In the southeastern corner of British Columbia in Canada sprawls its mountain playground, known as the BC Rockies. With its natural beauty, including pristine lakes and its dazzling mountain peaks, the BC Rockies offer endless outdoor adventures. Whether it's summer or winter, the region is flocked with thrill-seeking visitors from different parts of the world as it provides numerous and varied activities for everyone.
One way to explore the BC Rockies' magnificent splendor is by following the countless trails it presents. These hiking trails offer a variety of options depending on the ability level of the hikers. Travelers may enjoy the spectacular sceneries of meadows, forests, wild rivers and stunning waterfalls on foot or by mounting a bike. Choose from short walks through the wilderness to a real backpacking experience in the high mountains. Panorama Mountain Village Resort in the Purcell Mountains even offers chairlift trails such as the Cox Creek, Delphine Trails and Summit Trail. Feast your eyes with panoramic views of the mountains and its diverse wildlife that includes elk, moose and coyotes.
The Kootenay Rockies region features extensive pathways within its four national parks: Kootenay National Park, Glacier National Park, Yoho National Park and Mount Revelstoke National Park. Each park offers a large network of trails. Hikers can camp overnight and spend days exploring the amazing wilderness of the Rockies. There are also vehicle-accessible campgrounds available for RV and car camping. Provincial parks such as the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park, Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and Valhalla Provincial Park allow access to some of the region's stunning wildlife.
For a more challenging mountain experience, the BC Rockies offer climbing and caving. With its four mountain ranges, the Purcells, Monashees, Selkirks, and Rockies, the Kootenay Rockies are an ideal place for these kinds of activities. There are operators that provide instructions, proper equipment and experienced guides to make climbing safe and enjoyable. One of the best climbing destinations in Canada is actually situated in this area. The Bugaboos, or most commonly known as Bugs, is distinguished for its steep granite spires that made it so popular with climbers. Towering summits in Yoho National Park also attract mountaineers. These peaks include The President, The Vice President, Mount MacArthur and Isolated Peak. Other popular sport-climbing areas are Nelson and Slocan.
To fully experience the Rockies, its historic sites and its bountiful natural wonders, choose from a myriad of tours they offer. Sightseeing bus or ATV tours include some of the region's major attractions such as Trains Deluxe-The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel and Fort Steele Heritage Town. Flight-seeing tours allow tourists to admire the glaciers, the lakes and the picturesque sights below from 10,000 ft high on board of a helicopter or Cessna. The Kokanee Glacier in Nelson is one of the must-sees. Golden, Fernie and Castlegar offer flight-seeing tours too. Wildlife tours are also available for animal lovers. Join the Head Banger Tour in Radium Hot Springs and spot some Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep, or board the Golden Eagle Express Gondola for an exhilarating view of the Columbia River Wetlands and its hundreds of bird species. The best time to come is May to participate in the weeklong bird-watching festival named Wings Over The Rockies.
The Kootenay Rockies, endowed with rivers and lakes, permit an array of water activities. With the majestic mountains in sight, these bodies of water are perfect for canoeing, kayaking, rafting and fishing. Paddle and explore the Columbia River Wetlands, one of the longest in North America. Other places best for kayaking and canoeing are the Slocan River, Lake Koocanusa and Kootenay Lake. Kicking Horse River, on the other hand, is most popular for river rafting. Aside from its historical significance, even designated as a Canadian Heritage River, Kicking Horse River showcases plunging rapids, narrow passages and an uneven temperament that is perfect for some exciting rafting. For a more relaxing and soothing experience, note that the Kootenay Rockies are also renowned for their therapeutic hot springs. With health benefits such as improving blood circulation and increasing metabolism, hot springs should be on your things-to-do list. Select from a wide range of hot springs, located all around the region. Some worth mentioning are Ainsworth Hot Springs, Nakusp Hot Springs, Canyon Hot Springs and Halcyon Hot Springs. You can also follow the Hot Springs Circle Route to enjoy some of the most enchanting hot springs in the region with everything the Rockies has to offer.