly who had

previously explored the valley of the Illecillewaet River east of

Revelstoke in the Selkirk Mountains.

He and his nephew Albert Rogers, undertook exploration of the south

fork of the Illecillewaet River in the spring of 1881.

The following year, 1882, Major Rogers ascended the Beaver River

valley and confirmed the existence of what became known as Rogers