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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, 1260.96 km (783.52 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

103.04 km - about 1 hours 17 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

132.06 km - about 2 hours 8 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

257.52 km - about 3 hours 10 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

297.95 km - about 4 hours 7 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

320.80 km - about 4 hours 4 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

149.59 km - about 1 hours 38 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 - 103.04 km - about 1 hours 17 min
1.

Head south on BC-93 S/BC-95 S toward 11 St S

103.03 km
2.

Turn left onto St Joseph St

0.01 km
Part 2 - Radium and Fairmont Hot Springs - 132.06 km - about 2 hours 8 min
1.

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

0.01 km
2.

Take the 1st left onto Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 S/BC-95 SDestination will be on the left

36.14 km
3.

Head south on Kootenay Hwy/BC-93 S/BC-95 S toward Riverview Rd

66.28 km
4.

Continue onto Kimberley Hwy/BC-95 Alt S (signs for British Columbia 95 Alternate)

27.72 km
5.

Turn left onto Kimberley Hwy/Wallinger Ave/BC-95 Alt SContinue to follow Kimberley Hwy/BC-95 Alt SDestination will be on the left

1.91 km
Part 3 - Kimberley, Cranbrook and Creston - 257.52 km - about 3 hours 10 min
1.

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

23.68 km
2.

Turn right onto Theatre Rd

2.85 km
3.

Turn right onto Cranbrook St N/Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W/BC-95 SContinue to follow Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W/BC-95 S

1.52 km
4.

Head southwest on Crowsnest Hwy/Van Horne St N/BC-3 W/BC-95 S toward 1 St NContinue to follow Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W/BC-95 S

68.39 km
5.

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

33.89 km
6.

Turn right to stay on Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W

3.10 km
7.

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

2.92 km
8.

Turn left to stay on Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W (signs for Salmo)

80.10 km
9.

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

0.63 km
10.

Turn right onto Fourth St

0.10 km
11.

Head northwest on Fourth St toward Nelson Nelway Hwy/Railway Ave

0.10 km
12.

Turn right onto Nelson Nelway Hwy/Railway AveContinue to follow Nelson Nelway Hwy

39.75 km
13.

Slight right to merge onto Nelson Nelway Hwy/BC-3ADestination will be on the left

0.49 km
Part 4 - Nelson to the Okanagan - 297.95 km - about 4 hours 7 min
1.

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

39.79 km
2.

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

0.48 km
3.

Merge onto Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W

0.87 km
4.

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

0.50 km
5.

Merge onto 20 St

0.14 km
6.

Turn right onto Columbia AveDestination will be on the right

0.18 km
7.

Head southeast on Columbia Ave toward 20 St

5.82 km
8.

Continue onto BC-22 S

19.74 km
9.

Turn right onto Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland AveDestination will be on the left

0.05 km
10.

Head northwest on Paterson-Trail Hwy/Rossland Ave toward 1 StContinue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy

8.15 km
11.

Turn left onto Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail HwyDestination will be on the left

0.17 km
12.

Head west on Columbia Ave/Paterson-Trail Hwy toward Washington StContinue to follow Paterson-Trail Hwy

1.31 km
13.

Turn right onto BC-3B W

28.09 km
14.

Slight right toward Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W (signs for BC-3 E/Castlegar/Nelson)

0.07 km
15.

Sharp left onto Crowsnest Hwy/BC-3 W

192.38 km
16.

Turn left onto Crowsnest Hwy/Main St/BC-3 W (signs for Crowsnest Highway/Penticton/Vancoouver)Destination will be on the right

0.22 km
Part 5 - Okanagan Orchards and Vineyards - 320.80 km - about 4 hours 4 min
1.

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

0.88 km
2.

Turn right onto BC-97 N (signs for Oliver/Penticton)

18.64 km
3.

Continue onto Main St

1.59 km
4.

Head north on Main St toward Veterans Ave

1.35 km
5.

Continue onto BC-97 N

19.49 km
6.

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

14.81 km
7.

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

4.78 km
8.

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

15.91 km
9.

Head northwest on BC-97 N toward Hoofbeat St

46.05 km
10.

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

61.04 km
11.

Continue onto Vernon-Sicamous Hwy/BC-97A N (signs for Salmon Arm/Sicamous)

65.55 km
12.

Turn right onto BC-1 E/Trans-Canada Hwy (signs for Trans Canada Highway E)

21.83 km
13.

Head northeast on BC-1 E/Trans-Canada HwyDestination will be on the left

48.89 km
Part 6 - Return to Golden via Revelstoke - 149.59 km - about 1 hours 38 min
1.

Head northeast on Nakusp Mica Creek Hwy/BC-23 N toward Bend Rd

0.28 km
2.

Continue onto BC-1 E/Trans-Canada Hwy (signs for Trans-Canada Highway/Golden)

147.05 km
3.

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

0.75 km
4.

Turn right to stay on BC-95 SDestination will be on the left

1.50 km