Truly what sets the Columbia Valley apart from other mountain vacation destinations!
Columbia Lake • Lake Windermere • Columbia River • Fairmont Creek • Kootenay River • Toby Creek
These are just a few of the water bodies that the Valley holds…
Columbia Lake is the closest ‘natural’ swimming – this fresh water lake offers beach access via Columbia Lake Provincial Park or the beach in Canal Flats.
Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offers a large outdoor swimming pool with grassy area and seating. Day passes can be purchased on site.
Lake Windermere has 2 public beaches both located in Invermere, Kinsmen beach is at the end of the downtown stretch and also has a new spray park for the kids. James Chabot Provincial park is at the north end of town, turn left at the A&W Restaurant.
Fairmont Float – Easy
Fairmont Hot Springs is a popular spot for plopping yourself in a tube and floating the river. Known by locals as the “Fairmont Float”, this river float is a self-guided experience. This lazy river float is the perfect way to spend a hot day in the Columbia Valley sunshine. Visit the river float outfitters at the Fairmont gas station to rent a tube or raft. Have fun!
Canoe – Easy to Moderate
Suitable for either lake or north of Invermere in the wetlands that stretch for miles – you could go all the way to Golden, but most folks opt to get out at Radium Hot Springs. The entire family will enjoy floating and taking in the views and wildlife. Rent a canoe in Invermere at Columbia Canoe & Kayak
Kayak – Easy to Extreme
Lake or river, float or take on white water – with a kayak under you there are many options.
Columbia Lake: Put in at Columbia Lake Provincial Park or drive south about 15 mins to Canal Flats and use the boat launch.
Kootenay River: Accessible via Canal Flats this river offers a plethora of white water kayaking options. Be sure to do your homework before you set out!
Kayak Tours & Rentals are offered by Fairmont Hot Springs Resort (250-345-6049). You can also rent a kayak at Fairmont Outpost & Outdoors which is located on the highway by the gas station at the north end of Fairmont.
River Rafting – Easy to Extreme
Float between Columbia Lake and the wetlands or book yourself on a river rafting trip…
River float: A local favourite to beat the summer heat! Rent a tube at Fairmont Outpost & Outdoors which is located on the highway by the gas station at the north end of Fairmont. You can get into the river near Hwy 93 and the fire station. Float time: 2.5hrs
River rafting trip: There are several options for trips – easy to extreme and a few local trip providers, check out Kootenay River Runners which provide white water rafting tours on the nearby Toby River, 1.800.559.4399
Power Boating – Easy to Extreme
Columbia Lake: Quieter and larger in size than Lake Windermere, the only public launch for your boat is 15 mins south in the Village of Canal Flats. The drive is totally worth it!
Lake Windermere: Public launch in Invermere under the Athalmer Road bridge – near Pete’s Marina. A busy launch and busy lake – especially on the weekends. Once you’re on the water there’s plenty to explore and do.
Boat & equipment rentals:
Pete’s Marina (Invermere)
Shadybrook Marina (Windermere)
Invermere Sales & Rentals (Invermere)
Canadian Tire (Invermere)
A year round activity here in the Valley, summer offers choices between lake and rivers. Lake fishing can be a challenge with power boating, but there are spots to be found! Rivers usually drop in level and are accessible in early August. Please be sure to get a license and consult local fishing regulations available at the grocery store or gas stations in Fairmont.
Rental/Guide Service: Real Axe Adventures provide year round fishing charters and tours, 250-409-4276