Experience the West Kootenays
The traditional route east from Revelstoke is along the Trans-Canada Hwy 1 to Golden (see pg 46). Want to take a path less travelled? Follow scenic Hwy 23 south towards Nelson and take the free ferry at Shelter Bay across Arrow Lake. This waterway is part of the Columbia River System, so if you like water and are looking for relaxation this path may be perfect for you.
The road forks as you depart the Galena Bay terminal. Hwy 23 continues south to the Halcyon and Nakusp Hot Springs, two of the attractions featured in our coverage below. Flanked by the majestic Selkirk and Monashee mountain ranges, Nakusp is a great place for rejuvenating body and mind, hiking among the cedars, lounging on the beach, soaking in hot springs, or relaxing at a spa.
Alternatively, scenic Hwy 31 from Galena Bay runs southeast following the shores of Trout and Kootenay Lakes, to Kaslo, Ainsworth Hot Springs and Balfour. A stroll down Front Street in Kaslo will bring you to the historic SS Moyie, one of the last sternwheelers that operated on Kootenay Lake. As enchanting music wafts over the water, during the 25th anniversary of the Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival enjoy family fun July 29-31, 2016. “One of the Top 10 places to enjoy outdoor summer music” REUTERS
Either way, explore the laid back charm of the West Kootenays. You will leave with a lifetime of memories and no matter how long you stay, you’ll wish you had lingered!
Hot Springs in the West Kootenays
Halcyon Hot Springs
Amazing view and village-like atmosphere. Soak all your worries away while admiring the incredible view of the Arrow Lakes and the surrounding Monashee Mountains.
With its village-like atmosphere, Halcyon’s philosophy is that healing waters should be shared with the world. It’s a great spot on a hot summer’s day to use the mineral swimming pool on the lower deck or even take a dip in the lake. halcyon-hotsprings.com
Accommodation: Luxury Chalets and Cabins
Location: between Revelstoke, BC and Nakusp, BC
Ainsworth Hot Springs
Hot pool cave with stalactites. After a beautiful drive along the West Kootenay’s Hwy 31, stretch out those tense driving muscles with a dip inside the unique horseshoe cave located here. It is a wonder in itself with stalactites forming throughout and fresh, warm mineral water dripping from the cave’s roof creating a steam bath effect. The main lounging pool receives so many gallons of mineral water it changes the pool’s water six times per day. hotnaturally.com
Accommodation: Rooms and Suites
Location: south of Kaslo, BC
Nakusp Hot Springs
Community owned. This community owned and operated pool may have some of the clearest, freshest filtered water around. Over 200,000 litres of hot water flush through the pool each day. And with 200 acres of year-round activities in the surrounding Kuskanax Valley, Nakusp Hot Springs is a popular destination for anyone travelling the Kootenay circuit. nakusphotsprings.com
Accommodation: Camping, Chalets, Hotels nearby in town
Location: Nakusp, BC