Welcome to the Columbia Valley!
The Columbia Valley BC, with its clear sparkling lakes, breathtaking scenery, world-class ski resorts, championship golf courses, soothing hot springs, unique shops and cultural festivals is an all-season recreational paradise, offering something for everyone…
The Columbia Valley
Just a scenic 2½ hour drive from Calgary, Alberta and convenient to the US border, the Columbia Valley is situated in the southeast corner of the province of British Columbia. The valley lies nestled between the Rocky and Purcell Mountains, following the upper Columbia River from its headwaters in Columbia Lake.
On the north shore of the valley’s beautiful Lake Windermere is the town of Invermere, with a population of about 3,500 permanent residents plus several thousand part-time, recreational residents. As the economic hub of the area, Invermere boasts two lovely parks with sandy beaches as well as quaint boutiques, art galleries, cafes and fine dining restaurants.
Columbia Lake and Lake Windermere both offer swimming, boating, waterskiing and windsurfing, with sandy beaches, picnic areas and playgrounds for family fun. Sport fishing for whitefish, burbot, kokanee and trout is popular year-round in the many smaller lakes and streams.
There are plenty of alpine trails for hiking and biking and for golfers, the valley offers close to twenty golf courses, both family-style and championship. And everywhere you go, you are surrounded by some of the most magnificent mountain scenery in the world so don’t leave home without your camera.
In winter, the Columbia Valley boasts lots of sunshine and plenty of snow for skiers. Kicking Horse Resort, Panorama Mountain Village and Kimberley Alpine Resort offer some of the best skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing in BC. The Lake Windermere Whiteway is a 15 km looping trail over the frozen lake for cross-country and Nordic skiing and skating, and curlers from around North America come to compete in the annual Bonspiel on the Lake.
The Columbia Wetlands, one of the largest wetland systems in the world and home to over 250 bird species, is celebrated each year in May by the ‘Wings Over the Rockies’ festival.