Kootenay Lake and the communities, lakes, rivers and parks that surround it make up a remarkable area to visit. Easily accessible from all the surrounding regions the Kootenay Lake region is steeped in history, spectacular, and a recreationalists paradise with hiking, biking, and skiing being just a few of the outdoor activities.
Settled by the "Co Tinneh" (water people) Indians before the great pyramids of Egypt were built, the region, like most of the surrounding area grew immensely with the discovery of ore. The City of Nelson reflects much of the history of the area. Nelson claims 350 heritage buildings and was the largest city between Vancouver and Winnipeg in 1899.
Cruising in a houseboat is one way to enjoy Kootenay Lake, which stretches approximately 120 km (75 mi) from north to south, in addition to the West Arm which extends about 35 km (21 m) from the main lake to Nelson. From your unique vantage point you will enjoy quiet hidden coves, vast sandy beaches, vibrant lakeside towns and some of best Dolly Varden and rainbow trout fishing in North America.
Driving north on Highway 3A from Creston along the east shore of the lake there are art galleries, beaches, campgrounds and the "Glass House" made from over 500,000 empty embalming fluid bottles. Continuing on you will get to Crawford Bay and Kootenay Bay where you'll find a great selection of accommodations, the world-class Kokanee Springs Golf Course, views of Kokanee Glacier and the terminal for the 35 minute ferry ride across Kootenay Lake (and it is FREE).
Crossing the lake from Kootenay Bay you arrive in Balfour which has a scenic lakeside golf course and a full service marina. Continuing north, along the lakeside, on Highway 31 you'll arrive at Ainsworth Hot Springs with its unique hot springs caves, superb accommodations, charter fishing and rental boats. Finally, just a short drive north is Kaslo which is home to the "S.S. Moyie", the world's oldest sternwheeler and a National Historic Site.
In the area surrounding the lake area are several parks such as Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, where the 5 main trails lead to 100 year old Slocan Chief Cabin. This historic cabin was once a sanctuary for hard working miners and now shelters hikers out enjoying the alpine scenery.
just gives a few of the Highlights of the Kootenay Lake area and,
all things considered, a visit to this beautiful area and its hospitable
residents is time well spent.