The Kootenays, beginning at the Alberta Border and extending to the Monashee range of the Columbia Mountains to the west, form a large part of southeastern British Columbia. It has become a popular choice for local and foreign tourists who come for the easy-going and relaxed lifestyle, as well as a seemingly endless assortment of exhilarating and exciting outdoor adventures. This region of Canada got its name from the Kootenay River, which in turn was named after the Ktunaxa First Nation, means to travel by water.
The Kootenays are accessible to the Canadian locals through their two major airports, Cranbrook Canadian Rockies International Airport in the east and Castlegar in the west via Air Canada Jazz, while those outside of the region can fly in through the major airports in Calgary and Spokane in Washington. Those situated in nearby cities and provinces who prefer travelling by land can always opt for car rentals which are readily available in all major cities. The area is highly accessible by a number of highway networks, including the Trans-Canada Highway, which passes through the area between the Alberta border and Revelstoke, the Crowsnest Highway, and Highway 6, which links the area to the North Okanagan region. Those who prefer to commute through public transportation can always take one of the many Greyhound coach services that pass through the region.
Visitors and vacationers who are looking for a different variety of outdoorsy and sporty adventures readily choose the Kootenays for their next vacation stop probably because of the four national parks that are situated in the region. Tourists and outdoor enthusiasts can easily choose among the Glacier National Park in Golden, the Kootenay National Park in Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke’s Mount Revelstoke National Park and the Yoho National Park in Field. The Yoho National Park is British Columbia’s counterpart to Alberta’s Banff National Park. It is home to breathtaking natural gems like the Takkakaw Falls, located just towards the end of Yoho Valley Road and is known as the second highest waterfall in Canada, the enthralling glaciers of Emerald Lake, the interesting view that the Spiral Tunnel Viewpoints promise and the magnificent water-carved Natural Bridge that spans over the Kicking Horse River and the Burgess Shale Fossils, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region’s namesake, Kootenay National Park prides itself to offer an interesting roster of outdoor attractions, including Sinclair Canyon, the Continental Divide, Kootenay Valley Viewpoint, Olive Lake and Radium Hot Springs Pools, to name a few. Mount Revelstoke National Park, on the other hand, is most well known for its thick rainforest, beautiful meadows and tricky tundra. Most recommended areas to explore are Giant Cedars Hiking Trail, Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk Trail and the Meadows in the Sky Parkway.
There is a wide range of outdoor activities to participate in so that visitors will never run out of exciting adventures while in the Kootenays. Apart from exploring each of the national parks, people will also find it really interesting to visit one of the provincial parks found in the region. Go snowmobiling, skiing or snowboarding at the parks found in Gladstone, Kokanee Glacier or Valhalla. Mountain biking, fishing and hiking are also top outdoor adventures on this side of the region. Those who love culture and creative pursuits will also find a trip to the Hydroelectric Dams, Le Roi Goldmine and Rossland Museum most fascinating, not to mention educational.
Of course, a visit to the Kootenays will never be complete without trying out Creston’s Kokanee, one of Canada’s most favorite beers. Take a sip or two of this in pubs like Outabounds and The Last Drop Pub. For a taste of Kootenay’s cuisine, do not forget to drop by The Village Idiot, Frontier Restaurant or Woolsey Creek Restaurant for one pleasant delectable experience.