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4-3695-Arrow-Lake

Arrow Lake

(Dave Heath photo)

Trip Ideas

Exploring the Kootenay Rockies

Set apart from the rest of BC by winding roads, mountain passes and ferry crossings, the West Kootenays are just off the beaten path. Communities that radiate mountain culture dot the landscape and people live in harmony with nature. This is a place nestled between high peaks and wandering valleys. A pocket of BC that thrives by way of the wild.

Things to Do

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Exploring Nelson & Beyond

Nelson, a historic town on Kootenay Lake, makes a great base for adventure in the surrounding... Read more mountains or seeking culture in the lakeside communities. Hike easy trails in Kokanee Creek Provincial Park or tackle a backcountry trek in high-altitude, lake-rich Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Launch a canoe, kayak or paddleboard and explore the clear blue water of Kootenay Lake. Take a day trip to Kaslo, the artisans’ studios of Crawford Bay, hot springs and even smaller mountain communities.

Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park

Perhaps the best known alpine park in the Kootenay region, the boundaries encompass 32,035 hectares of some of the most scenic country found in the Selkirk Mountains. Comprising a picturesque mosaic of high peaks, snowfields, cirques and colourful...
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Destination BC/Dave Heath, photo

Paddle or Sail Kootenay Lake

Take to the water on the calm Kootenay Lake. Explore by canoe, kayak, paddleboard or sail boat from Nelson, Balfour and Kaslo. Bring your own gear or join tours with local operators ROAM, Kootenay Kayak Company, Hellman Canoe and Kayak and more. The easiest way to get on the water is from Lakeside Park, where the Nelson and District Community Complex will rent kayaks and paddleboards during the summer months.

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Jesse Woodward photo

Cottonwood Market

Every Saturday in the summer, Nelson’s Cottonwood Market is the place to be. Set in Cottonwood Falls Park, a city park complete with a waterfall, this outdoor market offers everything from woodworking crafts to home baking, live music and organic food.

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Destination BC/Dave Heath, photo

Ferry Across Kootenay Lake

Kootenay Lake is home to one of the longest free ferry rides in the world. The 35 minute trip from Balfour, just north of Nelson, across Kootenay Lake to Kootenay Bay is worth the trip. Hop on and admire the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges that surround you. While across the lake, visit the artisans’ studios in Crawford Bay or take a road trip south, following the road to Creston and back north again to Nelson.

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Andrew Penner photo

Art in Crawford Bay

Crawford Bay, a tiny community located on the east side of Kootenay Lake, is home to a surprisingly large number of artisans. Studios are open daily from May through early September, with some open longer. This is the perfect place to pick up a unique memento, from hand crafted jewellery to pottery, to special brooms created using antique equipment.

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Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort

Overlooking the beautiful Purcell Mountains and Kootenay Lake, this year-round destination resort offers a unique and relaxing hot springs experience with 41 air-conditioned rooms (including specialty rooms), satellite TV, elevator, full-service r...
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SS Moyie in Kaslo

An International treasure, the SS Moyie is the oldest surviving intact vessel of her type in the world. At the edge of Kootenay Lake, the sternwheeler rests permanently in her former port of call at Kaslo. Owned & operated by the Canadian Pacific ...
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Gina Bégin photo

Fletcher Falls & Beyond in Kaslo

On a quick walk through the forest sits one of the Kootenay’s most dramatic waterfalls. Admire this 50 foot (49 metre) waterfall from below. The trail leads to an amphitheatre of overhanging trees and rock walls. Spend a day hunting for waterfalls and hidden hikes in Kaslo with many trails and treks to choose from.

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Destination BC/Dave Heath, photo

Exploring the Slocan Valley

The scenery of the Slocan Valley could keep you exploring for days. Stand on top of Idaho Peak and gaze upon Slocan Lake far below. Venture into the mountains on two wheels and cruise along the Galena Trail. An adventure with cable car river crossings and winding routes through the forest. It you prefer a calmer experience, hike the easy New Denver Loop which follows the original wagon road from New Denver to Sandon.

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(Don Weixir/KootenayRockies.com photo)

Nakusp Hot Springs

The small town of Nakusp, on Upper Arrow Lake, boasts three hot springs. At Nakusp Hot Springs two hot springs-fed pools are set in an amphitheatre-like structure against a backdrop of mountains. At Halcyon Hot Springs Village & Spa, a series of hot, warm and cold pools overlook the lake; a restaurant, a spa and cabins are here too. For something more rustic, head for Halfway Hot Springs where wooden soaking buckets are fed by a hose from the spring.
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Halcyon Hot Springs - Pools

For more than a century, people have been drawn to the natural healing waters of Halcyon Hot Springs. Located on the shores of Arrow Lake between Revelstoke & Nakusp, Halcyon Hot Springs Village & Spa is a wonderful escape from the hustle & bustle...
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Places to Stay

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The Hume Hotel

The Hume is Nelson's boutique heritage hotel since 1898. The property has undergone a major heritage revitalization returning it to much of its original splendour.

Centrally located, we offer a full, complimentary hot breakfast, free WiFi...

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Halcyon Hot Springs Village & Spa

This spectacular lakeshore getaway offers outstanding views from the terraced mineral pools. The Halcyon Hot Springs Lithia waters are famous to soothe body, mind and soul. Kingfisher Restaurant and Lounge with scenic patio allows for a casual mea...
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Camping at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park

Kokanee Creek is the perfect destination campground, with a little something for everyone. The park boasts a number of great activities including a network of nature trails, wildlife viewing platforms and interpretive programs that run over the s...
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Getting Here and Around

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Getting to the Southern Kootenays

The journey to the Southern Kootenays is all part of the experience and smaller communities can... Read more be easily accessed on a day trip from Nelson. The Canadian Rockies International Airport has flights from Vancouver, Kelowna  and Calgary directly to Cranbrook. The airport is about 3 hours from Nelson. Fancy a road trip? Nelson is about an eight hour drive from Vancouver or 6.5 hours from Calgary.

Canadian Rockies International Airport

The expanded Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook hosts direct flights to two of Western Canada's gateway airports: Vancouver (YVR) & Calgary (YYC).

Get ready to head out on the Powder Highway for the winter ski safari of y...

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