Good Attractions in British Columbia

yhntnlprkThanks to British Columbia Magazine here is a list of some good attractions in that Province:

Valley of the Ghosts

A river of silver once flowed through the Valley of the Ghosts where Highway 31A now cuts through the West Kootenay. The route links the historic villages of Kaslo and New Denver to a string of less viable mining towns that sprang up after prospectors discovered rich ore deposits near Slocan Creek in 1891. A few tour highlights:

Kaslo’s 1896 Langham Cultural Centre, a former silver-rush hotel; the 1898 Village Hall, still a working municipal building; and 1898 sternwheeler SS Moyie, a National Historic Site.
Moyie tour, $7.50 adult;  

Ramshackle buildings at Retallack—a mining and sawmill ghost town—contrasted against the new cat-skiing and mountainbiking at Retallack Lodge nearby.

The evocative Sandon townsite squeezed into Carpenter Creek valley. Sandon Historical Museum in the brick Slocan Mercantile Building (circa 1900) tells the boisterous story of Sandon’s saloon-lined streets, brothels, and population peak near 5,000 prior to 1900.

Museum, $4.50 adult; ;


Yoho geology Yoho National Park

This is a place of geological superlatives: hoodoo formations; the Burgess Shale ancient fossil beds; and 28 peaks rising above 3,000 metres. Just three kilometres from Field, travellers can see a remarkable example of the power of water to defeat solid rock. A custom-built pedestrian bridge over the Kicking Horse River offers varied perspectives of the Natural Bridge. Over time, the river’s incessant action here bore away at fissures in the rock bed, widening the cracks until it could flow through the remaining hard band of limestone that now bridges the river.

Lighthouse Park nature hike

While summer visitors crowd into Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park, savvy locals head for West Vancouver’s Lighthouse Park. This 75-hectare sanctuary is named for the classic 1912 Point Atkinson Lighthouse, a National Historic Site, but nature here trumps the 18.3-metre-high working beacon. This truly rare, urban old-growth forest contains 60-metre-tall, 500-year-old specimens of virgin Douglas fir and western redcedar. When you tire of craning your neck upward, follow the park’s easy, well-groomed trails to high, granite promontories where southward views over Burrard Inlet, English Bay, and downtown Vancouver extend from Lions Gate Bridge west to the University of British Columbia.

Hot springs around Kitimat

You haven’t truly soaked until you’ve submerged yourself in a wilderness hot spring. Three seaside springs south of Kitimat fit the bill—Weewanie, Bishop Bay, and Shearwater—each accessible by boat or floatplane only. All sites permit camping and have mooring buoys and simple concrete or wooden shelters over the hot springs.

Mountains rise from the shoreline in Weewanie Hot Springs Provincial Park on Devastation Channel, where visitors relax in odourless 38.6 C mineral waters within a low concrete bathhouse.

At Bishop Bay-Monkey Beach Corridor Conservancy on Ursula Channel, two 100-metre boardwalks lead away from a short boat dock. Take one path to the 38.8 C odourless hot pools and bathhouse, the other to a camping area with raised tent platforms.

Shearwater Hot Springs Conservancy is on the north side of Alan Reach in Gardner Canal.  Soakers enjoy mountain views as they prune up in a sheltered bedrock pool of mildly sulphurous, 40.6 C water.

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