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Adventure on the water, ground or air

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.

Arrow Slocan is chock full of mountain biking options. Where else will you find hand-built mountain bike trails and over 100 km of stunning rail trails. Mt. Abriel is a booming mountain bike destination near Nakusp, complete with multiple trails, a campground, bike park, and shelters. The purpose built adaptive trails at Mt Abriel cater to aMTB riders.

Rail trails run almost the entire length of the corridor between Nakusp and Crescent Valley beside lakes, rivers and through multiple communities. Sol Mountain Lodge offers backcountry bike adventures right from their full service lodge.

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.

Arrow Slocan is known for its quite backroads, with many cyclists seeking out the Slocan Valley as a riding destination. From here, it is also possible to loop around to Kalso and Nelson for the perfect circle trip. The rail trails in Arrow Slocan also offer some moderate off road adventure that is do-able on a gravel bike.

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).

Slocan City in the Slocan Valley is also popular with climbers. Find a variety of bolted climbs and trad routes, all beside Slocan Lake. When you are done, head over to Flacas Bakery for a coffee and some delicious homemade food.

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.

Canoers, kayakers and paddle boarders love the quiet of Slocan Lake. For those seeking a little extra adrenaline, Endless Adventure in Crescent Valley offer rafting trips on the Slocan River. Want a white water tutorial? Endless also offer courses for all ages and abilities.

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

On the water

On the Ground

To learn more about summer adventure in the area visit the tourism websites.


Enjoy the #WestKootRoute