Kootenay Rockies Region

A spectacular alpine destination in British Columbia’s southeast corner, this stunning region of lakes, glaciers, jagged peaks, natural hot springs, and offbeat, charming towns won’t be BC’s best-kept secret much longer.

Fernie, for  example,  an  historic  mining  town  of  Victorian brick,  surrounded by  more  than a  thousand hectares  (2,500 acres) of  skiable  slopes  and   bowls,  was  recently   named   one of Canada’s best ski towns. Seven other Kootenay Rockies alpine resorts, including Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, near Golden, and Panorama  Mountain Village, near lnvermere, are highly ranked for runs, powder, and facilities, without the crowds. Come summer, the lift-accessed hiking and biking are second to none. Revelstoke Mountain Resort has the highest lift-accessed vertical in North America and is the only resort world-wide to offer lift-, heli-, and cat­ skiing from one village base. Add dozens of other ski operators offering backcountry, heli, and Nordic options, and it’s no wonder people are drawn to the region’s Powder Highway.

The Kootenay Rockies is also home to some of BC’s most lovingly preserved historic sites, including the world’s oldest intact passenger sternwheeler, the SS Moyie, dry docked at Kaslo; the Underground Mining Railway in Kimberley; and the intriguing railway museums in Cranbrook, Three Valley Gap, and Revelstoke. At Fort Steele Heritage Town, interpreters bring to life an 1890s boomtown, while the Native Interpretive Centre at the St. Eugene Resort, a former residential school, explores the history of the local Ktunaxa First Nation.

In this region of small towns, each community has its own flavour. Nelson, for example, set idyllically on the western arm of Kootenay Lake, is so rich with heritage buildings and cultural life it’s been dubbed Canada’s best small arts town.

 

Also here is a wealth of natural hot springs. The self-drive Hot Springs Circle Route leads to seven different springs, from rustic to lavish. The hot springs route follows Highways 93 and 95 along the Columbia River, past distinctive rock formations called hoodoos, and through landscapes rich in wildlife, including black bears, deer, elk, moose, mountain goats, and especially birds.

The Columbia River Wetlands, between Canal Flats and Donald (north of Golden), and the Creston Valley Wildlife Management area (near Creston) are home to more than 250 avian species, including ospreys and blue herons.

 

The Kootenay Rockies’ many parks include Yoho National Park, home to the Burgess Shale, a UN ESCO World Heritage Site famed for its Cambrian-aged fossils; Kootenay National Park, with its glacier-clad peaks; Mount Revelstoke National Park, where the Meadows in the Sky Parkway offers drive-in access to high altitude wildflower meadows; and Glacier National Park, where hiking trails climb through old-growth forest to sweeping alpine views.

Yoho National Park

Yoho National Park is located in the Canadian Rocky Mountains in southeastern British Columbia.Yoho showcases towering rockwalls, spectacular waterfalls and soaring peaks which earn the park its name “a place of awe and wonder”

The park has many waterfalls including Laughing Falls, Twin Falls, Wapta Falls and one of Canada’s highest at 254m, Takakkaw Falls. Silt carried by streams from melting glaciers is responsible for the deep and rich turquoise colour of stunning Emerald Lake and Lake O’Hara.

One of the world’s most important fossil finds, the Burgess Shale, is located here. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1981, the Burgess Shale Formation contains the fossilized remains of more than 120 marine animal species dating back 515 million years.

Wildlife within the park includes the Canadian lynx, grizzly and black bears and wolverine.

Golden

Golden is located between the Canadian Rocky Mountains and Columbia Mountain ranges and with close proximity to six of the most stunning national parks that Canada has to offer; Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho, Golden BC.

Golden also sits at the confluence of the Kicking Horse River, a Canadian heritage river famous for whitewater rafting, and the Columbia River, a BC heritage river which meanders through the longest protected wetlands in North America.

Golden is home to Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, where you can experience some of the best skiing in North America and during the summer months downhill biking and the grizzly bear refuge are both open.

There is an award winning golf course, extensive down and cross country mountain biking terrain, some of the best whitewater rafting in the world, vast snowmobiling terrain for sledders of all abilities.

Invermere

Invermere is a small town in eastern British Columbia, near the border of Alberta, with a population of almost 4,000 – swelling to near 40,000 on summer weekends. It provides a quiet location and great base from which to explore the south east of this incredible province.

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