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The Best in Family Vacations &
Adventure Vacations
BC Family Adventure Vacation, British Columbia

BC Family Adventure Vacation, British Columbia

Five Days, Class III

Departure Dates
June 17, 24; July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29; August 5, 12, 19



Getting Started
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 of B.C.

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 of Nelson.

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 1995.

The Kokanee 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 lac