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A Vacation to the West Kootenays: The Adventurer’s Checklist

Updated: Jan 14

If what you need is a change of pace from the hustle and bustle of the city, then a trip to the West Kootenays might just be what you need. Located in south-eastern British Columbia, the area covers vast mountain ranges, nature trails, and the pristine Kootenay River, which flows over 700 miles from its headwaters. With tons of adventures that await you, it is the kind of place that delightfully forces you to relish a laid-back lifestyle.

To make the most of your vacation in the West Kootenays, we’ve curated a checklist that covers the best outdoor spots, sights that cannot be missed, and experiences that’ll surely leave you with lasting memories.

1. Connect with the Community in Nelson, BC

Nelson, BC is considered to be one of the largest towns in the area, so expect a lot of accommodations, restaurants, and cultural experiences that are easily accessible. Known for its connection to heritage and richness in art and culture, there is an abundance of sights that can fill up your itinerary ranging from trips to coffee shops and local breweries, to taking it outdoors by going on nature hikes and visiting their local parks such as the Lakeside park and the Pulpit Rock Trail.

2. Test Out Your Skiing Skills in Whitewater

This ski resort in Nelson is considered to have “one of the best powder mountains on the continent.” With this undeniable feat, this location allows visitors to utilize the gorgeous landscape and fine tune their skiing skills.

3. Hike at the Kokanee Creek Provincial Park

This is usually the number one choice for tourists as it offers a wide range of activities such as an adventure playground, visitor centre, spawning channel, boat launch, group campsite, viewing platform, hiking trails, and a marina nearby.

4. Go Biking at Morning Mountain

There are several ways to explore the morning mountain through biking. Ranging from beginner friendly routes like Monticola to more challenging terrains like Bear’s Den, bikers of all levels can take delight in cascading through a forest adventure, wildflower meadows, and the view of the Valhalla mountains.

5. Step Into Healing Waters

There’s nothing like immersing your entire body in revitalizing mineral-rich waters with a picturesque view of the sky or the stars. The Kootenay way to relax is visiting hot springs at either, Ainsworth, Halcyon, or Nakusp.

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