the Large Lakes of the BC Rockies
largest inland lake in British Columbia is Kootenay
Lake, in the heart of the Kootenay
region. It is 156 km. (97 mi.) long and ranges
from 2 km. (1.24 mi.) to 6 km. (3.72 mi.) wide. The
lake is too wide to bridge. Therefore, a fleet of
free ferries operated by the provincial government,
carry vehicles and passengers across. This fiord lake,
created millions of years ago is bordered by the Purcell
Mountains in the east and the Selkirk Mountains to
the west. The scenery surrounding Kootenay Lake is
spectacular and secluded. This region has a rich history
in mining, when the ore ran out, the people in the
area turned to agriculture and tourism. Lifestyles
in this part of BC are unhurried.
Lake is known for fishing
and boating. The lake is well stocked and home to
fish as Dolly Varden, kokanee and native Gerrard
rainbow trout. In fact, the lake is famous with anglers
for the world's largest rainbow trout. Check with
the locals for the latest fishing hot spots. When
not fishing or boating, enjoy the many other recreational
activities that this area has to offer. Go houseboating,
swimming, golfing, mountain climbing,
horseback riding and spelunking. Visit the many museums,
old abandoned historic sites, craft shops and galleries.
city of Nelson,
the largest centre in the Kootenay region is situated
on the west arm of Kootenay Lake offers everything
the visitor needs and wants. A Walking Heritage Tour
of Nelson will take you to more than 300 buildings
of historical value and an interesting way to learn
about the city and the surrounding area. Nelson and
the many other places along the lake offer excellent
restaurants, shopping, entertainment and campgrounds
for tenting and RV units. Kootenay Lake with many
sandy beaches, water access parks
and marinas along the shore is truly a large outdoor
playground for everyone to enjoy.
Lakes owe their present size to the Hugh Keenleyside
Dam near Castlegar. Prior to 1969, the Arrow Lakes
were two smaller lakes joined by a 32 km. (20 mi.)
river. Combined the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes stretch
for 220 km (136 mi.) never getting any wider than
two km. (1.2 mi.). This water system running from
south to Castlegar,
with Kootenay Lake and the Kootenay River, is the
main drainage system in this region.
area is made up of mountains, valleys and lakes. Scenery
is spectacular with snow-covered peaks guarding green
lush forests, rushing rivers and long narrow lakes.
This is angling country. Lakes large and small are
teeming with rainbow and cutthroat trout, Dolly Varden,
fishing, swimming, and sunbathing are fun activities
on Arrow Lakes. On shore, enjoy golfing, hiking, horseback
and mountain climbing. Visit
the abandoned historic sites, stroll through mining
ghost towns, check out the museums, take a helicopter
tour, and go backcountry camping in the mountains.
Browse through the art galleries and shop the boutiques
and craft shops. Finish off the day with a leisurely
soaking in one of the hot springs.
different ferries, a continuation of the highway system,
cross Arrow Lakes. The Upper Arrow Lake Ferry travels
from Shelter Bay and Galena Bay connecting Highway
23. Cross the Lower Arrow Lake on the Needles Ferry
that connects Highway 6.
communities lining the Arrow Lakes offer visitors
RV and campgrounds, motel and hotel accommodations,
cafes and restaurants, quaint pubs and theatres. Also,
in the area are BC
Provincial Parks with excellent RV camping and
tenting facilities. Take a page from the Kootenay
country lifestyle and leave the hectic pace behind.
Enjoy a boating and fishing holiday at Arrow Lakes
and the surrounding region.