The Kootenays in Photos

Canada is one of the best countries in the world, without doubt. If we make the choice to set roots back in our homeland, there are 3 definite places where we could live happily: Vancouver Island, Newfoundland, or the Kootenays.

Right in the heart of interior British Columbia lies the Kootenay Rocky Mountain region (or “the Koots”).  The Koots are rich in abundant wildlife, rivers (including the majestic Columbia River), lakes, beaches, four National Parks, waterfalls, and mountains.

Popular activities here include kayaking/canoeing, camping, hiking, skiing holidays, cycling, fishing, golfing and of course, relaxing.

We were fortunate to be to able to find a house sitting opportunity for 2 months just outside of Nakusp.  No cell phone, no tv, just the beautiful scenery and the freshest air we’ve ever breathed. It was pure serenity for us.


The skies over Upper Arrow Lake

Upper Arrow Lake


Kayaking on glass – Upper Arrow Lake.

Kayaking Upper Arrow


A vineyard overlooks the Columbia River

Vineyard on Upper Arrow Lake

Wilson Falls, an off-the-tourist-path treat

Wilson Falls

A frozen waterfall

Frozen Waterfall

A young Bald Eagle

Bald Eagle

Sunset over the Kokanee Glacier.  Oh, and did we mention this region is the home of the Kokanee Brewery?

Sunset over Kokanee Glacier

Downtown Nelson, BC (photo by: flickr user trailofdead).

Downtown Nelson

Nelson is approximately 8 hours from Vancouver, 7 hours from Calgary and is one of the coolest cities.  The city is chalk full of restaurants, pubs and artisans.   Carlo Alcos of vagabonderz dot com gives you 19 steps to get stuck here.

Other towns worth exploring in the Koots include Nakusp, Kaslo, and Creston.  More information on the region can be found here.

45 Comments... Read them below or add one of your own
  • June 3 2011

    Great shots. Inspiration for me to go out and explore the region this summer! I’d love to check out Wilson Falls. Looks amazing. If you make it into the area, give me a shout!
    Carlo Alcos recently posted..Borneo Jazz &amp Mulu National Park- Day 1

    • Pete
      June 3 2011

      Thanks Carlo! Wilson Falls is a great hike, and it’s definitely off the beaten path. Well worth it if you can find it. Cheers!

  • Andrew - The Unframed World
    June 3 2011

    I’m digging the vintage toning. What program do you use do edit?

    • Pete
      June 4 2011

      Hey Andrew,

      Thanks for stopping by and the comment! I’m using CS2 to edit our photos. Cheers!

  • June 4 2011

    Love the tone of those photos! How do you accomplish that?
    The NVR Guys recently posted..2011 – What’s Gone Down &amp What’s Coming Up

    • Pete
      June 4 2011

      Thanks! I use Photoshop CS2. I can definitely get more specific if you want, just let me know which photo and I will let you know. I’m sure I have the psd files kickin’ around so I can retrace my steps 😉

  • Steph
    June 4 2011

    Beautiful photos! And I also would like to walk down the streets of Nelson. I love colorful buildings 🙂

    • Pete
      June 4 2011

      Thanks Steph, and agreed Nelson is such a cool town. Great atmosphere and location!

  • June 6 2011

    You’re right, it’s a great region. We just returned from a (business) trip from Kelowna, & took the “long way home” – Vernon, Nakusp, o’nite in Kaslo, Creston, Invermere then home to Alberta.

    Ospreys, black bears, a Grizzly, deer, (hundreds of them), elk, sheep, goats – all amidst that fabulous scenery, this is quite a country. Well, maybe not so good in winter….
    Bruce recently posted..Hints &amp Tips For Home Smoking

    • June 6 2011

      We really, REALLY love it there. And so much of it seems so undiscovered yet – lots of untouched territory with few people living in the area. Who knows…it might be “home” someday! 🙂

  • June 6 2011

    Love the photos- definitely can see why you could live there! I love the look on the bald eagle’s face!-
    jade recently posted..Animals we met in Mexico

    • June 6 2011

      Thanks Jade! Neither of us had ever even seen a bald eagle before spending time there, and then we saw lots of them! Such beautiful birds.

  • like the others have noted, love the photos! great colours. especially love the water reflection ones. looks like a stunning area of the world, with lots of adventure related activities to get amongst. can totally understand why you would consider settling down there!

    • June 7 2011

      Yup, it is a pretty perfect spot. The only thing that I wish for…less snow. But after living in the crazy heat of Honduras for six months, I think maybe the snow ain’t so bad. 🙂

  • June 7 2011

    You just have to love little out of the way places like that. Middle of nowhere but gorgeous as can be. Great photos, especially the one of the eagle.
    Justin Hamlin recently posted..June 6- Get Lost

    • June 8 2011

      Thanks Justin! It surprises me that more people haven’t flocked to live there, and that so much of it is still untouched. This makes it all the more appealing to us, however! 🙂

  • June 8 2011

    Looks very nice! I like the serenity of the lake and kayaker. Definitely takes the “hectic” out of travel.
    Don Faust recently posted..Napa Valley Weekend- Tasting Rooms vs Wineries

    • June 8 2011

      That kayaker is ME! We looooove kayaking, and being all alone on that still lake was definitely serene.

