Five Days, Class III
June 17, 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19
The BC Rockies multi – sport vacation offers rafting, kayaking,
hiking, biking and sailing; a one-of-a-kind experience that takes you
through some of British Columbia's most remarkable and distinct
landscapes. Take some time to acquaint yourself with the following
information so you may best understand our trips and services. Our goal
is to be with you throughout every step of your trip preparations, so
do not hesitate to contact us if you have any concerns or questions.
Notes from the Interior A
letter from Brian McCutcheon
I first visited the Kootenay region and Nelson in 1980 to participate
in a ski instructor course being held at Whitewater Resort. The
Kootenays are known the world over for their fantastic skiing over
endless champagne powder, however, powder snow is found in many
different locales. In the end it was Kootenay Lake that left with me
the most lasting impression.
Further on in my life, I told my father that I
would most certainly retire to the Kootenays. He likes to suggest that
I am semi-retired now! With little ground for e to argue on,, my family
and I packed up and made the move. Kootenay Lake continues to impresses
me more every day, even after 6 years.
Located along the western slopes of the impressive
Canadian Rockies, and nestled in the valley of the Purcell and Selkirk
mountain ranges lies Kootenay Lake, covering more than one hundred and
twenty kilometers. Kootenay country is famous for its natural hot
springs, wildlands, rich history and culture, and sleepy heritage towns
such as Nelson, recently voted the best little art town in the province
From the safety of your sea kayak, Kootenay Lake
offers you dramatic mountain scenery, a series of glacial-fed creeks,
abundant wildlife, fertile forests, secluded beaches and rocky
shorelines.. Whoever said paradise can only be tropical has never been
to the Kootenays.
Rivers & Oceans was founded in 1985 by
Brian McCutcheon, and has been operating kayaking and rafting and
kayaking trips in BC since the late 1980’s. In 2000 we
changed to ROAM in order to best represent the topography of the
regions we frequent. This new company, ROAM, offer our guests three
very different adventure styles – Safari, Expedition and
Exploratory. When not out on the water, Brian acts as the Managing
Director of ROAM from our Nelson, BC field offices.hy the Kootenays?
The Canadian West Coast is a very popular sea kayaking destination..
However, BC's huge interior mountain and fresh water lake systems
provide unforgettable opportunities for trekking, biking, river rafting
and sailing, in addition to the incredible kayaking. A warmer and drier
climate and temperatures combined with endless fresh water bodies and a
lack of tidal variances make the area ideal for exploring. Kootenay
Lake is surrounded with glacial peaks and boasts a multitude of
secluded beaches and campsites in addition to incredible hikes and
first class scenery.
Why the BC Rockies?
Nelson has always been a mecca for extreme sports the likes of mountain
biking and cat skiing. In just one week you’ll experience as
many adventures as possible. Guests will paddle the northern tip of
Kootenay Lake in the shadow of the peaks of the Selkirk Mountains.
You'll raft the mighty Salmon River as it bursts through canyons on its
way to the 49th parallel. Mountain bike on a rolling single track
winding through endless wilderness or enjoy an afternoon to re-group
onboard our sailboat, taking in incredible panoramas of the impressive
Purcell ranges. Soak in a natural hot springs, test your hand at fly
fishing or just kick back and plan an evening on the town.
Many people claim that the best part of a
Multi-Sport vacation is coming home after an exhilerating day. Our
guests stay in stunning country inns and heritage homes,feast on
delicious meals and gourmet treats. The properties we have choosen have
been carefully selected for their beauty and charm, and their ideal
location. Our journey is circuitous by nature and is designed superbly
from start to finish.
