Aug 092012
Ings Mine Canyon Creek

With heavy snow pack still in the mountains we attempted a foothills hike hoping conditions would be better. We choose the Sulphur Springs loop trail, but it was no fun, not even worth a trip report. We spent most of our time either post-holing through heavy snow banks or slogging through mud and slush. No fun at all! Given how miserable it was and so as not to make the day a total loss, we decided to do a short side trip to explore Ings mine (the name of the owner was George Ings).

Actually to call this a mine would be a stretch. It is clearly a prospect to check for a suitable seam. It only goes back 30m and intersects a minor coal band. There is little history to be found on this mine, understandable given its small output (if there was any). But from I can find, this mine, and/or perhaps others in the area were used to supply fuel to some local gas drilling rigs around the time of world war one. Ironic that coal was used to drill for gas. The operation dates from the early 1910s.

↓ ↓ ↓ ↓ Scroll down for photos and to comment ↓ ↓ ↓ ↓

There is supposedly another mine up the valley of the same name. Located near the famous Bragg Creek ice caves, I am not sure if it was also owned by Ings, or if the maps have it wrong, or if I am wrong. In looking at report from others though it does appear something existed there, and the debris and flotsam around does hint at a coal mine. So maybe Ings mine comprises both these workings? I will continue to research but doubt much will turn up.

What may be surprising to those that live around here is that in addition to oil and gas, good quality coal exists in the hills of Kananaskis and even into the prairies. Outcroppings can be found on hillsides or in deep river valleys. No serious mining has taken place in the vicinity, however many small domestic mines (dug by farmers, ranchers and others) are known in the area. Along with this small prospect which was an attempt at a commercial mine.

In addition to here, the author has seen workings along the Bow River near the ghost town of Glenbow and west of Cochrane, along the Sheep River valley in many places, near the town of Black Diamond (so named for coal) and others. All within a short distance of Calgary.

To see some other mines we’ve explored, click any of these links…
Lost Creek to Dibble Mine Cranbrook BC.
Sheep River to Burns Mine part 2.
Abandoned Murray Mine.

If you wish more information on this place, by all means contact us!

Date of adventure: May 2009
Location: Kananaskis.
Warning: Mines are dangerous. Coal mines in particular, even little ones like this.

Ings Mine

The Ings Mine adit goes back about 30m.

Ings Mine icicles

Icicles on the mine floor.

Ings Mine Canyon Creek

Me looking in, and you looking out.

Ings Mine opening

The mine opening.

Opening Ings Mine

Clearly this was a small scale prospect.


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4 Comments on "Ings Mine"

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Eli Brager
Eli Brager
Hi guys, I found a site on historical coal mines in Alberta: According to them, I think the mine you were in was owned by WS Herron, was a pillar and room mine, and was owned under the name of Canyon Creek Mine. I can only assume the colloquial name of “Ing’s Mine” was used in later years. The only ‘official’ written reference to “Ing’s Mine” I have found (other than internet) was on the GemTrek topo hiking maps. The site above does not show any other coal mines in the area, so I assume they are one and the same. It could also be that Ing’s is not listed on the site, but it seems pretty exhaustive. I believe Gemtrek perhaps found the name used colloquially, or in error, unless you have found other historical usage of the name (have you?). Anyways, if you haven’t already used that site,… Read more »
I would be interested to know the location for the mine west of the Ice Cave? The caving club does quite a bit out there, and would probably be interested looking around and following up on it. A few hundred yards west of the Ice Cave entrance is another cave called Canyon Rill, which is very tight at the back and hasn’t been pushed very far, but it has a small stream flowing out if it. Looks like there is a lot more to the story than I thought! I have to admit – The only place I have read that refer’s to Ings mine is on the GemTrek topo maps. Lots of cavers in the Club had referred to the caves as Ing’s Mine, too. But it is definitely a natural cave. Anyways, you’ve caught my interest! Do you find that coal mine website very accurate when cross referenced… Read more »