Kootenay Lake is a breathtakingly beautiful body of water located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada. This long, narrow and deep fjord-like lake stretches an impressive 104 km in length and ranges from 3-5 km in width between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges. The beauty of this lake draws visitors from all over the world who come to explore its crystal clear waters and scenic surroundings.
As part of the Kootenay River system, this lake boasts crystal-clear waters and breathtaking views of high mountain peaks that are dusted with snow all year round. The lake sits at an elevation of 532m above sea level and boasts an average depth of 10 m in its west arm and 45 m in its main lake area. However, what truly sets this stunning body of water apart is its maximum depth of 150 m, making it one of the deepest lakes in British Columbia.
Kootenay Lake is a magnificent body of water, shaped like a bow and arrow. The Main Lake stretches an impressive 63 miles/100 km from North to South, while the West Arm extends for 21 miles/34 km in a westerly and southwesterly direction.
Visitors can explore the area on foot through many hiking trails that wind through lush forests rich with wildlife or take to the water by boat and experience the beauty from another perspective. Fishing enthusiasts will be happy to know that there’s ample opportunity to catch various types of fish in this freshwater paradise.
With crystal clear water and sandy beaches, it’s the perfect place to unwind and soak up some sun. The protected bays provide a tranquil setting for swimming, kayaking or simply lounging on the shore.
The main lake is broad and deep, making it perfect for larger boats and water sports. However, those looking for a more secluded experience can venture into the West Arm of the lake. The West Arm is situated entirely within the Selkirk Mountains and offers a breathtaking view of nature at its finest. This section of the lake is narrower and shallower than the main body but still provides plenty of opportunities to explore by boat or kayak.
Kootenay Lake Provincial Park
Kootenay Lake Provincial Park in British Columbia is a natural wonder with its valleys and canyons carved by glaciers. The stunning landscape offers breathtaking views, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Covering an area of 3.43 km2, the park is home to diverse flora and fauna.
The grasslands offer a serene escape from the hustle-bustle of daily life, while hiking trails take you through some of the most picturesque areas of the park. Whether you want to picnic by the lake or explore the rugged terrain on foot, Kootenay Lake Provincial Park has something for everyone. Established on March 8, 1990, this provincial park has been known for its outstanding views ever since.
Kootenay Lake Provincial Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts with its extensive list of recreational activities. The crystal-clear waters of Kootenay Lake offer ample opportunities for fishing, boating, canoeing, and windsurfing. Nature lovers can indulge in wildlife viewing and nature observation while taking leisurely walks or cycling around the park’s trails.
Swimming in the lake during summers is a refreshing way to beat the heat and enjoy stunning views of surrounding mountains. Pet owners can take their furry friends on long walks along designated pet-friendly paths within the park.
The abundance of flora and fauna provides an excellent opportunity for bird-watching and spotting other wildlife such as deer, moose, bears, cougars among others.
Kootenay Lake Provincial Park offers a unique and exciting camping experience for visitors. With 46 RV campsites available, you can enjoy the beautiful scenery while having all the amenities of home. For those looking for a more rustic adventure, two campgrounds are also available with pit/vault toilets and water taps nearby.
Kootenay Lake Beaches
Kootenay Lake is a picturesque destination that offers some of the most beautiful beaches in British Columbia. The glacier-fed waters provide an incredibly refreshing place to cool off during hot summer days, and kayaking or canoeing on the lake can be an unforgettable experience. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful spot to relax and soak up the sun or you want to take in epic mountain vistas and sunsets, Kootenay Lake has something for everyone.
Crawford Bay / West Beach
The Crawford Creek Regional Park has recently acquired two stunning public beaches that are perfect for a family day out. With their crystal clear water and soft sand, these beaches are an ideal spot for swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying nature’s beauty.
Overall, whether you want to spend quality time with your loved ones or just seek some solace in tranquil surroundings – the Crawford Bay/West Beach area has something unique on offer that everyone can enjoy.
The east shore of Kootenay Lake boasts a hidden gem known as Pebble Beach. This serene spot offers an array of activities for nature enthusiasts and families alike. The crystal-clear waters are perfect for swimming, while the forested trails provide ample opportunities for hiking and camping.
The serene surroundings provide the perfect backdrop for a peaceful day out with family and friends. Camping enthusiasts have access to several campgrounds that offer facilities like fire pits, picnic tables, toilets and more.
Pebble Beach also has plenty of space for picnics with loved ones or just soaking up some sun on your own. Visitors can simply relax on the soft pebbles while taking in the beauty of their surroundings.
Riondel Campground Beach
Nestled right on the shore of Kootenay Lake, Riondel Campground Beach is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. With its beautiful pebble beach and crystal-clear waters, it’s the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing or just taking in the scenic views. The campground boasts panoramic mountain vistas that are sure to take your breath away, while towering trees provide ample shade for those hot summer days.
Whether you’re looking to spend some quality time alone or enjoy an afternoon picnic with friends and family, this picturesque spot has something for everyone – full access washrooms are available nearby.
Kootenay Bay Beach
Kootenay Bay Beach is a hidden gem that provides the perfect escape from the summer heat. Nestled on the shores of Kootenay Lake, this beach offers crystal clear water and breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains.
Kootenay Bay Beach is not just a great place to cool off in the summer; it’s also an ideal spot to enjoy lunch and use full access washrooms.
Lockhart Beach Provincial Park
The sunny shores of Kootenay Lake are simply breathtaking, and Lockhart Beach Provincial Park is the perfect spot to unwind and soak up the stunning scenery. Whether you prefer white sand beaches or fine gravel beach areas, this park has something for everyone.