The magnificent Willow Point Lodge country Inn presents the perfect
haven for both the romantic and adventurous. This elegant lodge has
both an eclectic and peaceful setting far from the ordinary world. Here
you'll be greeted with exceptional hospitality and a cozy temporary
home for the discerning traveler. The over sized guest rooms are all
equipped with private bathrooms and enjoy spectacular views of the
large acreage against the backdrop of untouched mountains and pristine
lake. Two are honeymoon suites – one boasts a balcony, and
the other a canopy bed reminiscent of the Renaissance era, standing
nect to an empressive stone wood-burning fireplace,jacuzzie tub and
private entrance. No cars or houses or cars can be seen or heard from
our retreat, yet the lodge is located just 4 miles from the sleepy town
Blaylock Mansion was built in 1934 and is situated
where the mountains meet Kootenay Lake. The mansions seven exquisitely
decorated theme rooms, beautiful antique and period furniture
compliment the building perfectly. Other amenities include a grand
billiard room and a massage and steam-room facility. When exploring the
grounds guests can't help but notice the peaceful feeling that the
property evokes. Impressive chiseled granite walls and wrought iron
gates mark the entrance to the 13 acres of Blaylock estate. This
property boasts beautiful grounds that lend to peace of mind, with the
elaborate mature rock gardens and cascading waterfalls, fountains,
still ponds, and hidden pathways.
Inn the Garden B&B is nestled in the heart
of historic downtown Nelson. This Victorian heritage home com bines
hospitality and warmth with very modern amenities. Accommodations are
provided in two brilliantly restored heritage homes, both stylishly
decorated. The Inn is located conveniently just one block away from
galleries, shopping, the theatre and restaurants, making it a perfect
choice for guests. Your friendly and knowledgeable hosts, Jerry and
Lynda, have anticipated all your needs, and will help you to best
explore all that Nelson has to offer.
Since the turn of the century, Wedgwood Manor has
been located on Kootenay Lake’s East Shore on a fifty-acre
estate. Built for British china tycoon Josiah Wedgwood’ s
daughter, the manor is a captivating English Country House
that’s been transplanted to a profound and beautiful natural
setting, one in which where white-tailed roam through the fields and
osprey and eagles soar through the sky. The manor has been restored to
its Victorian splendor, and the en suite guest rooms provide a perfect
retreat for your adventure vacation. Relax with a book in the library
or sip tea in front of the fireplace in the parlor at the fireplace.
The mornings will spoil you with a with a delicious breakfast served in
front of the dining room fireplace, the ideal start to a day of
exploring the Kootenays.
Dayspring Lodge is a roomy waterfront country home
rich in southwestern style and boasting views found only in the
Kootenays. Stunning rooms decorated with antiques and featuring
fireplaces, a pool, spa and some of the most excellent food this side
of the Rockies. Outdoor amenities include beautiful waterfalls, natural
hot springs, hiking, swimming, boating and caving.
The Region (from south to north)
The town of Nelson grew quickly as a result of the frantic mining
activity that started in 1867 when gold and silver were found in the
area. Dozens of other mining communities soon sprang up along Kootenay
Lake and two railways were soon routed through Nelson. By 1910, the
town had its own hydro generating station, streetcars, sewage system,
and police force. Englishmen came to plant lakeside orchards, and
Russian Doukhobors, sponsored by Tolstoy and the Quakers, tilled the
valley bench lands.
Notre Dame College opened in 1950, followed by the
B.C. Vocational School (with Kootenay School of the Arts) in 1960,
making education a focus for Nelson. The Notre Dame buildings now house
Selkirk College and its affiliated Music School. The previous
Vocational School now acts as a campus for the Kootenay School of the
Arts. In 1977 Nelson's heritage potential was realized with the
designation of more than 350 heritage structures.
Kokanee Creek is a
235-hectare park located along the northern shore of Kootenay Lake. The
park boasts vast sandy beaches and delta that are backed by a softly
rising upland, that eventually gives way to the wooded slopes of the
Selkirk Mountains Slocan Range. Late in the summer there is a spawning
channel where visitors are able to observe the extraordinary
transformation that spawning Kokanee undergo. Their bodies change into
a deep crimson color as their heads become an emerald green color. As
the case is for other Pacific salmon, Kokanee die upon completion of
their spawning activities, at which time their bodies drift downstream
towards the lake, their bodies providing food for black bears and
grizzlies while enriching the area. In the Ktunaxa language 'kokanee'
means 'red fish'.