      • June 8 2011

        Very cool. We’re going to be sea kayaking in about a little over a month – we’ll see how that goes 🙂

        Not sure if you saw my email from last week. I wanted to ask about your house sitting gigs. Are these people you know or is there a network somewhere where you get screened and find out what home owners need help? I know there are house trading connections for those who want to swap during vacation, but I’m not knowledgeable on the house sitting thing. This could come in handy for my wife Chris later in the year.
        Don Faust recently posted..Napa Valley Weekend- Tasting Rooms vs Wineries

        • June 8 2011

          We’ve done a little sea kayaking, and some river too – I prefer the nice calm lakes, when I’m the only ripple in the water. So peaceful!

          I didn’t see your email? Did you send it through the website?

          Our housesitting jobs have entirely been found through websites. Check out this post we did, where we outline the popular ones out there (also a promo code available for one of the websites). And if you ever have any questions about it, just let us know!

  • Amy
    June 8 2011

    I could see myself living in the Kootenays as well (or Salt Spring Island) I love Nelson and Kaslo in particular. The whole area has this alternative feel to it. So vibrant and beautiful.
    Amy recently posted..30 Traveling Families Share Their Best Educational Experiences

    • June 8 2011

      We have yet to get to Salt Spring Island, but I fear going, as we may never leave. 🙂 Nelson and Kaslo both are awesome, as is the area around Nakusp. Soooo beautiful, especially during the fall months, when we were last there.

  • Great pics guys! One of my favourite parts of Canada
    Cam @ Traveling Canucks recently posted..Photo of the Week- Unusual Street Sign in Guatemala

    • June 8 2011

      Thanks Cam! Ours too, obviously! 🙂

  • June 8 2011

    Looks like awesome region to live in. I could definitely spend some time hiking and relaxing there.

    • June 8 2011

      There is so much to do there – hiking, skiing, kayaking, biking, relaxing in hot springs!! This post makes me want to go back – now!

  • Nicole
    June 8 2011

    I know Seattlites who talk about how great Nelson, BC is. Now I really want to go too!

    • June 8 2011

      You must! Nelson really is an awesome little city, with such an incredibly scenic background.

  • June 14 2011

    I agree, great inspiration to make it up to Canada – moving higher on my list everyday!

    • Pete
      June 15 2011

      Thanks Mark. If you are looking for beauty and serenity, this is your place 🙂

  • June 22 2011

    I just love the mountains of BC! I could move there tomorrow. Great photos.

    • June 23 2011

      Thanks Anita! We could move there too. (Actually, of all places we’ve been, we just agreed the other day that if we HAD to settle down right now, it would be there!)

  • June 28 2011

    After my cross Canada road trip with Candice I’ve started to love British Columbia more than ever before, everything is just so beautiful there!!!!
    I also really need to get on this house sitting thing 🙂

    • June 28 2011

      Everything IS so beautiful there. If Pete and I HAD to settle down right now, I’m pretty sure we would be THERE!

  • June 28 2011

    Beautiful shots. We just visited the Kootenay Rockies on a sports car weekend adventure. The curvy roads make great driving fun. What a great area for active travelers. We’re already planning another trip.

    • June 28 2011

      A sports car weekend adventure?? That sounds like fun! It is a pretty spectacular place for active travelers – hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, etc, etc.

  • June 30 2011

    Goddammit, I knew I hadn’t seen all of BC. GODDAMMIT.

    P.S. I vote Newfoundland.

    • June 30 2011


      Newfieland…yes, she still is on the list… 🙂

  • Syl
    July 1 2011

    Great pics! I was born in Nelson, went to school in Trail, and learned to ski in Rossland. Beautiful BC and the beautiful Kootenays.

    Happy Canada Day, everyone!

    • July 1 2011

      Thanks Syl – a Happy Canada Day to you as well! How lucky you are to have grown up in one of our favorite spots on the planet. 🙂

      • Syl
        July 1 2011

        As an FYI, I learned about you through Denise Wakeman.

        LOVE your new life & lifestyle. I’m envious! Told my husband we that maybe we could (should) do the same. He looked panic stricken. 🙂

        • July 2 2011

          Thanks Syl! I’m sure you could bring your husband around…it just takes some convincing over time (let me know if you need some tips! :))

  • October 1 2011

    Nice. I’m grew up in the Kootenays. One of the most beautiful places on earth for sure. It’s always a treat to go home.

    Where were you housesitting?
    Matt Gibson recently posted..The Shame of the BBC: A Note Regarding the Occupation of Wall Street

    • Pete
      October 1 2011

      Hey Matt, we were in Burton (just outside Nakusp). If the opp came up again we’d be there in a flash, probably our favorite so far on this planet…

  • Michele
    December 10 2013

    Looking for someone to house sit in wynndel, Creston area. Take care of two cats, keep fire going, and maybe some snow plowing. We are 1.5 hours away from 5 ski hills. Can cross country ski out at wildlife center and kootenay pass. Plenty of places to hike. Looking for couple. references needed. Will be gone from Dec 29 to Jan 6.

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