Plan Your Trip to the Canadian Rockies
Tucked into the southeast corner of the province, the Canadian Rockies offer big mountains, raw wilderness, and numerous authentic small-town experiences. Beyond the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, the Purcell, Columbia, and Monashee mountain ranges are just as spectacular and awe-inspiring as their more well-known neighbours. With its rich mining history and major focus on mountain sports and culture, the region is an ideal place to get away.
What to do in the Canadian Rockies
The region is known for legendary powder skiing and snowboarding, but there are many ways to play during warmer months, too. Camping, hiking, and golfing are popular ways to take in the lush scenery. Mountain biking trails are plentiful in the area, and the mountain ranges’ rivers and lakes offer canoeing, kayaking, paddle boarding, and world-class fly fishing.
Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is one of British Columbia’s most iconic locations. Situated in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Assiniboine’s high alpine backcountry has drawn visitors for generations. Assiniboine Lodge, built in 1928, was the first backcountry ski lodge to be built in the Canadian Rockies. Today it is perhaps even more popular in the summer months, when hiking trails lead to iconic viewpoints. Access this remarkable park and lodge via helicopter from Golden.
For adventurous souls, Bugaboo Provincial Park offers some of the world’s best rock climbing on the granite spires for which the park has become famous. The Alpine Club of Canada operates Conrad Kain Hut, a three-hour, uphill hike, and the Applebee Dome campground is a further 20 minutes along the trail. This is pure wilderness hiking, so plan accordingly.
Where to stay in the Kootenay Rockies
The region is vast and sparsely populated, but towns here offer a warm welcome and an inspiring dose of mountain culture. Revelstoke and Golden are your best bets for places to lay your head, while Fernie, Nelson, and Rossland offer small-town charm and jaw-dropping settings.
The Cedar House in Golden boasts luxury chalets and top-shelf dining. Other Golden options are Winston Lodge & Spa, and the Prestige Inn. In Revelstoke, the Coast Hillcrest Hotel and Regent Hotel are standouts. Explorers Society Hotel and the Sutton Place at Revelstoke Mountain Resort are high-end options.
Hikers who want an all-inclusive experience can stay at Canadian Mountain Holidays’ Bugaboos Lodge or Bobbie Burns Lodge. Both bring plush amenities to the wild mountains, with meals, guiding, and helicopter-accessed hiking. Try the Via Ferrata routes, guided fixed-route climbing experiences that provide a great introduction to mountaineering.
How to get to the Kootenay Rockies
Considering there’s no major city here, the Kootenay Rockies are highly accessible. To get to Golden and Revelstoke in the northern part of the region, fly into Calgary and rent a vehicle. The picturesque views as you drive west on Highway 1 are an added bonus. Alternatively, fly into the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook for access to Fernie and nearby towns like Invermere and Nelson.
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