Nestled in between the Purcell and Rocky Mountain ranges, with the mighty Columbia River running through it, the Columbia Valley has loads to offer when it comes to adventure tourism in the summer months.
For those who have some time, why not embark on an adventure tour of the region? You have your choice of paddling, geocaching, mountain biking, and even ziplining, all with 360-degree views of incredible scenery and wildlife.
You can stick close to the communities of Radium Hot Springs, Invermere or Fairmont Hot Springs, or travel deep into the backcountry; just be prepared for rugged mountain wilderness.
Here are 4 ideas for an adventure tour in the Columbia Valley.
1. A Zip Above
It’s becoming one of the top tourist attractions in British Columbia, and is one of the best ways to see breathtaking views while defying gravity at the same time. A complete adrenaline rush-Mineral Mountain Ziplines at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort is the newest Kootenay zipline that is open to all ages (children need to be more than 50 pounds). It is sure to satisfy both zipline newbies and adventure junkies with lines that are 200 feet above the ground and up to 1600 feet in length.
2. Paddles Up!
An adventure tour is not complete without some kind of water sport. From stand-up paddle boarding, floating, kayaking, canoeing or rafting, the Columbia Valley has plenty to offer! Spot the birds as you take a lazy river route alongside the precious wetlands of the Columbia River, SUP at Lake Windermere or Columbia Lake.
Or, if you’re a more experienced paddler, hit the eddies on Class 3, 4 and 5 whitewater at the White River, Skookumchuck Creek or the more advanced Spillimacheen River. Always check conditions before you go. Visitors can rent kayaks and go on a guided kayak tour via Fairmont Hot Spring Resort’s Activity and Experience Centre.
3. Catch on to Geocaching
Want to make your hike more fun while embarking on an eco-friendly adventure tour? Why not look for buried treasure while learning more about mountaineering? A series of hidden gems, known as geocaches, can be found around the Columbia Valley, including at Fairmont Hot Springs. All you need is a GPS or other navigational device. You can rent a GPS and get instructions and coordinates at Fairmont Hot Spring Resort’s Activity and Experience Centre or visit British Columbia Geocaching Association for more information.
4. Trail Blaze
Mountain biking is one of the top things to do in BC in the summer, and the Columbia Valley is one of the best regions to take your bike for a spin through cross country single tracks and technical downhills along forested terrain. Both beginner and advanced trails can be found throughout the region to make it a true adventure tour. There are maintained trails at Mt. Swansea and Lake Lillian by the Columbia Valley Cycling Society, with a good family ride located just south of Fairmont Hot Springs that travels through Columbia Valley Provincial Park. Bike rentals are available at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort as well as at bikes shops in Invermere.
Flying solo? Read our blog on 4 BC Attractions You Can Do on Your Own.
Complete your adventure tour this summer with a visit to Mineral Mountain Ziplines, open from May to October. Our course offers six incredible ziplines that vary in height, speed, and distance.