The City of Cranbrook is the Kootenay Rockies' largest city and sits in the middle of the valley. It boasts more sunshine than anywhere else in Birtish Columbia.
The region is bordered by Alberta and Kootenay National Park on the east, Montana, US on the south, the Purcell Mountains on the west and a point between Spillimacheen and Harrogate on the north.
Cranbrook came to be in 1898 with the arrival of the Crowsnest Railway. It is a railway town, a mill town and a signifciant commercial centre complete with international airport. The population currently exceeds 22,000 people. Cranbrook was incorporated in 1905 and celebrated its first cenntenial in 2005.
Cranbrook is located in the southeast corner of British Columbia at the junction of Hwy 3 and 93/95. It is 32 km (20 mi) south of Kimberley, 403 km (250 mi) south-west of Calgary, Alberta.
Approximately 9 km (6 mi) north is the Canadian Rockies International Airport. The airport is served by Air Canada Jazz to Vancouver and Calgary, Pacific Coastal Airlines to Vancouver, and Integra Air to Edmonton.
Fort Steele Heritage Town offers over 60 restored and reconstructed buildings that represent the town as it was in its heyday. Visitors can ride on a horse-drawn wagon, shop at a real old-fashioned general store, or take in a performance at the Wild Horse Theatre, where musical comedies are offered daily (except Mondays) throughout the summer. You can also watch a blacksmith and tinsmith in action. The International Hotel Restaurant offers turn-of-the-century fare served up by ne'er-do-wells from the past.
The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel is home to the only remaining set of passenger rail cars from Canadian Pacific's 1929 Trans-Canada Limited as well as other elaborately restored passenger cars. Guided tours are available.
It is open 7 days a week and offers guided tours in the summer months. You will learn about the life cycle of a trout while viewing small fry and fingerlings. You can be guided through the trout rearing process by an interpreter or by the informational displays in the hatchery. The Kootenay Trout Hatchery has stocked over 400 lakes in the Kootenays.
Examples of local wildlife are on display in this working museum. Visitors are welcome to see the displays or watch the taxidermists at work. It is located 2 kilometres out of Cranbrook on the highway toward Kimberley.
Offers a variety of landscapes, including forests, grasslands, kettle and alkali lakes, streams, and swamps. The area provides a diversity of opportunities for outdoor education and leisure activities.
The main street, Baker Street, of downtown has many businesses, stores, banks, and historic structures. There is a self-guided heritage walking tour that allows you to learn more about the history of this town.
This was the original site for Fort Steele. The town was completely dismantled when gold was found under its streets, and was then moved to its present-day location. Many miners made their fortunes by finding gold in the Wild Horse Creek. Grab a map of the area and explore the old ruins.
St. Eugene Mission is the oldest and largest historical structure in southeastern British Columbia. The Ktunaxa/Kinbasket Tribal Council is developing this site into a world class resort complex, so be prepared for construction. Pay particular attention to the 1897 Gothic-style church which features hand-painted stained glass.
Maintained by the East Kootenay Hunters Association, the Wildlife Education Centre displays wildlife species from all over BC. Located in the Chamber of Commerce building.
Cranbrook makes a wonderful central point for your golf vacation. There are many golf courses within driving distance from Cranbrook to make your golfing excursion memorable.
South Star Recreation trails offer cycling opportunities during the summer months. During the winter, these trails are used for cross-country skiing. Located at the south edge of Cranbrook, South Star allows you the opportunity to "create" your own trail.
Kootenay Freewheelers have established a trail system near the Community Forest. These trails are rated moderate to difficult and vary in length. Please stop at the Cranbrook Chamber of Commerce for a map.
Isadore Canyon is an old railway bed that is great for biking and begins on the north edge of Cranbrook. Again, please stop at the Cranbrook and District Chamber of Commerce for directions.
The Lazy Lake Mountain Bike Loop is a 33 km (20 mi) loop beginning at Wasa Lake Provincial Park.
Cranbrook also has a cycle/walk trail that provides residents and visitors with access to a trail system that can accommodate a variety of non-motorized forms of transportation, including walking, bicycling, rollerblading, and jogging.
There are many excellent fishing opportunities available in the Cranbrook area. Premier Lake, known for its rainbow and brook trout, is an easy drive north of Cranbrook.
Closer to home, Moyie Lake is home to rainbow trout, Dolly Varden, and kokanee. A boat is necessary for optimum fishing. Rainbow and cutthroat trout can be found in Idlewild Lake, located on the south edge of Cranbrook. If you are under 15 or over 65, this is the perfect spot for you. Many other lakes, streams, and rivers offer some of the best freshwater fishing in Canada. Ask the friendly locals for their opinions on the best places to fish.
Cranbrook's proximity to excellent winter recreation opportunities makes it the perfect place for a snowy holiday. Skiing and snowmobiling are particularly popular sports.
South Star Recreation trails are the perfect place to take the family cross country skiing. Cross-country skiing opportunities are also available at the Kimberley Alpine Resort and at Fernie Alpine Resort.
There are four world-class downhill ski areas within an hour's drive from Cranbrook. Try your skill at Kimberley Alpine Resort, Fernie Alpine Resort, Panorama, and Fairmont Hot Springs Resort.
Snowmobiling is also a popular winter recreation sport. The Lumberton area, south of Cranbrook, and the Perry Creek trail system, northwest of Cranbrook, offer some fine snow and trails.
Sam Steele Days is Cranbrook's annual festival held over the third weekend in June featuring fun and excitement for everyone in the family. Enjoy a kid's fun zone, strongman competition, parade, ball tournament and much more.