Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site

Atlas No. 3 Mine

Useful Information

Location: At Drumheller. From Drumheller, Hwy 10 East.
Open: MAY to 25-JUN daily 9:30-17:30.
26-JUL to 29-AUG daily 9:30-20:30.
30-AUG to 11-OCT daily 10-17.
Fee: Tunnel Tour: Adults CAD 12, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) CAD 36.
Tipple Tour: Adults CAD 9, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) CAD 27.
Mine Train Tour: Adults CAD 9, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) CAD 27.
Site Admission: Adults CAD 7, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) CAD 21.
Ghost Walk: Adults CAD 9, Children (0-6) free, Family (2+2) CAD 27.
Groups (10+): Tunnel Tour: Adults CAD 11.20, Student CAD 5.50.
Tipple Tour: Adults CAD 8.10, Student CAD 4.50.
Mine Train Tour: Adults CAD 8.10, Student CAD 4.50.
Classification: MineCoal Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Guided tours: Tunnel Tour: D=75 min.
Tipple Tour: D=45 min.
Mine Train Tour: D=45 min.
Site Admission: self guided.
Ghost Walk: D=60 min.
Address: Atlas Coal Mine National Historic Site, Drumheller Valley, Box 521 East Coulee, Alberta, Canada T0J 1B0, Tel: +1-403-822-2220, Fax: +1-403-822-2225. E-mail: contact
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1903 first coal lease taken by James E. Trumble, a local rancher.
1907 American entrepreneur Samuel Drumheller bought the farm of Thomas Greentree.
1911 Drumheller founded.
1912 first mine in the valley, Newcastle Mine, started.
07-MAR-1907 first mine opened by the Atlas Coal Co. Ltd.
05-MAY-1928 Atlas Coal Mine opened.
1947 peak year with a production of two million tons of coal.
1956 Atlas #3 closed.
1979 Atlas Mine closed.
1984 Atlas #4 closed.
2002 named a National Historic Site.
2008 Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society received a fund of $500,000 to develop an underground tour.
MAY-2009 underground tour scheduled to open.


Atlas Coal Mine is one of the most complete mining museums in Canada, preserved as a historic site after the mines were closed. The mines were sealed up by the mine company when abandoned, as required by law, so there is no underground tour. Some sights are the Miner's Wash House, the new Lamp House, and Mine Offices. There is also an original miner's shack, built of straw, mud, and manure. It is possible to view the area self-guided on various trails.

The highlights of the site are the last 8-storey high wooden tipple in Canada and the coal car ride. The tipple is visited on a guided tour, which starts every hour, and is included in the entrance fee. The coal car ride is called Mantrip Ride, a two ton coal car is pulled by an antique battery powered mine locomotive There is also a 20 minutes introductory video called Thunder in the Valley.

The history of the mines is fascinating, some stories sound like the plot of a western movie. The American entrepreneur Colonel Samuel Drumheller came to the area in 1907. He knew that a railway would soon be built through the district, so he tried to get rich. He bought the ranch owned by Thomas Greentree, which had a seam of coal. The coal was obviously needed by the railroad. He also set out a town site on the land in 1910, which was named Drumheller by the Canadian Northern Railway Company in 1911.

In the 1911, the coal mining started at the Newcastle Mine, but subsequently eight other mines opened in the same year. Production increased steadily until the Depression of the 1930s. In 1921, after only 10 years, there were 27 operating mines. The two mines of Midland Coal Company were producing 1.5 million tons of coal annually, employing about 2,000 men. No. 2 Mine was the most modern mine of the area.

The Atlas Coal Co. Ltd was owned by James McCulloch, James O.E. Holden, and Dr. Omer H. Patrick. James O.E. Holden was the first president, then Dr. Omer H. Patrick was president until he died in 1947. They opened their first mine named Atlas Coal Mine in 1917. The Atlas Coal Mine described on this page was their second mine with the same name, founded in 1928. Nearby a second mine was opened, called Murray mine, and the town of East Coulee established.

The end of steam powered trains and the discovery of oil and gas deposits, ended the era of the coal mines. The mines shut down one after the other, today there is no operating mine in the area anymore.