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Kootenays

Kootenay Lake, Kootenays, British Columbia
The Kootenays region of British Columbia incorporates the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3), which winds its way through the Monashee Mountains and Selkirk Mountains between Grand Forks and Creston, Slocan Valley and Upper Arrow Lake (from Salmo to Galena Bay), and the North Kootenay Lake and Selkirk Valleys (from Kaslo on the west side of Kootenay Lake north to Galena Bay). Two geographical features dominate the Kootenays region of British Columbia: mountains and water.

Four parallel mountain ranges, running in a generally northwest direction, march successively across the southeastern British Columbia landscape. The most westerly are the Monashees, followed by the rugged Selkirks, defined on their western flanks by the Arrow reservoir system and Slocan Lake, and on the east by the spectacular waters of Kootenay Lake.

These two mountain ranges and accompanying lake systems define this district. Farther east are the Purcells, then the Rockies, outlining the area known as the East Kootenays. The other major north-south water system in this district is formed by Kootenay Lake (at more than 65 miles/105 km long, it's one of the province's largest freshwater lakes) and Kootenay River, which joins with the Columbia near Castlegar.

The Crowsnest Highway east of Grand Forks provides a good introduction to the often steep terrain of the West Kootenays. Only intrepid travellers need apply to drive what is the highest-elevation paved highway in Canada, the Skyway. But you'll want some time - and cooperation from the weather. Avoid this route during winter storms, particularly the stretch between Salmo and Creston, for avalanches are a fact of life, and road closures are inevitable. Alberta licence plates begin to appear more regularly in parks here; the Kootenays are almost equidistant from the Prairies and the West Coast.

By their very nature, the Selkirk Mountains define this part of the Kootenays. Highway 6 links silvan Salmo with Highway 23 and stern-wheeling Nakusp, and forms alliances with branches of Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) to wrap all who journey here in a seductive embrace. Love at first sight is the reaction of many visitors to the Kootenays.

Two of British Columbia's major mountain wilderness parks, Valhalla and Kokanee Glacier, are situated here. Cody Caves, a unique area of karst topography, also occurs here. (A karst is a limestone region with underground drainage and many cavities and passages caused by the dissolution of the rock.) Serrated, glacier-cloaked granite peaks dominate the landscape. Huge lake-filled glacial valleys provide habitat for many kinds of wildlife and offer excellent opportunities for water-based recreation. The range of wilderness experiences offered throughout the West Kootenays is exhilarating and diverse. Hot springs, alpine meadows, spectacular winter recreation, wildlife observation, and photography are among the many reasons to visit.

Throughout both the East and West Kootenay regions winds the majestic Columbia River, with its source in Columbia Lake near the town of Fairmont Hot Springs on the Rockies' western slopes. The river flows north for over 186 miles (300 km) before hooking west and south to begin its long journey to the US border - more than 250 miles (400 km). For nearly half this length it widens to form the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes, vast reservoirs of water that moderate winter temperatures and help retain moisture in the local atmosphere, thus greatly influencing the types of vegetation found there. The river crosses the border just south of Trail and passes through Washington to its mouth at Astoria, Oregon.

The Kootenays wouldn't be complete without at least a backroad or two for those travellers with a little time on their hands and an inclination to search out wilderness backpacking destinations and fishing holes. This route leads through the Lardeau and Duncan Valleys, which are hemmed in by the Selkirk Mountains. Steep-sided valleys force the peaks' runoff into long, narrow lakes, from which fast-flowing rivers cascade south into Kootenay Lake. Dense stands of timber are constant reminders that here in the Kootenays, there's still plenty of untouched wilderness to explore.

About 100 years ago, prospectors came to the West Kootenays, attracted by its rich ore deposits. Mining ghost towns can be found now, silent relics of past treasures. Some backroad travel to these ghost towns will enhance your visit to this extremely beautiful region. Visitors can learn about the development and history of the area at mining museums in Kaslo and New Denver.

The name Kootenay, used for the southeastern portion of the province, comes from the Kootenay First Nation, a group of linguistically distinct Native people. They occupy the East Kootenays, with their territory extending into northern Washington, Idaho, and Montana. The western portion of the district was also occupied by Interior Salishan Natives, linguistically and culturally related to the coastal people, or by Thompson River-Shuswap Natives, heavily influenced by the Athapaskan culture.

