Category Archives: british columbia

Towns of the Canadian Rockies – Golden

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Towns of the Canadian Rockies – Golden

Golden, BC

The name of the place alone makes it beautiful and in real life, it only becomes more so. Whereas Banff has quite a touristy feel about it for example, Golden feels quite authentic. Golden, itself, is located in one of the most beautiful places in the world set between Banff, Glacier, Jasper, Kootenay, Mount Revelstoke and Yoho. The list of activities to do takes up a big page with Kicking Horse (one of the best and most challenging ski hills around) during winter and some of the Rockies’ best hiking in summer.

A ground squirrel enjoys the Golden sun.

If biking is your scene, then you are coming to the right place. Golden hosted the longest singletrack downhill mountain bike race in the world (Psychosis) for 10 years. Though this race doesn’t exist any more, the trail is still there for anyone who wants to challenge themselves. If you want to do something a bit more relaxing, the Kicking Horse Gondola provides unbelievable panoramic views. In fact, it has the highest elevation sightseeing Gondola of any resort in BC.

The rafting on the Kicking Horse River is second to none in summer with several different options ranging from the ‘Oh this is fun’ level to the ‘Oh God I am going to die but I love it’ level. Golden is only about a beautiful 90 minute drive from Banff (one hour from Lake Louise) and is definitely somewhere you should take time to visit.

Golden Tourism

Birdwatching in Mt. Robson Park BC

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Go vertical with a hairy woodpecker in the Canadian Rockies.

Woodpeckers of one of many BC bird species.

Mt. Robson Provincial Park in British Columbia is a great place for Rockies birdwatching, with a varied bird fauna, representative of all Canada and the Rockies. Over 180 species have been found in and around the park.

Most of these 180 species only come around for the summer, but about 25 can be considered full-time Mt. Robson residents. These inlcude:

  • Woodpeckers: Hairy, Northern and Black-backed Three-toed; they eat grubs and ants from rotten wood and under bark.
  • Chickadees: Black-capped, Mountain and Boreal; they are bark gleaners.
  • Waxwings: Bohemian Waxwing; they like frozen fruit.
  • Raptors – Goshawks, Great Horned Owl, Boreal Owl, Great Gray Owl.
  • Grouse: Ruffed Spruce, Blue Grouse, Willow and White-tailed Ptarmigan; they feed on the buds of trees and shrubs.
  • Corvids: Gray Jay, Black-billed Magpie and Common Raven; they are omnivorous feeders.
  • Finches: Evening and Pine Grosbeaks, Gray-crowned Rosy Finch, Red and White-winged Crossbills; they are seed eaters

Transient species include several types of waterfowl which breed on the prairies and winter on the south coast as well as shorebirds, which breed in the more northerly Canadian boreal forests and winter generally well south of the Canadian border.

Red-necked and horned Grebes, Mallard and Ring-necked Ducks and American Coots breed in Moose Lake Marsh. They can be seen from the highway by even the casual visitor.

Most abundant of the summer bird visitors are the colorful small woodland species such as the warblers. The Blackpoll Warbler performs the longest and the most spectacular migration of all the summer birds. In late August, the Blackpoll, together with other migratory woodland species, move eastward through the parkland zone of the Canadian Prairie Provinces and even farther through the Atlantic seaboard. The final stage of their journey takes them non-stop across the open ocean over Bermuda to their winter home in South America.

Revelstoke, British Columbia At a Glance


Surrounded by mountains, Revelstoke, British Columbia has the distinction of containing the world’s only temperate inland rainforest. With its wide variety of outdoor activities, this unique travel destination is one of the most historical and interesting regions in western Canada. Offering stimulating entertainment, galleries, and museums that reveal the history of the railway, forestry, and the hydro-electric dam, Revelstoke is an ideal travel destination for the entire family.

History of Revelstoke, British Columbia

British Columbia

British Columbia offers some of western Canada's best views.

Revelstoke’s original name was Farwell until it was changed in 1886 in honor of Lord Revelstoke, a well known aristocrat who funded the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway. With the railway fully operational, Revelstoke became on of the major transportation and supply centers for the mining industry, serving as a magnet for business, industry, and tourism. As the economy built, so did the influx of immigrants, including many families from Scandinavia. With their penchant for skiing and other winter activities, the area grew into what is now one of the most exciting winter hotspots in British Columbia. Revelstoke Mountain is known for the first North American ski-jump, the Nels Nelsen Ski Jump, built in 1915 and famous for breaking many ski jump records.

In 1965 three hydro-electric dams began construction in Revelstoke. Once the construction was complete the agricultural industry benefited, allowing for forestry, mineral excavation, transport and tourism to thrive.

Transportation to and from Revelstoke, British Columbia

Revelstoke is located inside the Monashee and Selkirk Mountains in the interior of British Columbia. With the Columbia River and Mount Revelstoke defining its borders, Revelstoke is conveniently located 398 miles east of Vancouver and 258 miles west of Calgary. North and south access is available via Highway 23 while east and west access is available via the Trans Canada Highway. There is no commercial airline service serving the area, but charter aircraft and helicopter services are available at the Revelstoke Airport. Once in Revelstoke itself, car rentals, taxis, and local transit are easily obtainable. With a fixed bus service as well as door-to-door delivery for visitors with special needs, it is never a problem getting around in this British Columbian mountain town.