Take a dip in the clear waters or simply lounge on the beach, it’s the perfect spot to relax and recharge. And with picnic tables and pit toilets available, you can make a day out of your visit without having to worry about any amenities.
Walking Trail in Kootenay Lake Provincial Park
The Kootenay Lake Trail is a charming 1.3-km loop trail that offers visitors an easy and enjoyable route to explore the beauty of the Kootenay Lake Provincial Park. This trail is perfect for those who are looking for a leisurely stroll or run, as it takes an average of 30 minutes to complete.
Aside from walking or running, this trail is also ideal for birding enthusiasts as there are plenty of opportunities to spot various bird species along the way. Campers will also appreciate this trail since it passes by some excellent camping areas within the park. The best times to visit are from April through October when the weather is mild and the foliage is in full bloom.
As you make your way around the loop, take in stunning views of Kootenay Lake and keep your eyes peeled for local wildlife like deer, coyotes, and even bears! As you cross the green forest of Kootenay Lake Provincial Park, be prepared to be swept off your feet by the stunning natural beauty that surrounds you. The hiking trail leads through a lush forest and affords some breathtaking views of the lake.
It’s the perfect spot for a day trip with lots to explore, from sandy beaches to great fishing spots and stunning scenic views. The park offers plenty of parking spaces, making it easy to access all the hidden gems within its boundaries.
Campground in Kootenay Lake Provincial Park
Davis Creek Campground and Lost Ledge Campground are two of the most popular camping destinations in Kootenay Lake Provincial Park. Nestled amongst towering trees and situated alongside pristine waters, these campgrounds offer visitors a chance to escape the hustle and bustle of city life.
Davis Creek Campground
Nestled on the north-western shore of Kootenay Lake lies a smaller campground with 32 sites, known as Davis Creek Campground. The serene location offers stunning views of the Purcell mountain range and easier beach access. Whether you’re looking to take a dip in the refreshing waters or simply relax by the lakeside, this campground has something for everyone.
For those who enjoy water activities, kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding are all popular options here. While enjoying your stay at the campground, you can take advantage of various amenities such as water taps, restrooms, garbage station, recycling station, Information Center and parking lot.
Lost Ledge Campground
Nestled on the north-western shore of Kootenay Lake lies a hidden gem – Lost Ledge Campground. With only 14 sites, this small and intimate campground provides the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Located just 5km south from Davis Creek campground, Lost Ledge offers stunning views of the Purcell mountain range and boasts sheltered campsites with picturesque lake views.
Fishing in Kootenay Lake
Kootenay Lake is a fisherman’s paradise as it offers year-round fishing opportunities. The lake, which stretches over 100 km in length and is one of the largest natural lakes in British Columbia, Canada, is home to an abundance of fish species. Anglers can catch Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee Salmon and many others throughout the year.
One of the best places to catch fish on Kootenay Lake is the North arm. The water is clear and cold, making it ideal habitat for trout and kokanee. You can try your luck from shore or take a boat out into deeper waters.
With Gerrard Rainbows weighing up to 35 lbs and rainbows ranging from 5-15 lbs, the lake offers an exciting challenge for anglers of all levels. And if you’re lucky enough, you might even reel in a bull trout that weighs up to 29 lbs! On average, Bull Trout caught in this lake weigh between 5-12 lbs which still makes it a decent catch.
Best Time to Visit
July and August are the peak months for visitors to Kootenay Lake. This is the perfect time of year to enjoy all the lake has to offer, from swimming and kayaking in its pristine waters to hiking along its picturesque shores. The warm weather also makes it ideal for camping, with numerous campsites located around the lake.
One of the top attractions during this time is fishing. July and August bring some of the best fishing opportunities in Kootenay Lake as Kokanee salmon start their annual migration. Anglers can expect to catch a variety of fish such as rainbow trout or bull trout while enjoying stunning views of the mountains surrounding them.
Another highlight during these months is hiking. The trails around Kootenay Lake offer magnificent views of wildflowers blooming in abundance along with breathtaking panoramic vistas above treeline that make it worth every step.
Tips for a Great Trip
When it comes to planning a trip to Kootenay Lake, there are a few tips that can help ensure you have the best possible experience.
First and foremost, make sure to research the area before you go. This will give you an idea of what activities are available, where to stay, and how to get around.
Another important tip is to pack appropriately for your trip. Whether you’re planning on hiking through the mountains or relaxing on the beach, make sure you have all the necessary gear and clothing.
If you’re traveling with kids, be sure to plan activities that they will enjoy as well. Kootenay Lake offers plenty of family-friendly options such as swimming beaches and nature walks.
Finally, don’t be afraid to try something new while on your trip! Whether it’s trying out a local restaurant or attempting a new outdoor activity like paddleboarding or kayaking, stepping outside your comfort zone can lead to some amazing experiences.
Emerald Lake Complete Guide
Kootenay Lake FAQ
where is Kootenay lake?
Kootenay Lake is a breathtakingly beautiful body of water located in the Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada.
Can You Swim in Kootenay Lake?
It’s a glacier-fed wonderland that offers visitors an exceptional swimming experience during the months of July and August, as the water temperatures rise to a comfortable level for most swimmers.
how big is Kootenay lake?
This long, narrow and deep fjord-like lake stretches an impressive 104 km in length and ranges from 3-5 km in width between the Selkirk and Purcell mountain ranges.
what fish are in Kootenay lake?
Anglers can catch Rainbow Trout, Bull Trout, Kokanee Salmon and many others throughout the year.
are dogs allowed at Kootenay lake?
Pets allowed at Kootenay Lake!
is Kootenay lake open?
Kootenay Lake, one of the most beautiful lakes in British Columbia, is open to public access year-round.
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