The following towns and regions are located in the Kootenays. Click on each name for information on the town or region.
Ainsworth Hot Springs
Balfour
Boswell
Burton
Castlegar
Christina Lake
Crawford Bay
Creston
Crowsnest Highway 3
Fauquier
Fruitvale
Gray Creek
Kaslo
Kootenay Bay
Kootenay Lake
Mirror Lake
Nakusp
Needles
Nelson
New Denver
Passmore
Revelstoke
Riondel
Rogers Pass
Rossland
Salmo
Sandon
Selkirk Valley
Silverton
Slocan
Slocan Valley
Trail
Trans-Canada Hwy
Trout Lake
Winlaw
Yahk


Location: The Kootenays region of BC is located in southern British Columbia, along the US border with Washington and Idaho. Travellers heading west on Crowsnest Highway 3 approach the Kootenays at Creston, just north of the British Columbia-Idaho border. From Creston, Highway 3A runs north along the east side of Kootenay Lake to Crawford Bay, where a free ferry at Kootenay Bay links with Balfour on the west side of the lake. Travellers approaching from the north may use this route or Highways 3A and 6 to link with Highway 3. So convoluted does the highway become that branches of it spin off and feed into each other in a tight knot in the Nelson, Castlegar, Trail, and Salmo loop. Travellers journeying south from the Slocan Valley on Highway 6 link with Highway 3A north of Castlegar, site of the only airport in the rugged Kootenays. Travellers heading south from the Okanagan on Highway 33 join Highway 3 at Rock Creek.

Highway 3 (Crowsnest Highway) leads west from Creston and east from Castlegar to Salmo. Highway 6 leads east from Vernon to Nakusp. Highway 23 leads south from Highway 1 at Revelstoke to Galena Bay via the Shelter Bay ferry. Highway 31 leads north to Kaslo from the ferry terminal at Balfour on Kootenay Lake's west side, and beyond to the ferry terminal at Galena Bay on Upper Arrow Lake. Highway 23 links Galena Bay with Nakusp to the south and Revelstoke to the north. Highway 31A leads east to Kaslo from New Denver, on the east side of Slocan Lake.

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Search Premier Listings
  Mermaid Lodge & Motel, Ainsworth Hot Springs Listing Details 
Set amidst the Selkirk Mountain Range, Mermaid Lodge offers panoramic views of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains. Choose between a modest room in the historical lodge, or modern motel accommodation. All units are conveniently located only 30 metres from Ainsworth Hot Springs Pools and Caves, and Kootenay Lake beach is a 3-minute walk across the road. Great golf packaging with Kokanee Springs and Balfour Golf & Country Clubs.
 
  NIHO Land & Cattle Company, Vancouver Listing Details 
NIHO is Western Canada’s leading expert in recreational real estate and one of the largest private owners of recreational property in British Columbia. We have over 40 years of experience in buying, selling, managing and developing all types of recreational property and real estate throughout BC, whether it be undeveloped land or a lot in one of our many recreational subdivisions.
 
  Osprey Mountain Grill, Balfour Listing Details 
Osprey Mountain Grill at the picturesque Balfour Golf Course on peaceful Kootenay Lake offers casual dining with a wide range of choices for breakfast, lunch, dinner or just a snack. Enjoy an indulgent meal from a sumptuous menu of seafood, poultry, beef, and lamb, all prepared with fresh and local ingredients. Osprey also offers an impressive burger and sandwich menu, a sweet selection of desserts, and local and national brews and beverages. The Osprey Mountain Grill also provides special services for Banquets and Tournaments.
 
  Owner Direct Vacation Rentals, Kelowna Listing Details 
Looking for a Vacation Rental? Why spend more and get less with a hotel? We offer privately-owned, condos, apartments, bed and breakfasts, chalets, cottages and cabins throughout British Columbia for rent - nightly, weekly or monthly. Owners set their own competitive rates. Great value and selection.
 
  Redstone Alpine Golf Resort, Rossland Listing Details 
The Redstone Golf Alpine Resort (formerly the Rossland Course) is a new signature Les Furber designed championship course expected to rank within the top 10 resort courses in Canada upon completion. Situated in a beautiful alpine valley, and part of the charming town of Rossland, the hilly course has been designed to deliver a much sought-after mountain golf experience.
 
