Introducing The Kootenays & The Rockies
Ahhhh. You just can’t help saying it as you ponder the plethora of snow-covered peaks in the Kootenay Region of BC. This is the kind of place that makes you glad you came. Deep river valleys cleaved by white-water rivers, impossible sheer rock faces, alpine meadows, and a sawtooth of white-dappled mountains stretching across the horizon inspire awe, action or mere contemplation.
Coming from the west, the mountain majesty builds as if choreographed from above. The roughly parallel ranges of the Monashees and the Selkirks striate the West Kootenays with the Arrow lakes adding texture. Appealing towns like Revelstoke and Nelson nestle against the mountains and are centers of year-round outdoor fun. The East Kootenays cover the Purcell Mountain region below Golden, taking in Radium Hot Springs and delightful Fernie. The Rockies climb high in the sky to the border with Alberta.
BC’s Rocky Mountains parks (Mt Revelstoke, Glacier, Yoho and Kootenay) don’t have the – no pun intended – high profile of Banff and Jasper national parks over the border, but for many that’s an advantage. Each has its own spectacular qualities, often relatively unexploited by the Banff-bound hordes.
Across this richly textured region, look for grizzly and black bear, elk, moose, deer, beaver, mountain goats and much more. Pause to make your own discoveries.
Yoho National Park
Fed by glaciers, the ice-blue Kicking Horse River plows through the valley of the same name. The surging waters are an apt image for this dramatic national park, home to looming peaks, pounding waterfalls, glacial lakes and patches of pretty meadows. Although the smallest (1310 sq km) of the four national parks in the Rockies, Yoho is a diamond in the (very) rough.