Roadtrip To The Kootenays British Columbia – A Photo Essay

I think road tripping is my favourite way to see the vast country that surrounds this amazing province.  The open road with miles of mountains, rivers and endless forests. This weekend we packed the truck and drove 7 hours. Destination:  Rossland BC.  Nestled in the Koootenay region of British Columbia, Rossland was discovered in 1890 by gold prospectors who staked a claim at the Le Roi mine starting the gold rush in the area.

We left home at 8am Thursday stopping for breakfast sandwiches and coffee on our way out of the city.  Traffic was light as we wound along the Crowsnest Highway due East with the the signs to Spakane Washington a reminder of how close we were to the Canada/USA border.   After leaving the farmlands of the Fraser Valley, the highway starts to climb and the mountains get a lot bigger.  Passing Hope we entered Manning Park then on to Princeton, through Hedley into the Okangan country.  The mountains here totally change; desert like, dry and spotted with sagebrush. We reached Osooyos at lunch time and stopped at a pub for a bite.  Then Rockcreek, Midway, Greenwood and Grand Forks.  Christina Lake was half frozen and on the way home we saw the remnants of an avalanche that had blocked the road the night before. Luckily it was cleared by Sunday so that we could get back. It was the talk of the town.

Our hotel ( The Josie)  was quite literally on Red Mountain which was nice for Seth.  Just wake up when he wanted, get into his gear and head out the door to the lifts.  Our second day there we drove into Rossland, just 3kms from our hotel and had lunch at the Flying Steam Shovel.  Said to be the oldest Saloon in British Columbia, the story goes that a resident of Rossland with dreams of flying build the Steam Shovel, a helicopter like contraption made of wood, brass and iron with two steam engines.  As the entire town gathered to watch, he managed to get it off the ground, in fact it’s said he flew as high as the saloon roof before crashing to the ground breaking his leg and burning his face and torso.  Today the Steam Shovel is a small hotel on the second floor and downstairs they serve traditional pub food and drinks. We walked around town after lunch and I found a lovely scented candle at Cabin. I appreciate history and really enjoyed seeing the old 1890’s buildings that still stand.

One of the most exciting parts of the trip (for me anyway) was stopping in Greenwood on our way home.  If you watched the 90’s movie or read the book Snow Falling on Cedars, Greenwood was the town (as well as Port Townsend Wa.) where it was filmed.  By 1940 Greenwood was mostly a ghost town but with the forced internment of Japanese Canadians in 1942, the town began to thrive once more.  They’ve kept the original buildings of the era intact and we walked the main street transported back in time.  The butter tarts and coffee at the Copper Eagle Bakery are to die for so should your travels ever take you to Greenwood, make sure to stop in.

Here are some of the photos I took during our trip.  Thanks for stopping in!







Hedley British Columbia


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