  Swiss Chalet Motel, Revelstoke Listing Details 
Swiss Chalet Motel is centrally located just a short walk from downtown in the heart of Revelstoke, close to all tourist attractions in this mountain paradise. The friendly 22-unit motel offers standard queen and two-queen rooms, a canine-friendly room, two-bedroom suites, and specialty rooms. Guests are treated to complimentary breakfast, high-speed wireless Internet, and Revelstoke Aquatic Centre passes. Experience life at its peak.
 
  Valhalla Riversuites Vacation Condos, Slocan Valley Listing Details 
Four lovely vacation condos on the Slocan River and rail-trail, l/2 hour from Nelson or Castlegar. Built in '05, these charming view condos feature functional kitchens with dishwasher and large counters. Patios, balconies, sunrooms, swings, wifi, satellite TV, BBQ, hot tub, phone, and wheelchair access (#3) make your stay easy and fun. Rates start at $139 per night, $625 per week. Whether coming for adventure, respite, or work, you will love your stay on the river!
 
  Valley View Motel, Creston Listing Details 
Spend a day, a week or a month in one of our cabins overlooking the beautiful Creston Valley. One or two bedroom suites located on a quiet, treed hillside beside the Creston Museum, just a block from shops and restaurants. Let us make your stay in Creston comfortable and enjoyable. Wir Sprechen Deutsch.
 
  Waterfront West Real Estate, Courtenay Listing Details 
Waterfront West is the first and only marketplace dedicated exclusively to buyers and sellers of waterfront and water view real estate in British Columbia. Advertising Realtors' listings, private sales and developments, we are pioneering the market for this prime real estate. Featuring private and brokered sales, waterfront developments and a complimentary Buyers' Club.
 
  Wescan Charter Bus Lines, Delta Listing Details 
Our charter buses are fully insured, licensed and certified from 11 seats up to 58 seats and are ready to go anywhere in Western Canada and the U.S. The bilingual drivers and tour guides are available in English and Chinese. Our owner operators are always prepared to deliver outstanding service, ensuring complete customer satisfaction. We have several luxurious buses with some of the most experienced drivers in the industry. At Wescan we provide exceptional service transporting large or small groups of people out for a day of relaxation or several days of sightseeing. Our drivers are very experienced, courteous, and safety trained so that we may get you to your destination relaxed and refreshed, hoping that you may remember your trip with Wescan as a once-in-a lifetime event. Call for an immediate quote 24 hours/day, 7 days/week.
 
  Balfour Golf Course, Balfour Listing Details 
The superb Balfour Golf Course is a hidden gem offering a magnificent golfing challenge through forests of the majestic Purcell Mountains and private lakefront meadows along the peaceful shores of Kootenay Lake. Expect great rates and unmatched onsite stay-and-play specials with beautiful Kooteneay Lakeview Lodge. Located 25 minutes north of Nelson, 4 hours drive from Kelowna and 3 hours from Spokane and Coeur D'Alene, and equidistant 7 hours from Vancouver and Calgary.
 
  BC Golf Vacations, Victoria Listing Details 
Luxury and budget golfing packages to all the top golf regions in British Columbia and Alberta, including Victoria, Whistler, Vancouver, Kamloops, Kelowna, Vernon, the Okanagan, Shuswap, BC Rockies, and Banff and Jasper in Alberta. No matter what your taste or budget, we have the right accommodation and golf vacation for you. This summer don't just go golfing, go on a BC Golf Vacation!
 
  Careers and Jobs at BCjobs.ca, Burnaby Listing Details 
BCJobs.ca enables job seekers and employers to connect with each other. Search for employment opportunities throughout BC or apply for and post BC jobs and resumes. Use the internet as a resource to find that dream job, including accounting jobs, administration jobs, construction, manufacturing, customer service, sales, marketing, financial, technical, technology, health care, tourism, retail and more .... all in British Columbia.
 
  LandQuest Realty Corporation, Vancouver Listing Details 
Landquest Realty Corporation is a unique real estate company specializing in marketing recreational real estate, development properties, ranches, guest ranches, oceanfront, islands, resorts, lakefront, timber, trophy properties, remote fishing and hunting properties and Big Game Outfitter Territories throughout BC. Landquest's dedicated group of experienced real estate professionals provide the best possible service in every corner of British Columbia.
 
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