The Kootenay Rockies welcome literally millions of visitors every year, yet when one arrives here it is strangely peaceful and uncrowded. Four mountain ranges stretch across the region: the Rocky Mountains and the Purcells in the east, and the Selkirks and Monashees in the west. Highways carve through snow mantled mountains dotted with sparkling, crystal clear lakes, fertile farmlands, rolling ranchlands and deep lush mountainous valleys. Famous for its incredible ski resorts, this region is also one of Canada's Golf Destinations, making it a magnificent place to visit any time of the year.
Tucked among these mountains are numerous unspoiled lakes offering warm waters and sandy beaches where you can enjoy swimming, boating, kayaking, windsurfing and more. Yoho National Park in the east is sprinkled with waterfalls and glacial lakes. You will feel awe as you gaze up at Takakkaw Falls or at a dozen snowy peaks as you paddle Emerald Lake. Wildlife abounds everywhere in the Kootenay Rockies. Just west of Yoho National Park is Golden, a gateway to vast wilderness where naturalists converge as a vantage point for wildlife viewing and bird watching.
The Creston Wildlife Centre provides 17,000 acres to countless birds and animals, and you'll often sight deer, elk, moose, bear and bighorn sheep right along the highways.
Explore Glacier and Mount Revelstoke National Parks. Drive to the summit of Mount Revelstoke to take in the beauty of the Columbia and Monashee Mountain ranges. While in Revelstoke take in a tour of the mighty Revelstoke or Mica Dams.
If you enjoy fishing, you’ll find plenty here in the Kootenay Rockies including rainbow, brook, lake and cutthroat trout, some of the six million born each year at the Kootenay Trout Hatchery. Both the Arrow Lakes and Kootenay Lake hold some of the world's largest rainbow trout the Gerrard. Numerous lakes, rivers and streams support healthy populations of largemouth bass, kokanee and whitefish. As well, the Columbia River sports some of the best walleye fishing in North America.
Golf courses abound in this area. The more than seventeen championship 18 hole golf courses and numerous unique and challenging nine hole courses make the Kootenay Rockies a world class golfing destination.
Hiking is popular in the Kootenay Rockies the Kokanee Glacier and Valhalla Provincial Parks both provide spectacular mountain scenery, alpine meadows, glaciers and miles and miles of superb trail systems. Another way to experience the mountains is by horseback scenic wildlife and photography rides are a great way to explore.
There are also many attractions and annual events. Enjoy the Bavarian flavour of accordions, yodelling and alpine dancing in the Platzl in Kimberley. The quaint town of Invermere owes its unique character to an enviable setting on one of British Columbia’s most exquisite lakes. The natural warmth of the hot springs pools at Fairmont, Radium and Ainsworth Hot Springs are popular attractions with people of all ages. Undeveloped hot springs can also be found in the region.
At Fort Steele Heritage Town the 1890's come to life. Travel back to the golden age of the passenger train at the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel in Cranbrook where the Trans Canada Ltd., a million dollar train built in Canada in 1929, has been beautifully restored.
At Nelson, some 350 heritage buildings still stand, most restored to their original splendour. Get a taste of 19th century Russia at the Doukhobor Heritage Village near Castlegar where they serve up terrific borscht! Step back in time while visiting Sandon, the famous "ghost city" left from the Silvery Slocan mining boom of the late 1800s. In Kaslo, visitors can board the last of the Kootenay sternwheelers, the S.S. Moyie, which is now a museum drydocked on the shore of Kootenay Lake. Craigellachie, on Highway 1 (Trans Canada Highway) is where the historic last spike linked Canada by railway from coast to coast.
The friendly community of Sparwood, with deep rooted origins in the mining industry, presents painted murals, capturing the essence of coal mining in the early 1900s. Enjoy the spectacular wilderness domain Elkford has to offer, or tour the town of Fernie and view turn of the century structures.
If you enjoy the outdoors and magnificent splendour of the mountains, then the Kootenay Rockies is your camping destination.