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Outdoor Adventures: Unique to the Kootenays

This summer, challenge yourself to experience the Kootenays Rockies in unexpected ways.  While the quality of our hiking, mountain biking and golfing experiences is well known, there are countless opportunities to explore our mountain playground.  Some of them may even leave you questioning everything you know about adventure travel in the Kootenays!

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to free-fall through the air, but you’re not quite ready to try skydiving or bungee jumping?  Head to Valley Zipline Adventures, in Radium Hot Springs, where you can jump off their 11-metre (35-foot) tower and feel the sensation of weightlessness as you plunge towards the ground below.

Duel challenge with Valley Zipline Adventures; photo courtesy of Valley Zip

Just when you think terra firma is approaching a little fast, their safety system will give you a soft catch and lower you gently back to the ground.

If this gravity-defying feat sounds too much, perhaps their zipline course will satisfy your craving for adrenaline. The 7-line tour takes about 1.5 hours to complete and finishes with the opportunity to race a friend on their dual zip line.

They also offer a Segway TourThis tour takes you off the main street and you’ll be guided on a historic tour of the village. The Segway Tour is 1.5 hours in length and starts with a fun and complete segway training session.

Scootin’ Kootenay Tours in Radium Hot Springs, photo courtesy of Valley Zipline Adventures

Do you think roller coasters are just for big cities and amusement parks? Well, head on over to Revelstoke Mountain Resort, where the Pipe Mountain Coaster will make you rethink where roller coasters belong.

The Mountain Coaster, ‘The Pipe’ in Revelstoke, BC at the Resort; photo by Kari Medig

Ride by yourself or pair up with a friend in the small bucket seats and grab hold of the brake. Once you set off, you’re in control of the speed, as you careen through the glades, over hills, and into tunnels.  Maxing out at 42-km/hr (26-mi/h) with just a seatbelt keeping you secure, the Pipe Mountain Coaster is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

What do you get when you combine the size of a whitewater raft with the equipment of paddleboarding?

You get the SUPsquatch, an oversized inflatable paddleboard that fits up to 8 people.  Head to Mountain High Adventures in Fernie to test your balance with friends and family as the class II rapids attempt to buck you off the board. Then enjoy the vista of the narrow valley on the calmer class I section of the river.

SUPSquatching the Elk River in Fernie with Mountain High Adventures; photo by Kari Medig

Combine this two-hour tour with a three-hour individual paddleboarding or float trip to make the most of your day in Fernie!

Know Before You Go!

~ Take extra time to research and plan your trip in advance. Many of our tourism businesses and services have adopted new COVID-19 protocols and changes to their schedules or policies to ensure your safety. You’ll want to become familiar with them ahead of time.

~ If you normally travel with extended family or with several friends, consider travelling in a smaller group this summer. Travelling with fewer people makes it easier for you to practise physical distancing in public, and may have less of an impact on the destination.

~ Consider a slower travel pace this summer to help curb the spread. Instead of checking in and out of multiple destinations during one trip, choose one or two destinations and one/two accommodation properties for your entire trip (and explore all the things to do & see nearby).

Related Stories
~ 3 Legendary Kootenay Hikes – You May Have Never Heard Of
~ Beach Vacations in the Kootenay Rockies
~ Best Summit Hikes in the Kootenays
~ Hidden Waterfalls in the Kootenays
~ Multi-Generational Family Hikes in the Kootenays
~ Our Extreme Adventures in the Kootenays
~ Rewarding Play: Golfing the Kootenay Rockies
~ What’s Open in the Kootenay Rockies? (2020 Summer/Fall)

Top/cover photo by Kari Medig

Words by Mark Locki. Mark is a photographer and writer based in Kimberley, BC. An avid traveller throughout the Kootenays and abroad, he enjoys exploring the natural world, camera in hand, seeking out compelling stories. He’s often found deep in the backcountry, running, climbing or on skis, challenging himself to discover new scenes and viewpoints. 

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