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Mountains & Vineyards Circle Route

View of vineyard near Summerland

(Picture BC photo)

Transportation & Maps

Mountains & Vineyards Circle Route

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7 to 10 days, 1261.15 km (783.64 mi)

View of Kootenay Lake valley from Buchanan Lookout (David Gluns photo)
View of Kootenay Lake valley from Buchanan Lookout (David Gluns photo)

This is the ultimate escape to mountain grandeur, the succulent fruits of the Okanagan and endless outdoor adventure. Wander in wildlife-rich wetlands, soak in hot springs, play a round of golf and visit some of the country’s finest wineries.

Select one of the parts to view its details:

All Parts
Whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River near Golden, Alpine Rafting photo
Part 1
Golden and Yoho National Park

103.14 km - about 1 hours 18 min

Begin your journey in Golden. Set on the banks of the Columbia River, this tranquil town offers endless outdoor adventures. Enjoy the thrill of whitewater rafting on the Kicking Horse River or quietly watch for birds in the world-renowned Columbia Wetlands. Ride the gondola to the top of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort for panoramic mountain views and enjoy a memorable meal at Canada’s highest restaurant, the Eagle’s Eye, which sits at an elevation of 2,346m/7,700ft. The mountain’s great hiking, mountain biking and “champagne powder” skiing may entice you too.

Just east of Golden on Highway 1 is Yoho National Park, which has astonishing landscapes with craggy peaks, glacial lakes and Takakkaw Falls, one of Canada’s highest waterfalls. Take the circle trail around spectacular jewel-coloured Emerald Lake, visit the Natural Bridge, or view the Spiral Tunnels. These train tunnels were carved in 1909 to avoid steep descents on the treacherous “Big Hill.” Stop for a few minutes and you may see the front end of a locomotive emerging from the upper portal, while the back end of the train enters the same tunnel below.

Following the Columbia River, drive south on Highway 95/93 for stunning Rocky Mountain views.

Radium Hot Springs, Canadian Rockies Hot Springs/Brenda Falvey photo
Part 2
Radium and Fairmont Hot Springs

132.07 km - about 1 hours 43 min

Along the Columbia River, play golf on top-rated 18-hole championship courses with dramatic mountain backdrops. Stop for a steamy soak at either Radium or Fairmont hot springs’ rejuvenating, mineral-rich pools.

Continue south to Kimberley.

Kimberley Platzl, David Gluns photo
Part 3
Kimberley, Cranbrook and Creston

257.55 km - about 3 hours 19 min

Kimberley is a western mining town with a distinct Bavarian theme. See the world’s largest, free-standing cuckoo clock and explore the Platzl, a pedestrian area filled with unique shops and restaurants. Stroll through Cominco Gardens to take in scents from more than 48,000 flowers. Kimberley Alpine Resort is a four-season adventure spot not to be missed.

In Cranbrook, explore the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel, which features the only complete set of rail cars from the luxurious 1929 Canadian Pacific Railway Trans-Canada Limited.

Continue southwest on Highway 3 to the orchard town of Creston. Stop by Skimmerhorn Winery to taste wine paired with local cheese. Also visit the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area. This 6,879-ha/17,000-ac wetland habitat is home to more than 250 bird species, and has viewing towers and guided canoe tours.

Once you reach Salmo, drive north on Highway 6 to historic Nelson.

Nelson Heritage Buildings, David Gluns photo
Part 4
Nelson to the Okanagan

297.81 km - about 4 hours 5 min

In Nelson, be sure to take the free, self-guided walking tour of 350 restored heritage buildings and homes. Ride Streetcar #23 along the waterfront, stroll down Baker Street and tour the studios and galleries of Canada’s finest small town arts community.

Highway 3A brings you to Castlegar, rich in history and Doukhobor culture; enjoy some time at the Doukhobor Discovery Centre and Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park. Take a short excursion south on Highway 22. In Trail, the Columbia Gardens Vineyard & Winery offers guided tours of the wine making facilities and serves up samples at the tasting bar.

