Behold, adventure seekers. The Kootenays are calling. From high above to the lakes and rivers below, get ready to find your outdoor thrills.
It’s no secret that we love getting high in the Kootenays – high above the trees that is. Experience a bird’s-eye-view for yourself by taking the ultimate aerial plunge at Kokanee Mountain Zipline. Test your limits by soaring through the forest on six lines including a 2400 foot cross-canyon mega ride.
Mountain biking is a way of life out here, and our steep terrain provides the setting for some of the most challenging and rewarding trails in the world (for real!). Downshift into your climbing gears to pedal your way up into the alpine; the thrill of the downhill awaits. Challenge yourself to the epic Seven Summits trail in Rossland or the extensive network of trails around Nelson at Mountain Station or Morning Mountain. You’ll also find bike parks throughout the region to develop your skills or watch the youngsters defy gravity and fear.
Road cyclists will savour the unbeatable winding waterfront and backroads in the region. Rolling terrain, satisfying climbs, diverse scenery and ideally located cafes and accommodations are ideal for skinny tires. Choose from leisurely half day rides to epic multi-day loops.
Castlegar offers something for every type of cyclist, whether you prefer roads, singletrack or something in between. For those who prefer asphalt, the beautiful Broadwater Road from Robson to Syringa Provincial Park is a local favourite as it follows the shoreline of Lower Arrow Lake. If mountain biking is more your thing, this area of British Columbia boasts world-class trails and Castlegar is no exception. For the hardcore downhill riders there’s Awakener, for example, with it’s huge gap jumps and technical rock sections.
People have been climbing in Castlegar since the 1950s but in the past two decades popularity in the sport has skyrocketed thanks in part to indoor gyms such as the one at Selkirk College, as well as easily-accessible cliffs such as Kinnaird Bluffs and Waterline Walls, both an easy 10-minute drive from downtown. The annual Kootenay Climbing Festival, which takes place in September, is also responsible for introducing rock climbing to people of all ages, from toddlers to grandparents, and the climbing season is one of the longest in the province (March to November).
Interested in going underground? Discover a vast network of stalactites and stalagmites at the otherworldly Cody Caves near Ainsworth Hot Springs. Guided tours of the underground labyrinth reveal the secrets of this amazing place. If you’re more the terrestrial sort, you’ll find great disc golf courses in Rossland and Ymir.
Water sports and long warm summers go hand in hand in the Kootenays. Rent a canoe, kayak or SUP and enjoy the panoramic views of Kootenay Lake in Nelson or Kaslo, or challenge yourself to river surfing on the Columbia River in Trail. Hire a local guide to take you fishing in the hopes of landing a prize trout any time of year.
Castlegar is renowned for its freshwater fishing opportunities and the best part about angling here is you don’t even have to travel outside the city to catch lunkers. The world-famous Columbia River flows through the heart of Castlegar and winds its way to the American border at Waneta. This stretch of the river offers plenty of world-class fly fishing as rainbow trout and walleye are plentiful here. In fact, because Castlegar is blessed with mild winter temperatures, fishing opportunities last all year long and late winter is some of the best time to fish for walleye because of the lower water levels.
Pack your gear to choose your own adventure and get yourself on the trails or on the water.
In the Air
- Kokanee Mountain Zipline – Balfour
- Bike Parks – Rossland, Nelson, Kaslo
- Skateboard Parks – Kaslo, Nelson, Trail, Rossland
- Climbing – Castlegar
On the water
- Fishing – Columbia River, Kootenay Lake, and Nancy Greene Lake
- Sailing – Kootenay Lake
- Paddling – Columbia River, Nancy Greene Lake, and Kootenay Lake
- River Surfing – Columbia River
On the Ground
- Mountain Biking – Rossland, Kootenay Lake area
- Road Biking – Rossland, Kootenay Lake
- Caving – Cody Caves Provincial Park (near Ainsworth Hot Springs)
- Disc Golf – Rossland
- Biking – Castlegar
To learn more about summer adventure in the area visit the tourism websites.
Enjoy your #KootenayRoadTrip