Stories & Features

150 B.C. places: Kootenays & southern Rockies

Floe Lake, Kootenay National Park
Hiking in the Rockies can be spectacular, taking you to places such as Floe Lake (pictured here) or Marble Canyon (No. 29 on our list) in Kootenay National Park.

Numbers 26 to 38 on our list of 150 great B.C. places

What's this list about? We're celebrating B.C. with 150 places to visit

26. Iceline trail, Yoho (to Takakkaw falls), near Field

One hiking site calls the Iceline trail "possibly one of the most spectacular hikes in the Rockies", and that's high praise given the competition. Moderate in grade, but featuring one of Canada's highest waterfalls among its many highlights, this five-hour, 13-kilometre hike is part of what makes Yoho National Park so special. Get details and info about four other great Kootenay hikes.  

27. Baker Street, Nelson

This pretty town is at its best on the main street, an "anti-mall" if there ever was one, full of character, shopping and quaint restaurants. Thank the local merchants for bringing Baker Street's  historical feel back to life with a restoration in 1979.

28. Mountain biking, Rossland  

What? You thought the Mountain Biking Capital of Canada was Whistler? Turns out it's Rossland, where years of trail building in spectacular country add up to a bucket-list destination for mountain bikers. Not convinced. Check out the video here.

Marble Canyon in Kootenay National Park
Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park.

29. Hike to Marble Canyon, Kootenay National Park

Only about a 30-minute drive out of Banff, this is one of those easy-access, short hiking trails with a big payoff. Easiest to hike June through September, but a nice challenge with snowshoes in winter, Marble Canyon offers hiking fun for all ages and a rugged canyon with unusually blue water. For a bit more of a challenge, try the hike to wondrous Floe Lake.

30-32. Kootenay Lake Ferry, Balfour

The longest free ferry ride in the world, about 35 minutes, takes you from Balfour to Kootenay Bay and the charming town of Crawford Bay, which has a bit of something for everyone, including local artisans, restaurants and Kokanee Springs Golf Resort. While in Balfour, consider grabbing a guide in pursuit of the world's biggest rainbow trout, the Gerrard rainbow, or heading down the lake to camp at Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

33. Pend D'Oreille Recreation Area, near Trail

Take Highway 22A south of Trail and you'll find Seven Mile Dam Road and access to a nice drive along rolling hills and river valleys leading to Seven Mile Dam and free camping at BC Hydro's Pend D'Oreille Recreation Area. It's a popular place to launch a boat, go for a swim or just have a picnic.

34. Kimberley’s underground mining railway

Catch up on the history of Kimberley and the Sullivan Mine while riding a train through the Mark Creek Valley and into the mine. The Kimberley Mining Railway Tour goes three times each day at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and includes a tour of the mine's powerhouse. Open Thursdays through Sundays with limited access during COVID-19. As it's impossible to social distance underground or at the powerhouse, scenic train tours will travel up the Mark Creek Valley, through the underground tunnel, up the mountain and to the resort station and back.

35. Bull trout fishing, East Kootenays

Even in the summer months, the waters of the Kootenay River, Bull River, Elk River and  Wigwam River are generally cold, and that makes them great for bull trout fishing. Here are some tips from one guy who loves to fish in the area.

36-37. Community Greenhouse & Eagle Ranch golf, Invermere

If you want to learn a thing or two about growing vegetables and herbs, visit Invermere's Community Greenhouse, an award-winning passive solar facility built alongside David Thompson Secondary. Got your golf clubs with you? Book a round at Eagle Ranch, which is rated among Canada's top 100 courses.

38. Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, Golden

The longest free-standing timber-frame bridge in Canada is an engineering marvel, and it's beautiful. Take a stroll across the Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge as part of the walking trail that circle the town.