Adventure and Relaxation in the Columbia Valley | British Columbia, Canada

Nestled between the Rocky Mountains to the east and the Purcell range to the west, the Columbia Valley stretches from Canal Flats in the south to Radium Hot Springs (south entrance to Kootenay National Park) to the city of Golden in the north (near Yoho National Park), following the meandering upper Columbia River from its headwaters at Columbia Lake. The valley features clear, sparkling lakes, some of the most breathtaking mountain scenery in the world, hiking trails, hot springs, unique shops and cultural festivals. The Columbia Wetlands is one of the largest marsh systems in the world. Each spring, as hundreds of bird species return to their nesting grounds in the north, it is celebrated by communities in the valley with the ‘Wings Over the Rockies’ festival.

This trip can easily be extended to or from Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park on the Montana and Alberta border. From the west entrance of Glacier National Park (Montana) follow US-2 W and US-93 N to BC-93/95 through the communities of Columbia Falls, Whitefish and Eureka, MT.

Bonus: British Columbia's Kootenay Rockies recently finished installing electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the region. Glacier National Park (MT) and Whitefish, MT have Telsa charging stations with plans for additional charging infrastructure in NW Montana and SW Alberta in the future. Learn more about Kootenay Rockies Electric Road Trip here: https://bit.ly/2GUpP3i

Layers

Day 1

Hot Springs Loop | British Columbia, Canada
1
Hot Springs Loop | British Columbia, Canada
Outdoor Adventure | Scenic Drives

Hot springs occur naturally in the Kootenay Rockies and the region boasts six hot springs resorts – Ainsworth, Canyon, Fairmont, Halcyon, Nakusp and Radium Hot Springs - each located in the midst of beautiful mountainous scenery. If you prefer a…

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Kootenay River | British Columbia, Canada
2
Kootenay River | British Columbia, Canada
Natural Area | Lake, River, or Waterfall

From its source high in the Rocky Mountains of British Columbia, the scenic Kootenay River rushes southward through forested valleys and narrow gorges, passing flower strewn meadows and towering hoodoos on its journey to the lowlands of the Rocky…

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Premier Lake Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
3
Premier Lake Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
Natural Area | State or Provincial Park

This beautiful park was established in 1940 and was dedicated to Mr. William Smithe, who was the Premier of British Columbia from 1883 to 1887. Premier Lake Provincial Park is nestled against the west slopes of the Rocky Mountains. The emerald…

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Top of the World Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
4
Top of the World Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
Natural Area | State or Provincial Park

Chert for tools and weapons was quarried by the Ktunaxa inside today's Top of the World Provincial Park. If you're a skier, snowshoer, angler, hiker or horseback rider, you'll enjoy wilderness trails and campsites that are closed to vehicles…

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Day 2

Canal Flats, British Columbia
5
Canal Flats, British Columbia
Community | Appealing Downtown Area

The Village of Canal Flats is situated on a large alluvial fan formed by the Kootenay River. In 1808, David Thompson named these flats McGillivray's Portage after crossing from Columbia Lake to the Kootenay River. At this location, Columbia Lake -…

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Columbia Lake | British Columbia, Canada
6
Columbia Lake | British Columbia, Canada
Natural Area | Lake, River, or Waterfall

Nestled at the foot of the Rocky Mountains 50 miles north of Cranbrook and filling a nine-mile gash in the Rocky Mountain Trench, lies the often rippled waters of Columbia Lake, source of the mighty Columbia River that empties in the Pacific…

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Day 3

Invermere, British Columbia
7
Invermere, British Columbia
Community | Appealing Downtown Area

Invermere-on-the-Lake is a small, friendly town with quaint shops, galleries and eateries situated on the shores of one of the warmest lakes in the region. Spend the day at the beach, on the water, or exploring trails during the summer and in the…

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Lake Windermere Whiteway | Invermere, British Columbia
8
Lake Windermere Whiteway | Invermere, British Columbia
Outdoor Adventure | Winter Recreation Area

British Columbia's breathtaking Columbia Valley is a winter outdoor enthusiast's dream. Lake Windermere Whiteway, nestled in the valley, is the longest skating trail in the world named by Guinness World Record Book. At over 30 km, this multi-use…

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Botanical Gardens Greenway | Invermere, British Columbia
9
Botanical Gardens Greenway | Invermere, British Columbia
Outdoor Adventure | Hiking Trail or Trailhead

This 0.5 mile greenway borders Lake Windermere and Dorothy Lake on the south edge of Invermere, British Columbia. The greenway loop provides scenic views of the lake, nesting ospreys, sunbathing painted turtles and grazing deer. The trail loops Pynelogs,…

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Adventure Paddle School | British Columbia, Canada
10
Adventure Paddle School | British Columbia, Canada
Outdoor Adventure | Guide or Outfitter

The team at Adventure Paddle School has water in their veins. Their location in the Kootenay Rockies, gives them access to some of…

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Wings Over the Rockies Festival | Invermere, British Columbia
11

The magnificent upper Columbia Valley in the Canadian Rockies is the setting for a 7-day celebration that welcomes over 265 species of birds back home to the rich wetlands that flank the mighty Columbia River.

Wings Over the Rockies Bird…

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Day 4

Old Coach Trail Greenway | Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
12
Old Coach Trail Greenway | Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
Outdoor Adventure | Hiking Trail or Trailhead

This 6-mile trail follows the crest of British Columbia's Columbia River Valley with spectacular views of the Columbia Wetlands, an internationally recognized wetland and the largest contiguous wetland in North America. The trail traverses wetlands,…

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Village Country Inn | Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
13

The Village Country Inn is a small, unique, adult orientated boutique hotel located in the heart of Radium Hot Springs. Restaurants and shops are a short walk from your patio door or from the front entrance.  The Inn has a refreshed modern alpine…

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Day 5

Columbia Wetlands Outpost | Golden, British Columbia
14
Columbia Wetlands Outpost | Golden, British Columbia
Outdoor Adventure | Guide or Outfitter

Guided Float Trips

Columbia Wetland Outpost is so much more than just a river trip. It's an exploration into the depths of North America's longest intact wetlands. The wetlands are surrounded by the towering stunning Rocky…

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Trip Plan Details

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In This Trip Plan

1 Hot Springs Loop | British Columbia, Canada
2 Kootenay River | British Columbia, Canada
3 Premier Lake Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
4 Top of the World Provincial Park | British Columbia, Canada
5 Canal Flats, British Columbia
6 Columbia Lake | British Columbia, Canada
7 Invermere, British Columbia
8 Lake Windermere Whiteway | Invermere, British Columbia
9 Botanical Gardens Greenway | Invermere, British Columbia
10 Adventure Paddle School | British Columbia, Canada
11 Wings Over the Rockies Festival | Invermere, British Columbia
12 Old Coach Trail Greenway | Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
13 Village Country Inn | Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia
14 Columbia Wetlands Outpost | Golden, British Columbia