Rossland, one of Canada's top mountain biking spots, is home to hundreds of kilometres of mountain biking trails.

Drive on Highway 3B/3 to Hwy 97 and the Okanagan Valley’s orchards and vineyards to savour award-winning wines and take your pick of the season’s fresh crops.

Blasted Church Vineyards in Okanagan Falls, JF Bergeron photo
Part 5
Okanagan Orchards and Vineyards

320.98 km - about 4 hours 35 min

Cradled between two mountain ranges, a chain of blue lakes and sandy beaches span the valley floor in this warm-weather region. Heading north from Osoyoos, you’ll pass through a true desert.

At Oliver, a tour of local wineries is a must – there are more than 20 in the area. Learn traditional wine-making techniques and sample your favourite Bordeaux, Cabernet or Chardonnay in the tasting rooms.

In Summerland, climb aboard the vintage Kettle Valley Steam Railway that travels along a 16-km/10-mi route. And be sure to play a round of golf at one of the area’s numerous championship golf courses; the holes are as spectacular as the scenery. In Kelowna, visit the BC Orchard Industry Museum and BC Wine Museum, located in a historic fruit packing house.

Cruise into the picturesque houseboat haven of the Shuswap Lake area. With 1,000-km/620-mi of shoreline, you’ll find ample space to play, whether your love is swimming, camping, fishing, boating, hiking or biking.

Trans-Canada Highway near Rogers Pass, David Gluns photo
Part 6
Return to Golden via Revelstoke

149.60 km - about 1 hours 55 min

Follow the Trans-Canada Highway 1 to historic Craigellachie. In 1885, the "Last Spike" was driven into Canada’s first transcontinental railway, joining the west to the east. Stop in the alpine city of Revelstoke and tour the Revelstoke Railway Museum, a tribute to the workers that built the nation’s transcontinental railway through the difficult mountain passes.

Between Revelstoke and Golden, drive through one of BC’s great mountain crossings: Rogers Pass. Marvel at the engineering feat that forged a path through the mighty Selkirk and Purcell mountains, making way for the railroad and the Trans-Canada Highway.

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Driving Directions

Part 1 - Golden and Yoho National Park - 103.14 km - about 1 hours 18 min
1.

Head south on 10th Ave S/BC-95 S toward 11 St SContinue to follow BC-95 S

102.87 km
2.

Turn right onto Forsters Landing Rd

0.05 km
3.

Turn left onto Main St W

0.19 km
4.

Take the 1st left onto St Joseph StDestination will be on the right

0.03 km
Part 2 - Radium and Fairmont Hot Springs - 132.07 km - about 1 hours 43 min
1.

Head southwest on St Joseph St toward Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 N/BC-95 N

0.01 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 N/BC-95 N

36.14 km
3.

Head south on Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 S/BC-95 S

66.28 km
4.

Continue straight onto Kimberley Hwy/BC-95A (signs for British Columbia 95 Alternate)

27.73 km
5.

Turn left onto Kimberley Hwy/Wallinger Ave/BC-95AContinue to follow Kimberley Hwy/BC-95ADestination will be on the left

1.91 km
Part 3 - Kimberley, Cranbrook and Creston - 257.55 km - about 3 hours 19 min
1.

Head southeast on Kimberley Hwy/Warren Ave/BC-95A toward Dalgren StContinue to follow Kimberley Hwy/BC-95A

23.65 km
2.

Turn right onto Theatre Rd

2.86 km
3.

Turn right onto Cranbrook St N/Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W/BC-95 SContinue to follow Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W/BC-95 SDestination will be on the right

1.54 km
4.

Head southwest on Crowsnest Trail/Van Horne St N/BC-3 E/BC-95 N toward 1 St NContinue to follow Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 E/BC-95 N

68.37 km
5.

Turn right onto Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W (signs for Creston Nelson)

37.03 km
6.

Head west on Canyon St/Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W toward Cook StContinue to follow Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W

2.92 km
7.

Turn left to stay on Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W

80.10 km
8.

Turn right onto Nelson Nelway Hwy/Railway Ave/BC-6 N (signs for Nelson/Salmo)

0.63 km
9.

Turn right onto Fourth St

0.10 km
10.

Head northwest on Fourth St toward Nelson Nelway Hwy/Railway Ave/BC-6 N

0.10 km
11.

Turn right onto Nelson Nelway Hwy/Railway Ave/BC-6 NContinue to follow Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-6 N

39.76 km
12.

Slight right onto the ramp to Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-3A/BC-6 N

0.10 km
13.

Continue onto Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-3A/BC-6 NDestination will be on the left

0.40 km
Part 4 - Nelson to the Okanagan - 297.81 km - about 4 hours 5 min
1.

Head west on Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-3A/BC-6 N toward Lakeview CrescentContinue to follow BC-3A

39.88 km
2.

Take the British Columbia 3 W ramp to Castlegar/Grand Forks Trail

0.38 km
3.

Merge onto Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W

0.87 km
4.

Take the exit toward BC-22 S/Castlegar/Trail

0.50 km
5.

Continue onto 20 St

0.14 km
6.

Turn right onto Columbia Ave/BC-22 NDestination will be on the right

0.18 km
7.

Head southeast on Columbia Ave/BC-22 S toward 20 StContinue to follow BC-22 S

25.51 km
8.

Slight right toward Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland Ave/BC-22 S/BC-3B W

0.05 km
9.

Take the 1st right onto Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland Ave/BC-22 S/BC-3B WDestination will be on the left

0.05 km
10.

Head northwest on Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland Ave/BC-22 S/BC-3B W toward 1 StContinue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy/BC-22 S/BC-3B W

8.16 km
11.

Turn left onto Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail Hwy/BC-22 S/BC-3B WDestination will be on the left

0.17 km
12.

Head west on Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail Hwy/BC-22 S/BC-3B W toward Washington StContinue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy/BC-22 S/BC-3B W

1.31 km
13.

Turn right onto BC-3B W

28.07 km
14.

Turn left onto Crowsnest Trail/BC-3 W (signs for Christina Lake/Grand Forks)Destination will be on the right

192.55 km
Part 5 - Okanagan Orchards and Vineyards - 320.98 km - about 4 hours 35 min
1.

Head west on Crowsnest Trail/Main St/BC-3 W toward 87 St

0.88 km
2.

Turn right onto Okanagan Hwy/BC-3A N/BC-97 N (signs for Oliver/Penticton)

18.62 km
3.

Continue onto Main StDestination will be on the left

1.61 km
4.

Head north on Main St toward Veterans Ave

1.35 km
5.

Continue onto Okanagan Hwy/BC-3A N/BC-97 N

19.45 km
6.

Turn left onto 9 Ave/Okanagan Hwy/BC-3A N/BC-97 N (signs for Penticton)Continue to follow Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N

14.83 km
7.

Turn left onto Channel Pkwy/Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N (signs for Summerland/Kelowna)Continue to follow Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N

4.79 km
8.

Turn left onto Eckhardt Ave W/Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N (signs for Eckhardt Avenue/Summerland/Kelowna)Continue to follow Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 NDestination will be on the left

15.92 km
9.

Head north on Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N toward Hoofbeat St

46.06 km
10.

Head east on Harvey Ave/Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N toward Ethel StContinue to follow Okanagan Hwy/BC-97 N

61.22 km
11.

Continue onto Vernon-Sicamous Hwy/BC-97A N

65.53 km
12.

Turn right onto Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 EDestination will be on the right

21.83 km
13.

Head northeast on Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 EDestination will be on the left

48.90 km
Part 6 - Return to Golden via Revelstoke - 149.60 km - about 1 hours 55 min
1.

Head northeast on Nakusp Mica Creek Hwy/Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E/BC-23 N toward Bend RdContinue to follow Trans-Canada Hwy/BC-1 E

147.35 km
2.

Turn right onto BC-95 S (signs for Radium/Hot springs/Cranbrook)

0.76 km
3.

Turn right onto 10th Ave N/BC-95 SDestination will be on the left

1.50 km