The Legend of Kicking Horse
A name you won’t soon forget, Kicking Horse Pass has a rather epic story behind its unusual moniker. In 1858, while accompanying John Palliser on an expedition to find a route through the Rockies to extend the railway, a geologist named James Hector splashed into a nearby river, chasing a pack horse that had come loose. Tying him up near his own steed, the two horses began to fight, and Hector was kicked in the head by his own horse and knocked out cold to the point where his indigenous guides assumed him dead. He awakened to find himself in their arms—on the way to his grave. Once confirming that he was, in fact, still among the living, he explored the valley and river (shown here) further—the train eventually came this way, and both were named for him and this event.