Built on a sunny bench above the fertile Creston Flats, this small country town has a proud agricultural culture and history.
It is surprising to see grain elevators on this side of the Rockies, but two of them stand quietly at the edge of downtown Creston, overlooking giant rectangular fields located between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges.
Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area
On the west side of the valley, the protected wetlands of the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area provide essential habitat for vast numbers of migratory birds, as well as permanent populations of painted turtles and other amphibians. It is a great area for birdwatching.
Landscape Around Town
South of town and east of the Kootenay River, the topography quickly morphs into rolling hills. On a hot summer afternoon, this area resembles Tuscany. In the rural areas of Canyon and Lister, cherry orchards and dairy cows bask in the sunshine.
To the north, beyond the wetlands around Duck Lake, the valley embraces the huge South Arm of Kootenay Lake. Highway 3A, between Creston and the Kootenay Bay ferry landing, winds along the lakeshore for 80km/50mi, revealing a diverse geography of lakes and mountains.
Climate and Weather
Creston's annual crop of peaches suggests that the climate here is just a little warmer than in the rest of the Kootenay Rockies region. Summer temperatures are toasty, with average highs exceeding 26°C/79°F in July. Average annual rainfall amounts to a mere 49cm/19in. January high temperatures are, on average, above the freezing point, and snow accumulation in the valley is often no more than finger-deep.