Ghost Town Adventures: A Fun Look At 3 Valley Gap

Last Updated on August 20, 2022

Do you love exploring ghost towns? If so, you’ll want to check out 3 Valley Gap! Did you know that there’s a ghost town where you can time-travel back to the late 1800s? Thousands of fortune seekers came in 1862 to this region of British Columbia as a result of the gold rush. The gold rush was short-lived, resulting in numerous deserted settlements and towns that are now known as Ghost Towns.

3 Valley Gap is the perfect place for an adventure, and there’s plenty to see and do! Keep reading for a closer look at this fascinating place.

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Where Is Three Valley Gap?

Three Valley Lake Chateau Ltd. and Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town are located in Eagle Pass, on the Trans Canada Highway just 12 miles (19km) west of Revelstoke. The Gap is nestled in the Monashee Mountains, with its thundering waterfalls and the gorgeous Lake of Three Valleys lapping up on the beach.

The complex of red-roofed buildings is impossible to miss when traversing the Trans-Canada Highway west of Revelstoke, B.C. We had passed by wondering what it was all about for years before we finally made a point of stopping to explore. We could not believe we did not visit this gem earlier!

3 Valley Gap Ghost Town

A Family Business

The Bell’s Three Valley ambition dates back to the late 1950s when a little service station and motel were built. And since the advent of Rogers Pass to the east of Revelstoke, Three Valley has been expanding. The “old town” appears to be at least a century old. The collection of over 25 structures, as well as a wide range of big and small artifacts, has come from all around British Columbia and represents a unique community.

In 1956, Gordon Bell bought the lakeshore where the original town had been abandoned. He started the 3 Valley Gap Heritage Town in 1961. His family used to drive out from Saskatchewan for weekends to work on the property.

When noticing the decline of historical landmarks in Western Canada, he took matters into his own hands by purchasing these items and preserving them in his 3 Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town. This was no easy task. He took down buildings panel by panel. Then he relocated them and their contents to 3 Valley Gap, where they were rebuilt.

3 Valley Gap Ghost Town

A Diverse Collection

There is a surprising range of buildings that the Bells have collected in the ghost town. The area’s famous gold rush history parallels its development as a ghost town. Because Three Valley Gap is not a typical ghost town in the sense of a community that once existed and then was abandoned, it offers an intriguing collection of structures and relics drawn from this part of British Columbia.

Half of the buildings here are original, historic structures that had to be taken apart and brought in from up to 150 miles away. The others are replicas of nearby buildings.

The kids were especially impressed by the trapper’s cabin. It is a small one-room cabin, barely a meter-and-a-half-high. In the 1800s, fur trappers would build these low structures every eight kilometers along their traplines. With half of the structure underground, the cabin provided protection from bad weather conditions.

The Craigellachie School, constructed in 1902 — the only remaining structure from the site of the famous “Last Spike” — is one of the newer purchases.

We especially love old schoolhouses. It’s a great way to step back in time and imagine what it was like to go to school, in this case, in the 1800s.

The street of old buildings when you first enter the 3 Valley Gap Ghost Town, features the general merchant, watchmaker, and barbershop. It really felt like you were wandering an old town and was completely picture-perfect!

3 Valley Gap Ghost Town

How Many Historic Buildings Are There In 3 Valley Gap?

Some of the buildings you will see are:

  • St. Stephen’s Church
  • Hotel Bellevue
  • Golden Wheel Saloon
  • Craigellachie School House
  • Watchmaker & Jewelry Store
  • Blacksmith Shop
  • Bottle House
  • Trapper Joe’s Cabin
  • C.B. Hume & Co. General Merchants
  • Barbershop
  • Colarch’s Tobacco Shop
  • Jail & Sheriff’s Office
  • Frank’s Furniture Repair Shop
  • Shoe Repair Shop

Other Sights To See At 3 Valley Gap

Take A Train Ride

For some exciting fun for the youngsters, take a brief train journey through the woods.

Railway Roundhouse

The Railway Roundhouse is home to more than 12 pieces of rolling stock.

A roundhouse is where steam locomotive maintenance would occur on a daily basis. The Roundhouse at 3 Valley Gap has the biggest working covered turntable in North America. A turntable is a rotating platform that helps move objects in different directions.

Antique Automobile Museum

Gordon Bell, the original owner of Three Valley Gap, started his assiduous gathering of vintage cars when he was only a teenager. The cars in the museum date from 1902 to 1929. They have been restored to running condition and all come from western Canada.

The Halloween Train

If you love Halloween, do not miss the Halloween train that is located inside the Railway Roundhouse. It was SO well done, that it may just give you the creeps. Our kids thought it was a hoot, but it may terrify your youngsters, so proceed with caution.

Ghost Town Admission

For Summer 2022

Adults – $16.00 (ages 18 +)
Seniors – $14.00 (ages 65 +)
Youth – $11.00 (ages 12 – 17)
Children – $8.00 (ages 6 – 11)
5 & Under – Free
2 Adults & their Children – $44.00 (Family Rate)

Check current admission rates here.

Ghost Town Hours

3 Valley Gap Historic Ghost Town is open from 9 am to Dusk.

Parking At 3 Valley Gap

There is plenty of free parking available on-site.

The Ghost Town Is Pet Friendly

The Historic Ghost Town welcomes your furry friends, but they must be kept on a leash at all times for the safety of both animals and visitors.

3 Valley Gap Chateau

The Three Valley Gap Chateau is a stunning, one-of-a-kind hotel that was constructed in the 1950s. With its striking red roof and unique architecture, the Three Valley Gap Chateau is impossible to miss when driving along the Trans Canada Highway near Revelstoke.

Today, the hotel offers all of the modern amenities that you know and love while still maintaining its old-world charm. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you stay at the chateau, which is located just steps from Ghost Town. Spend a night or two and enjoy everything that 3 Valley Gap has to offer – there’s something for everyone!

All hotel guests receive 50% off their admission to the Heritage Ghost Town at 3 Valley Gap.

 

3 Valley Gap Ghost Town

When you visit Three Valley Gap, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time! The buildings have all been carefully restored, and they’re full of authentic artifacts from the late 1800s.

You can explore the different buildings at your own pace, and the friendly staff is always happy to answer any questions you have.

Have you ever been to a ghost town? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

 

Disclaimer: Our visit was hosted by 3 Valley Gap, but our opinions are our own.

 

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