Highway: The West Kootenays
Christina Lake has a disposition as sweet as the rolling hills
that surround this classic Kootenay beauty. Launch a canoe or kayak
from the beach in Gladstone Provincial Park
and enjoy a paddle around the northern half of this popular lake.
You'll find wilderness campsites on sandy shores, if you care to spend
a night under the stars.
If you're lured to spend more than a day on the water, tackle the
three-day, 30-mile (50-km) paddle from Procter near Nelson
to Kuskanook on the south arm of Kootenay Lake. There are dispersed
camping locations at pocket beaches and creek mouths, as well as formal
campsites provided by BC Parks and the Recreation Sites and Trails
BC. Among these are Irvine Creek and Wilson Creek Recreation Sites,
and Drewry Point and Midge Creek Provincial Parks, all of which are
marine access only. The lake can be windy, so an early-morning start
is strongly recommended.
For a short trip on a big river, paddlers can access the Columbia
River at the old ferry slip at Robson or Castlegar
and take out in Trail at the municipal park, north of the bridge on
the east side of the river. Allow one short day for this 18.5-mile
(30-km), Class I or II trip. For a longer day, paddle on 12 miles
(20 km) farther to Waneta, at the Canada-US border.
Slocan Valley and Upper Arrow Lake
The adventurous might want to canoe the length of Slocan Lake
(staying close to the western shore), which can take from two to five
days. The shoreline has many attractive sand and cobble beaches to
enjoy, and the park has nine camping areas with outhouses and bear-proof
food caches. Valhalla Provincial Park
is a magnificent world-class wilderness area, including nearly 20
miles (30 km) of the pristine wilderness shoreline of Slocan Lake.
Kayakers and boaters are warned that the lake can have treacherous
winds, consult locals before setting out.
The Slocan River is a small river, with occasional rapids,
in a rural setting. Although none of the rapids is particularly difficult
(nothing over Class III), experience in reading and running whitewater
is definitely required. Paddlers should be adequately equipped, know
their abilities and limitations, and reconnoitre unfamiliar territory.
Intermediate-level paddlers might want to get a taste of the river
between Slocan and Crescent Valley, a Class II, 50-mile (80-km) trip
that will take one long day. To shorten the trip, the river may be
accessed at any of the bridges along Hwy 6, particularly between Perry
Siding and Slocan Park. The most technical portion of the river (Class
III) is just north of its confluence with the Kootenay River, a 3-mile
(5-km) stretch between Crescent Valley and Shoreacres, a popular play
spot for kayakers and canoers. Put in at Crescent Valley and take
out at Shoreacres, just downstream of the railroad bridge. Allow one
to three hours.
||Canadian Adventure Rentals, Vancouver
||Self-Drive Camping Vacations in British Columbia. Canadian Adventure Rentals will help you create the ultimate outdoor adventure. All packages include a luxury sports utility vehicle (unlimited mileage) fully equipped with camping gear for one to four persons. We also provide mountain bikes, kayaks and canoes, and will reserve campsites across BC for you.
||Kootenay River Runners, Radium Hot Springs
||We introduce adventurers to the delights of river rafting, guiding you down the First Class whitewater Kicking Horse River, and the pristine Kootenay and Columbia Rivers - some of the most impressive mountain landscape in the Canadian Rockies. We will take care of you, whether your interests are challenging whitewater, family rafting, or an extended wilderness adventure.
||Nipika Mountain Resort, Invermere
||Simply Spectacular, Spectacularly Simple! Enjoy Canada's most beautiful wilderness in luxury timber-frame or log cabins in the heart of the B.C. Rocky Mountains, beside Kootenay National Park - the perfect spot to get away from it all. Come hiking, biking, rafting, canoeing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, or just sit back on the porch and do nothing. Life is Short - Play Hard.