Thinking of visiting British Columbia and enjoying nature? You may want to check out the BC Rockies and the Kootenays. Locals claim that the BC Rockies are a jewel in these parts because of the natural beauty seen in its pristine lakes and dazzling mountain peaks. The natural landscape also makes it a perfect place for thrill-seekers wanting to take part in both active and leisurely activities.
If it is your first time to the Rocky Mountains, it is best to start with a hike on one of the countless trails. The Rockies have hiking trails suitable for all types of hikers, whether it is your first time or you are a seasoned pro. As you hike, enjoy British Columbia’s most breathtaking scenery filled with lush meadows, forests, rivers, and cascading waterfalls. Hike on foot or try it by bike. Some of the most recommended places to stay for hikers wanting to try out the BC Rockies is Panorama Mountain Village Resort located in the Purcell Mountains. They offer three types of chairlift trails – Cox Creek, Delphine Trail and the Summit Trail – and in all these trails, you will be greeted by panoramic views of the mountain range and the wildlife living in the area.
The Kootenay Rockies region is another good place to trek and experience nature as as it is host to four major parks: Glacier National Park, Mount Revelstoke National Park, Kootenay National Park, and Yoho National Park. Each park has a variety of trails to choose from and hikers can spend many days exploring these parks and the Rockies’ vast wilderness. If you brought an RV or car with you, you can use their vehicle-accessible campsites. Other parks located in the area are provincial parks with stunning wildlife not found in other ranges such as Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park and Valhalla Provincial Park.
Want to climb and try caving? The BC Rockies have places for you to try it out. For climbers, you can challenge yourself with four of its major mountain ranges: Purcells, Selkirks, Rockies and Monashees. Local operators are close to these areas to assist you in climbing these mountain ranges and even provide the equipment and guides you may need in your trip. The Bugaboos, or most commonly known as Bugs, and the summits of Yoho National Park are a favorite of climbers visiting the BC Rockies. In Yoho, the summit climbers can try out The President, The Vice President, the Isolated Peak and Mount MacArthur. Climbers can also test their skills in Nelson and Slocan.
If you want to experience everything the Rockies has to offer, try out the sightseeing packages offered by local operators for visitors. Taking a sightseeing bus or ATVs allows you to visit the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel and Fort Steele Heritage Town. For those who are not afraid of heights, you can try out flight-seeing tours which offer views of the picturesque Rockies from 10,000 ft. The Kokanee Glacier in Nelson can be seen clearly through these tours. Other flight-seeing tours are also offered in Castlegar, Fernie and Golden. Wildlife tours are also open for animal fans such as the Head Banger Tour in Radium Hot Springs or the Golden Eagle Express Gondola. If you are a bird watcher, the best time to visit is in May to join the Wings Over The Rockies, the week long bird-watching festival held in the area.
Water activities are a favorite of visitors to the Kootenay Rockies due to its majestic rivers and lakes. Visitors can kayak, fish, raft and canoe around to explore the area’s best scenery. One can try out exploring the Columbia River Wetlands, Lake Koocanusa, Slocan River and Kootenay Lake. River rafting is best in Kicking Horse River as it boasts several plunging rapids, and white water to make your rafting experience exhilarating.
Once you have exhausted yourself from all these activities, relax and recover in the Kootenay Rockies’ therapeutic hot springs like the Nakusp Hot Springs, Halcyon, Ainsworth Hot Springs and Canyon Hot Springs.