Where is Castlegar & West and Central Kootenays on map

North America

Highways and Roads Atlas


West and Central Kootenays

Dramatic glacier-draped mountains, rivers that turn back on themselves, a necklace of elongated lakes linked by free ferries and circular driving routes, plus a rich history forged by miners and Russian immigrants, make this quiet, unspoiled section of southeastern British Columbia a picture-perfect driving holiday. Two-lane rollercoaster winding roads hug narrow lakes nestled in the mountains, so take your time and enjoy the view.

Ainsworth Hot Springs [B7] Relax in waist-deep invigorating waters that are said to have the highest mineral content of any hot springs in Canada. Mineralized, odorless water falls from a natural cave's horse-hoe-shaped roof providing a natural steam bath.

Castlegar [D5] At the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia rivers, Castlegar is considered the "Crossroads of the Kootenays." The town began in 1902 when the CPR built a railway bridge across the Columbia River. More bridges were built by the Doukhobors, a Russian pacifist sect. The Doukhobor Heritage Museum offers a fascinating glimpse into their history, arts and crafts, religion, and culture in a reconstruction of an early communal village. A walk across the 145 m wooden suspension bridge to Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park affords such sights as the Russian Chapel House with its intriguing onion dome.

Heritage Streetcar No. 23, Nelson Kaslo [A7] Kaslo began as a lumber mill site in 1888. In the 1890s it survived fire, hurricanes, floods, and a silver-mining boom and bust. Called the "Switzerland of the Americas," its magnificent location is the drawing card for tourists today. The SS Moyie, a beautifully restored and retired CPR stern-wheeler, is now a national historic site. It is believed to be the oldest stern-wheeler of its kind in the world.

Nelson [C6] This former iron- and silver-mining boomtown is nestled on a forested hillside overlooking the western arm of Kootenay Lake. The legacy of 1880s and 1890s boomtown days lives on in the beautifully preserved Victorian-era buildings-more than 350—that have been designated as heritage sites. The stone courthouse and city hall, designed by Francis Rattenbury, famed architect of the Parliament Buildings and Victoria's Empress Hotel, is particularly impressive. Nelson has been named one of the 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America, and it is said there are more craftspeople per capita here than in any other city in Canada!

Rossland [E5] In 1890 gold was discovered on Red Mountain; 10 years later Rossland was producing 50 percent of the province's gold. Nowadays you can try your hand at panning for gold at Le Roi Gold Mine on the grounds of the Rossland Historical Museum, the only hard-rock gold mine in Canada open to the public. In summer, Gold Fever Follies is performed at the restored Rossland Miners Union Hall recreating the town's history. With 200 km of trails, Rossland is fast gaining a reputation as "The Mountain Bike Capital of Canada."

Trail [E5] The local Cominco lead-zinc smelter, one of the largest in the world, illustrates the history of smelting operations at the Cominco Interpretive Centre through videos and computer displays. This is also the starting point for a guided tour of the smelter. A third of Trail's residents are Italian or descended from Italian immigrants, who pioneered the mines and smelters. North America's only Italian archives are housed at the Cristoforo Colombo Lodge.



Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort


Brilliant Suspension Bridge National

Historic Site Castlegar Railway Station Museum

Doukhobor Heritage Museum Hugh Keenleyside Dam Zuckerberg Island Heritage Park


Kaslo Mining Museum Langham Cultural Centre

Mirror Lake Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park SS Moyie


Chamber of Mines of Eastern British Columbia Nelson Museum

Art Walk Capitol Theatre Streetcar No. 23


Nancy Greene Park

Rossland Historical Museum

Le Roi Mine Western Canada Ski Hall of Fame Rossland Miners Union Hall Heritage Walking Tour


Cominco Interpretive Centre Cominco Tours West Trail Cristoforo Colombo Lodge

Map of Castlegar & West and Central Kootenays. Detailed map of the highway and road of Castlegar & West and Central Kootenays

Map of Castlegar & West and Central Kootenays. Detailed map of the highway and road of Castlegar & West and Central Kootenays