Skip to main content

June 13, 2024

4 Reasons to Drive BC's Hidden Route: The Slocan Valley

The road less travelled showcases some of the best attractions and activities in the Kootenays – as we venture off of the Rainforest to Rockies route, from Trans-Canada Highway 1 or the Crowsnest, Highway 3. This picturesque route (following Highway 23/6), is cherished by motorcycle enthusiasts and road-cyclists alike. Step off the beaten path and discover these incredible ‘must-see and dos’ along the way:


Escape to the tranquil oasis of our natural hot springs. Unwind and rejuvenate at Halcyon Hot Springs Resort, a scenic 90-minute drive from Revelstoke. Discover the serenity of Nakusp Hot Springs, Chalets & Campground, just a short 15-minute drive from Nakusp. Explore the soothing Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort along the picturesque Highway 31, nestled along Kootenay Lake.

Halcyon Hot Springs Resort’s hot pools; photo by Mitch Winton


Throughout your epic journey, you’ll conquer the magnificent Columbia River as it gracefully winds through the Arrow Lakes (Upper and Lower) and Slocan Lake. Prepare to be captivated by the alternative (Hwy 31A) route, where you’ll be graced by the beautiful Kootenay Lake on route to the captivating community of Nelson.

Embrace the exhilarating moments along this stretch of highway, where paddling and swimming reign supreme. Get ready to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as you chase after the awe-inspiring waterfalls scattered all along the way. From Evan’s Beach Creek, Nemo Creek, and Fletcher to Ione, Powder Creek, Springer Creek, Sutherland, and Wilson Creek, you’re bound to uncover nature’s finest wonders.

Wilson Creek Falls; Photo by Dave Heath


This remarkable little valley boasts a rich and storied past. Once a bustling hub during the silver mine rush, Sandon was home to over 5,000 residents. The historic Halcyon Hot Springs Hotel, established in 1894, was an exclusive retreat accessible only by steamboat or sternwheeler.

Nearby, New Denver holds our past history at the Nikkei Interment Memorial Centre (a Japanese Canadian Internment camp during WWII), now transformed into a poignant Memorial museum with a serene Japanese garden.

Sandon Ghost Town; Photo by Field & Forest

And standing proudly on the shores of Kootenay Lake in Kaslo, the SS Moyie awaits visitors as the world’s oldest intact sternwheeler, proudly serving as both a museum and National Historical site.

SS Moyie in Kaslo; Photo by Field & Forest


With a population of 1,605, Nakusp proudly stands as the largest community along this intriguing route. Nestled on the scenic shores of the Upper Arrow Lake, in the Slocan Valley with the Selkirks to the east and the Monshees to the west, Nakusp shines as a hidden gem.

Discover the other enchanting communities: Hills, New Denver/Silverton, Slocan, Winlaw & Crescent Valley along Highway 6 to Kaslo, Ainsworth Hot Springs, Balfour, and Procter/Harrop along Highway 31A/31, each stop promises its own distinct allure. Get ready to discover the wonders that await you along this extraordinary route!


There are so many amazing bonuses to be had! Enjoy hiking in the valley, backcountry adventures in Valhalla Provincial Park, paddling the Arrow/Slocan Lakes, family-friendly mountain biking on the Slocan Valley Rail Trail, adaptive riding at Mt. Abriel trails in Nakusp – unleash your adventurous spirit and join us for an unforgettable journey filled with exciting camp, paddle, hike, and mountain bike experiences!

Hikers at Gillim Lakes in Valhalla Provincial Park; Photo by Kari Medig

Related Stories

Get Social and Share Your Adventure
With Us By Using @KOOTROCKS