2017 sees Canada celebrating her 150th birthday, to recognise this anniversary, Nomads on the Road is featuring the best small towns in the Kootenays you should visit. 

7 towns in the Kootenays you should visit

Fernie

Fernie, British Columbia landscape photography

Fernie, British Columbia

I would be remiss to start anywhere else other than my former home of Fernie. Fernie is nestled at the foot of the Canadian Rockies and the only town in BC to be completely surrounded by the mountain range. A four-season historic mountain town, Fernie wears many hats, a snow town, a coal town, a bike town and a trout town. 

Kimberley

Kimberley is not just Fernie’s bitter rivals in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) but they are also a kick-ass mountain town in their own right. Found in the Kootenay Rockies, Kimberley is a laid back mountain town with that chill vibe that attracts adventurers from all over Canada. 

Castlegar

Castlegar is a small town found in the beautiful Selkirk Mountain Range in the West Kootenays. While technically a city, Castlegar is a rad mountain town at the confluence of two of the Kootenays mightiest river, the Kootenay and Columbia. 

Nelson 

nelson-bc-fall-colours

Just a 35-minute drive from Castlegar Airport and an hour’s flight from either Vancouver or Calgary, Nelson is ideally situated in the Selkirk Mountains along the western arm of Kootenay Lake. This peach of a mountain town is one of my favourites in the Kootenays. The town attracts a vibrant mix of characters who are attracted to the restored downtown core, busy social scene and outdoor lifestyle.  

Rossland

Rossland is home to the awesome Red Mountain, where powder hungry shredders descend to experience some of the best skiing in the Kootenay Rockies. Located on the famed Powder Highway, Rossland also offers a unique charm in the summer.

Kaslo

Canada’s Little Switzerland is an apt way to describe this gem of a town. Lying just west of the Rocky Mountains, rising up from the sandy beaches of Kootenay Lake, Kaslo is dominated by the peaks of the nearby Selkirk and Purcell Mountain Ranges. 

Radium Hotsprings

Radium Hot Springs Sunrise

The village of Radium Hot Springs is the perfect base for visitors to explore the majestic Kootenay National park. The village sits just outside of the south entrance to the park and just an hour and a half from Banff National Park. 

What’s your favourite small town in the Kootenays? Let me know in the comments below.


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  • Joanna says

    Every single one of these towns looks spectacular because of the amazing scenery surrounding them. I would love to visit every single one of them and enjoy strolling around, breathing in the clean mountain air. A trip to the hot spring is a must as well, especially whit that beautiful alpine background.


  • Marlies says

    I went to Canada last year and did a little road trip but I didn’t go to the Kootenays because unfortunately I had to make choices. But I wish I didn’t skipped it! The hotsprings looks amazing! Maybe one day 🙂


  • Sandy N Vyjay says

    Kootenays looks really mesmerizing. Each of the 7 towns that you have listed seem to vie with each other for attention. But each seem unique and lovely. For me the tops would be Fernie. It looks really stunning, surrounded by the Canadian rockies.


  • Ami says

    Beautiful places from your description. I loved Nelson. It looks picture perfect. And the Radium hot springs looks amazing. I really would love to know more. Checking them out on google.


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