Hillcrest, also known as Hillcrest Mines, is an urban community in the Rocky Mountains within the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass in southwest Alberta. It was once a hamlet under the jurisdiction of Improvement District (I.D.) No. 5 prior to 1979 when the former I.D. No. 5 amalgamated with four other municipalities to form Crowsnest Pass.
Hillcrest was named after Charles Plummer Hill, an early coal prospector and entrepreneur in the area. The Hillcrest Coal and Coke Company, incorporated on January 31, 1905, began constructing the town the same year, and the Canadian Pacific Railway soon built a spur for transporting coal from the Hillcrest Mine and a station. Hillcrest soon grew to a population of about 1,000. Although the mine was successful, and considered one of the safest in the region, an underground explosion in 1914 (Canada's worst mine disaster) killed 189 men -- almost twenty percent of the town's population and half the mine's workforce. A further explosion in 1926 killed two men. After the mine closed in 1939, Hillcrest experienced a period of economic decline.