SLOCAN BC KOOTENAYS HERITAGE TOUR
3 to 5 days
your tour in Castlegar
(616 km/385 miles on Highway 3 from Vancouver,
BC), home of the Doukhobor Historical Village that
commemorates the Russian immigrants who settled in
this part of British Columbia's Kootenays Region at
the turn of the century. Heading north on Highway
3a to Highway 6 (at Crescent Valley), you pass Valhalla
Provincial Park, which offers picnic
facilities, hiking trails and freshwater fishing.
the tip of Valhalla Park is New
Denver (79 km/49 miles from Crescent
Valley), and the well known Silvery Slocan Museum.
The Nikkei Internment Centre, also in New
Denver, tells the history of the Japanese
Canadians who were interned in this area during World
drive turns east along Highway 31a, an old stagecoach
route that takes you past the ghost towns of the Kootenay's
famed gold rush days. Visit Sandon, one of several
abandoned gold mining towns that led to this stretch
of road being named "the Valley of the Ghosts".
view of the Kootenay Lake region.
Photo Courtesy of Pennywise Paper/Kaslo
(47km/29 miles from New Denver), located on Kootenay
Lake, is home of the SS Moyie, a turn
of the century paddlewheeler. Paddlewheelers played
a tremendous importance in the development of many
of the Kootenay Lake communities just after the turn
of the century when towns like Kaslo
thrived from the effects of the gold rush.
Glacier Park sits southwest of Kaslo
on Highway 31, your connector to Nelson. At Balfour
approximately 36 km/23 miles from Kaslo), take a ferry
ride to some of the small communities that dot the
south end of Kootenay Lake. Camp in Lockhart Creek
Provincial Park (8 km from ferry terminal) before
returning to Balfour,
and your journey to Nelson.
(34 km/21 miles from Balfour) maintains the second
largest number of heritage homes in the province.
Take a self-guided tour of its intriguing landmarks
which have preserved much of the culture and ambiance
of the 1800's. Ski at Whitewater, a family ski area,
or try your hand at some golf at the Granite Pointe
Highway 3a west takes you back to Castlegar
(43 km/27 miles).
A: CONTINUING ON TO THE NORTH LOOP CIRCLE TOUR FROM
NEW DENVER (not advised during winter weather)
city of Nakusp.
Photo Courtesy of Nakusp & District
Chamber of Commerce
North Loop Circle Tour takes you through some of the
more stunning countryside. Most of the 282 km/176
mile road is paved, however the northeastern stretch
between Galena Bay and Meadow Creek should not be
attempted in icy conditions.
New Denver, you travel north on Highway 23. Nakusp
(47 km/29 miles), home of the Nakusp Hot Springs,
sits at the mouth of Lower
Galena Bay, (49 km/31 miles) a ferry transports you
across the lake to Shelter Lake and Arrow Lakes Provincial
Park, a great camping spot at the tip of the North
beauty of Purcell Mountains.
Photo Courtesy of Jan Lee
to Highway 23, your tour takes you along the edge
the lake to Beaton (approximately 16 km/10 miles),
the beginning of Highway 31. The road narrows and
is now gravel. The Purcell Mountains sit just southeast
of this area, and provide a gateway to some of the
more spectacular scenery and pristine wilderness in
the Kootenays. Your drive winds along the Lardeau
River to Howser (approximately 90 km/56), where paved
road begins again, and Kaslo (approximately another
50 km/31 miles), where the Silvery Slocan British
Columbia Heritage Tour resumes.
sure to browse the Points of Interest: