Between the character-filled towns lie kilometres of pristine nature, deep valleys and high mountain passes, abundant wildlife, lush forests to grassy hills and crystal-clear rivers and lakes. This road trip washes away the tensions of everyday life. The encounters with people and the stories told along the way are just as enriching and flavorful as the locally-grown food found at the many fruit stands.
In an electric car, or on a bike or a motorcycle, the Crowsnest Highway is urging the traveller to slow down and immerse into the journey.
Upon entering British Columbia and the Kootenay Rockies region from Alberta, you will arrive at the community of Sparwood.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Sparwood:
100, Centennial Square in downtown Sparwood (DC Fast Charger)
Sparwood is home to the Terex Titan - the world's largest dump truck (350-ton capacity).
- During the summer, a tour of the mine site, 909 metres (3,000 feet) above Sparwood, is a unique opportunity to get a feel for the gigantic scale of things.
Sparwood to Fernie (29 km / 18 mi) south
Fernie will welcome you with its ‘Small Town Charm and Big Mountain Adventure'.
- Fernie offers endless kilometres of hiking and biking trails, angling on the mythical Elk River and a dynamic & healthy community with a rich mining heritage.
- Visit the Fernie Museum while you charge and enjoy a meal at the Blue Toque Diner, the Brickhouse or Nevados.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Fernie:
501, 3 Avenue EV Plug (J1772) located on the roundabout near City Hall.
At the Highway junction 3/93, head north towards Fort Steele Heritage Town where history comes alive! The origins of Fort Steele can be traced back to the small settlement of Galbraith Ferry born during the 1864 Kootenay Gold Rush. Today, over 60 restored or reconstructed homes and buildings are waiting to take visitors back to yesteryear. Treat yourself to the experience of life in Fort Steele and it's guaranteed that part of your memory will remain here forever.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Jaffray:
1950 Crowsnest Highway (BC #3) at Jaffray Pump and Pantry CCS/SAE and DC Fast Charger
Fort Steele to Cranbrook (17 km / 10 mi)
Head back south to the Crowsnest Highway #3 and continue to Cranbrook, the regional service hub and largest city in the region. Consider staying overnight at one the EV-friendly accommodation properties such as the Prestige Rocky Mountain Resort, the EconoLodge or the Heritage Inn Hotel to get a full charge overnight.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Cranbrook:
38 Cranbrook St. North in the downtown core (DC Fast Charger)
1779 2nd St. North at the Cranbrook Recreation Centre-Western Financial Place (EV Plug J1772)
220 Cranbrook St. North near the Ktunaxa Nation Council public parking (EV Plug J1772)
- Visit the Cranbrook History Centre.
- Go for a walk in the Community Forest.
- Enjoy a fine meal and locally crafted beer at the Heid Out Restaurant.
- Soul Food or Sakura on Baker Street, in the City’s downtown core.
Cranbrook to Creston (105 km / 65 mi) west on Highway 3.
The Creston Valley is a retreat for outdoor adventurers, foodies, creative souls, lovers of the land and anyone in need of a wholesome home-away-from-home experience. Creston boasts the best cherries and peaches in British Columbia.
- Visit a Farmers Market or one of the many seasonal & year-round fruit stands.
- Tour the Kootenay-Columbia Discovery Centre and experience the interpretive centre and lush wetland habitat.
- Enjoy a meal or a great cup of coffee at Buffalo Trails Café.
- Grab a bottle of wine from one of Creston’s three wineries: Skimmerhorn, Baille-Grohman and Wynnwood Cellar.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Creston:
121 Northwest Boulevard EV Plug (J1772) and Tesla Model S & Model X located in the Visitor Centre parking.
1002 Cook Street EV Plug (J1772) DC Fast Charger and Tesla Model S & X located in City of Creston Public Parking.
Creston to Crawford Bay (76 km / 47 mi)
Follow the winding Highway 3A along the scenic east shore of Kootenay Lake.
- Stop for a swim and picnic at one of the fine-sand beaches.
- Check out the unique Glass House.
- Browse the artisan shops at Crawford Bay - broom maker, potter, blacksmith and hand weaver.
- Take the Kootenay Lake Ferry from Kootenay Bay to Balfour - it is the longest free ferry ride in the world.
Balfour to Nelson (34 km / 21 mi)
‘Finding Awesome’ in the city of Nelson, on Kootenay Lake’s west arm, includes everything from heritage buildings to an arts & culture offering and festivals that don’t have anything to envy from the big cities. The area is brimming with a diversity of mountain culture.
- Hike up to Pulpit Rock and soak in the view of the city from the top.
- Rent a kayak for a relaxing paddle on the lake.
- Enjoy the city’s eclectic and busy downtown core with its unique dining options and boutique shopping.
- Discover the four craft breweries, including the organic brews from Nelson Brewing Co.
- Oso Negro is the local institution for the best cup of coffee around.
- All Season’s Café will delight the finest palate with fresh local ingredients prepared to perfection.
- There's many wonderful overnighting options and there's usually some sort of live music or entertainment to find here.
Electric Charging Stations in Nelson:
91 Baker Street, 2 EV Plug (J1772) are located in the Visitor Centre parking lot near the curb.
Nelson to Castlegar (45 km / 28 mi)
After leaving Nelson, you will drive alongside the Kootenay River and into the city of Castlegar, the Sculpture Capital of Canada.
- Find out more about the Doukhobor Heritage through a stroll in Zuckerberg Island Park.
- Visit the Doukhobor Discovery Centre; a reconstructed communal village and gallery.
- Enjoy a bowl of borsht at Dawn’s Early Sunrise Café or a fresh pastry at Crumbs Bakery.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Castlegar:
1995 6th Avenue, DC Fast charger located in the Castlegar & District Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Centre
1700 Columbia Ave (J1772 and DC Fast Charger) located in the parking lot of Kalawsky Chevrolet
Castlegar to Trail (30 km / 18 mi)
Take Highway 3B to the City of Trail with its covered staircases and rock walls featured in the ski movie ALL.I.CAN with regretted athlete JP Auclair. Take a stroll across the Columbia River on the new feature pedestrian bridge.
- Walk the 'incrEDIBLE' trail and help yourself to fresh fruits and vegetables in sidewalk planters.
- Tour the Teck Trail Interpretive Centre.
- Taste the wine at the Columbia Garden Winery.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Trail:
1051 Victoria Street, EV Plug (J1772) and 2 Tesla Model S & X chargers located in parking lot of Trail Memorial Centre (arena).
Trail to Rossland (9 km / 5.5 mi)
Up the hill, the nearby alpine city of Rossland is a hub for outdoor adventure, signature mountain biking trails and fine powder skiing.
- Walk into the Get LOST Adventure Centre and let their professionals arrange your day.
- Enjoy a round of golf at Redstone Golf Resort.
- Head to Columbia Street to admire the beautifully restored heritage buildings and the art galleries.
- Sip a cup of tea at the Alpine Grind or treat yourself to a romantic dinner at Idgie’s Restaurant.
Electric Vehicle Charging Stations in Rossland:
2051-2080 Washington Street, 2 EV Plug (J1772) located in the Thrift store parking lot.
This wraps up the Kootenay Rockies portion of the Electric Road Trip.
Continue further west through British Columbia along Highway 3 for more adventure and quaint communities. Or circle back to spend a bit more time in the Kootenays.