West Kootenays Loop: Nakusp - Slocan Valley - Crowsnest Highway
Nakusp Hot Springs
There’s one main attraction in Naksup: the hot springs. There’s actually hot springs all along the Slocan Valley, but since we were spending the day in Nakusp anyways we figured we’d check these ones out.
There’s also a nice hiking trail from the parking lot. You can walk 15 minutes up to the source of the springs, or 5 hours round trip all the way up to a lake. If you’re looking for a little more than 15 minutes but not quite in for a 5 hour trek, you can always walk upwards until you get tired, then turn back for your soak.
Also make sure to hit up Hoss & Jill’s Bistro downtown Nakusp for great coffee and delicious breakfast (try the Hoss’n Egger with hot sauce!).
Driving along the Slocan Lake is a treat in itselft, but there are also a few great campgrounds along the way! So why not take your coat off and stay a while??
Here’s a list of a few good ones we came across:
Centennial Campground in New Denver: open spaces right on the lake. Great mountain biking in the area!
Silverton Campground (in Silverton): great little campground with beautiful lakefront spots. Small and first-come first-serve only (unless you’re a big group, then you can book in advance) - so worth a try but don’t get your hopes up in peak season.
Springer Creek Campground in Slocan: not on the lake, but a nice campground with a waterfall. Great jumping off point for exploring Valhalla Provincial Park.
Karibu Park in Winlaw: nicely treed campsites right along the Rail Trail. Bonus - they have a hot tub you can use for $7!
Syringa Creek Provincial Park: a little out of the way, but well worth it!
A trip along Highway 6 also isn’t complete with a stop in a Frog Peak Cafe for unreal eggs benny and other breakfast delights.
Highway 3: Crowsnest
Christina Lake is an all-time favourite along the Crowsnest Highway. If not for the fact that the lake is notoriously one of the warmest in all of Canada, then at least for its golfing, mountain biking, boating, cliff jumping, etc. etc. etc. The Provincial Park is perfect, right on the lake, if you can nab a spot. Otherwise there are plenty of other local campgrounds in the area.
Take a pitstop in Greenwood - an old mining town that still holds it charm. The Copper Eagle Bakery serves up delicious coffee and sticky buns. Note - cash only!
Last but not least, one of the best (free!) campsites we’ve come across in B.C. - a little jutout off Central Ave in Midway, on the south side of the Kettle River. Plenty of room, great river fishing, floating, mountain bike and dirt bike trails, and hiking. You’re staring at Vaagen Lumber Mill across the river, but it doesn’t make the spot any less scenic. This one is for friends - plenty of space for lots of rigs of any size.