Kootenay Lake is a long, narrow and deep fjord-like lake nestled between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges in the Kootenay region of British Columbia. It is one of the largest lakes in British Columbia, at 104 km in length and 3–5 km in width. It is, in part, a widening of the Kootenay River, which in turn drains into the Columbia River system at Castlegar, British Columbia.
With scenery this beautiful, it’s no wonder that so many artists and artisans choose to live near Kootenay Lake’s East Shore. The six communities that make up this area – Riondel, Kootenay Bay, Crawford Bay, Gray Creek, Boswell, and Kuskanook – are home to creative folks of all kinds: blacksmiths, potters, painters, weavers, jewelers, and much more. The combined population of the area is just over 2,000, but don’t let the size fool you: The area is full of wonderful sights, historical treasures, and great places to explore.
Kokanee Springs Golf Resort is one of Canada’s finest championship 18-hole courses. Every hole is framed by spectacular panoramic views of the Kokanee Glacier and the surrounding area. Riondel also has its own 9 hole course which is known as the “friendliness golf course in the Kootenays”.
Year-round fishing is available at Kootenay Lake, where visitors can catch three varieties of trout (Gerrard rainbow, Dolly Varden, and Kokanee) and whitefish. The lake’s largest
catch is a 35lb Gerrard Rainbow trout, and the world’s largest recorded Kokanee at almost 10 pounds was caught here. The Kootenay Lake area also has many creeks, small lakes, and rivers to challenge any fishing skill level.
The lake’s rocky shores encompass hundreds of tiny bays and beaches, intriguing to explore by kayak or canoe. It is not uncommon to find yourself the only boater visible across the lake’s expanse! The West Kootenay region also contains over 80 hiking trails, all of which provide hikers with spectacular mountain scenery, breathtaking glaciers, alpine lakes, flower-strewn meadows, and incredible wildlife.
With mild winter temperatures, an average of 10 to 15 feet of fabulous now, and miles of unmarked powder, this area is a winter sports dream location. A wide variety of terrain provides a memorable experience for all snowmobile riders, from novice to expert, and even those looking for “extreme snowmobiling”. The characteristics of the ungroomed trails in the area make it an ideal location for cross-country and back country skiing. The local golf courses also allow cross-country skiing during the winter months.
Many current residents have moved here from the city and work remotely from their home offices, that overlook the surreal views of the Kootenay Lake. East Shore Kootenay Lake is an ideal spot to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and find endless solitude.