Kokanee Glacier Park is
nestled between the northern arm of Kootenay Lake and Slocan Lake. It
is a mountain wilderness area that covers 32,035 hectares, of the
majority of which lies above 1,800 meters, with just over half at
elevations more than 2,100 meters. Protection of the areas significant
grizzly bear population was the primary reason for a park expansion in
Glacier, from which the park gets its name, is one of the
park’s three glaciers that feed its 30 lakes and ponds and
create the headwaters for the majority of the park's waterways. This
rugged area is made up of a vast system of granite rock known as the
Nelson Batholiths. It was formed as the earth cooled, and pressure
forced the slower cooling minerals down into cracks and holes in the
granite. These finger-like deposits of minerals rich in silver and gold
were discovered late in the 1800s, which spurred what we know today as
the Gold Rush. Small mining operations began to spring up in the area
during this time. Much of the park's existing trails were built for
miners moving supplies and ore.
Set into the mountainside is Ainsworth Hot Springs, with an
impressive view overlooking the expanse of the Purcell Mountains and
Kootenay Lake. The village is the location of the Ainsworth Hot Springs
Resort, which feature a distinctive horseshoe-shaped cave where the
mineral deposits, darkness, and humidity all combine to offer one
exhilarating experience. The hot , odorless and steamy, showers of
mineralized water fall from the roof of the cave to forms a waist-deep
pool, providing a rare and invigorating natural steam bath, the ideal
place to relax and enjoy some of West Kootenay's magnificent scenery.
The hot springs are naturally heated and vary
between temperatures of 40-42°C (104-114°F) in the
Cave, 35-38°C (96-101°F) in the Pool, and
4-10°C (40-50°F) for the Cold Plunge. These caves are
actually old mining tunnels that were carved out by miners who were
seeking to increase the flow coming from the springs. Considered
BC’s best commercial hot springs, they are thought to be
first discovered by native Indians who frequented Kootenay Lake late in
the summer to take advantage of the Salmon run. Since the Salmon run
coincided with the harvesting of the huckleberry crop, it is natural to
assume that after spending the days moving about the hills, these
people would enjoy a soak in the hot springs.
Kaslo enjoys the dual
distinction of being named the Province’s Prettiest Town as
well as the Switzerland of the Americas...and justifiably so. Tree
– lind streets, Elegant Victorian - era buildings, and
outstanding mountain and lake views give credence to these titles.
With a rich history in mining lore, it is
interesting to note that Kaslo was originally staked as a site for a
sawmill in 1889, but it soon became a transshipment boomtown and silver
ore mining area in the 1890' s. Surrounded by wilderness and steeped in
history, it is truly one of the most unspoiled areas in the world.
Summers here are pure magic, with endless hiking rails, fabulous
camping, brilliant fishing, and world class paddling. A visit to Kaslo
would be not be complete without exploring the SS Moyie , a Canadian
Pacific Railways sternwheeler that plied the Kootenay Lake from 1898
until 1957. Meticulously restored, the Moyie is now designated as a
national historic site, and it is the oldest remaining vessel of her
type in the country.
Valhalla Provincial Park is
an outstanding wilderness area, covering 49,600 hectares of natural
countryside and 30km of Slocan Lakes’ pristine shoreline.
According to Norse mythology, Valhalla was a palace with a roof made of
shields, where the bravest of the slain Norse warriors lived. They
lived there under the leadership of the god Odin, where they were
peaceful and contented as they waiting for the day when they would be
called again to march from the palace and enter into a great battle
with the giants. The spirit of Valhalla continues to live in the
grandeur of this portion of southeastern British Columbia, where great
palaces of rock call up majestic images with names the likes of Gimli,
Asgard, and Thor.
The Valhalla Range is a spectacularly diverse area
amongst the Selkirk’s. Huge sub – alpine lakes,
endless river valleys, and skyward granite peaks of up to 2,827m grace
this park. Towards the northwest, New Denver Glacier dominates the
horizon, while the square-shaped Devil's Couch and Hela Peak carve out
the central area. Along the boundary in the southwest lies an
outstanding group of spires including the Wolfs Ears, Mount Dag, and
Gladsheim – all at more than 2,660m. Several large deep
lakes, cirque basins and small lake chains surround the ridges.
Backcountry wilderness trekking and camping are
the chief recreational pursuits in the park. The park is a rugged area