Climate in Revelstoke, British Columbia

Because it is bordered by high mountain peaks, Revelstoke boasts a temperate climate with warm Pacific breezes and heavy rain during the spring and winter months. The town will see an average of 50 inches of rain each year. Snow comes from October to January, with heavy snows occurring during the last two months of the year. Summer is warm and sunny, with August serving as the driest month in Revelstoke. As Revelstoke has a unique placement within the mountain ranges, weather is known to be unpredictable, so make sure you check with meteorological authorities in advance and be prepared for the unexpected!

Activities in Revelstoke, British Columbia

Ideal for adults and children, Revelstoke, British Columbia is filled with things to do. Stroll the downtown area in spring and summer to enjoy an array of shops, boutiques, galleries, and restaurants, and relax under the stars for an evening of outdoor entertainment at Grizzly Plaza. Take the kids on a tour of one of the many historical museums to learn about Revelstoke’s railway and forestry history. Visit the Revelstoke Hydro Dam to learn more about the region’s past. And for a highlight not to be missed, visit Revelstoke National Park, the only temperate inland rainforest in the world! Here you can revel in miles of ancient forestry and admire the flora and fauna of a virtually untouched paradise. Some of the best skiing is found in Mount Revelstoke National Park, where the first ski jump created in North America, Nels Nelson Ski Jump, is located.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia At a Glance


Famous for its fine wine, fresh fruit, and vistas, Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia is one of those vacation travel spots that visitors never want to leave. Whether it’s a wine tour, a visit to one of the local ranches, long hikes through the meadows and up the mountain trails, golfing in one of the over 50 courses located throughout the area, or enjoying a wide range of winter sports, this magnificent spot located in the Canadian Rockies is not to be missed.

Transportation to and from Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia

British Columbia

See some of the best of the Rockies in BC.

With several major highways running through the area, Thompson-Okanagan is easily reached by the rest of Canada and the United States. Bus services are connected to Thompson-Okanagan, as well as the train service from Kamloops. The airports at Vancouver, Seattle, and Calgary provide excellent service connecting to the airport at Kelowna.

Climate in Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia

Thompson-Okanagan is dominated by a moderate climate, with summers that are hot and dry and winters that are more temperate than in other Canadian Rocky cities. Spring is warm and sunny, bringing blossoms to their fullest in April and May. In the autumn, the region shimmers with color from the wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and trees that abound.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Wine Tours

There are many wine tours available in Thompson-Okanagan, offering the visitor the chance to determine the length and focus of his or her tour. Travel through the lush wine country, past the teeming orchards in the Okanagan Valley. Pick your mode of transportation and find out why Thompson-Okanagan is one of the most interesting and exceptional travel destinations on the map.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Cattle Ranches

Most of the remaining ranches in Thompson-Okanagan are located in the north. Visit a working ranch such as O’Keefe Historic Ranch, located 7.5 miles north of Vernon. Here you will find beautifully restored buildings, including the oldest Catholic church in British Columbia. Visit the original log house, the general store, and the O’Keefe mansion, all dating back to the 1860’s. The town also boasts a working blacksmith, and studios for pottery and woodworking where all crafts can be purchased. Don’t forget to stop in at the museum where you will learn about the history of ranching as well as the cowboys who roved the terrain.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia The Grist Mill and Gardens

The Grist Mill and Gardens at Keremeos is famous for its old apple orchard. Located southwest of Penticton in the Similkameen region of southern British Columbia, the entire area is known for its plentiful produce. Visit the Living Museum of Wheat where fields of wheat grow a-plenty in some of the best organic gardens in Canada. Here you will find displays of a variety of implements and see demonstrations of the milling process. Costumed actors recreate events as well as the personalities that were a part of the history of this famous mill.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia Golf

Golfing in Thompson-Okanagan is a major attraction, with over 50 world-class courses to choose from. Thanks to its warm climate; its vineyards, orchards and lakes; and its brilliantly sun-filled days, Thompson-Okanagan offers the golfer some of the best golf courses in Canada for perfecting their game. Visit the Salmon Arm Golf Club in the Thompson area and the Rivershore Golf Club and The Dunes in Kamloops for some spectacular scenery surrounding the courses. In the north and central areas of Thompson-Okanagan, you will find the Okanagan Golf Club and the Harvest Golf Club, both beautiful world-class greens for perfecting your game. And for a challenging course, try the Fairview Mountain Golf Club or the Osoyoos Golf and Country Club.

Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia On the Water

Shuswap Lake is ideal for anglers, boaters, water-skiers, swimmers, and nature lovers of all kinds. With 621 miles of beautiful beaches, waterfalls, marine parks, forests, and hiking trails, the lake is abundant with things to do. Rent a houseboat instead of a hotel room for a unique vacation where you can explore the region, dock in a secluded cove, and have your dinner under the shining moon.

The 38 yard wide gorge in the wild Fraser River, Hell’s Gate, is one of the most electrifying sights in Thompson-Okanagan, British Columbia. Take the Hell’s Gate Air Tram for a view of the turbulent cascade. Here you will see Hell’s Gate Fishways, home to sockeye salmon swimming their way up river on their way to their spawning grounds. Descend to walk the suspension footbridge where observation points are strategically located for viewing the river that disgorges over 200 million gallons of water per minute. Tour the museum to learn about the life-cycle of salmon, visit the beautiful gardens, and have yourself a delicious meal at the restaurant where you will eat the freshest salmon you’ve ever sampled in your life!