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With the long weekend at hand, the grandparents wanting a visit, and a desire to see new things, we headed off to do a circuit of the Kootenay Rockies in British Columbia. While we had previously explored much of the East Kootenays, some of which quite intensively, we’d never been to the West Kootenays. Despite almost continuous rain, near record high water levels, forgotten tent poles, and a leaky replacement tent we had a lot of fun. 

Exploring Summit Lake

The first three nights were spent camping with the grandparents at Three Island Resort on Summit Lake near Nakusp. Under rainy skies, we spent much of the weekend relaxing,  visiting and eating too much food – though we did get one rainy kayak trip on the lake. Despite the rain, I was able to get some great photographs, particularly of a double rainbow which I featured on my photoblog and with the grandparents spoiling him, frogs to rescue, ducks to chase, rainbows to watch, a lake to explore and a myriad of other activities, M had the time of his life – it even cleared enough for some great kite flying before heading out.

Creston Wildlife Centre

Thankfully on Monday morning, the skies cleared and with the breeze we were able to dry our gear before heading out. We continued our adventure south to Creston, taking the ferry across Kootenay Lake much to M’s delight. We stayed the night under the red cedars at Mountain Park Resort which was very friendly campground with the cleanest facilities I’ve seen – even the firepit was clean and it looked like the campsite was swept. While we had a dry night, unfortunately the rains returned as we approached the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area the next day. While we had planned to paddle, the approaching thunderstorms made this inadvisable. Perhaps ironically, many of the paths were under water but the naturalist at the centre was able to direct us to one of the accessible trails which we explored in part of before the storm hit. We’ve kept Creston on our bucket list as the area was gorgeous, friendly and we look forward to a time we can properly explore the area. Time was running short though and we had to head to the East Kootenays for our final night and day.

The rain followed us as we headed through Cranbrook and Kimberley. Unfortunately, due to crossing over that invisible line that adds an hour to the clocks, most of Kimberley was closed when we got there (though it was probably fortunate for our wallets as there looked to be some great outdoor stores). The sun shone once again as we followed the 93/95 north to Premier Lake Provincial Park. We got lucky and found a site was next to the playground and as M ran off his energy, we set up camp. A beautiful park, a clear warm evening and one last campfire… what more can you ask for?

Sinclair Creek

The next morning, after spending a couple hours at the lake, we headed home, stopping for a picnic and one last toddler hike at Sinclair Creek in Radium. A beautiful trail, with ample opportunity to throw rocks into the creek, I’d highly recommend the trail to anyone staying in the area or just needing to stretch their legs as they pass through.

In the summer, the Kootenay Rockies region is a paddlers and bikers paradise and one that we hope to explore more in depth in the years to come (hopefully with normal water levels and clear skies).

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