Kimberley began as a mining camp at the end of the nineteenth century. It was named by William Ridpath, a Spokane lawyer who hoped the camp would have the same luck as its namesake in South Africa. After the discovery of high grade ores nearby, Kimberley blossomed into a small mining town. Throughout the next century, the underground Sullivan Mine was developed, producing lead and zinc ore.
Kimberley was incorporated as a city in 1968, and officially became known as "the Bavarian City of the Rockies" in the early 1970s. Today, the city has transformed itself into a four season destination.
Kimberley is located on Highway 95A, 32 km (20 mi) north of Cranbrook in south-eastern British Columbia and 407 km (253 mi) west of Calgary, Alberta.
The Canadian Rockies International Airport (Cranbrook Airport) is a 20 minute drive south of Kimberley. Multiple daily flights are offered to and from Calgary and Vancouver through Air Canada and Pacific Coastal Airlines.
Marysville Falls, located off the main street in Marysville, is over 100 feet high within the beautiful rocky ledges of Mark Creek.
Visiting the Falls is very easy and there is no charge. Once in Marysville there is the main street bridge over Mark Creek. On one side is a community park featuring local artisans work, and on the other side is the trailhead to walk to the Falls.
The Cominco Gardens are located adjacent to the Kimberley Health Care Centre in Kimberley's Townsite area, and were originally built to showcase the Elephant Brand Fertilizer which the Cominco Mine produced. The Gardens feature over 45,000 blooms each year and are free to visit.
Hop on the train in town or at the Kimberley Alpine Resort for this journey into the Sullivan Mine, once the world's largest lead and zinc mine and the mainstay of the local economy for more than a century.
Kimberley's Platzl is the hub of activities and shopping. It is a fully pedestrian-only zone with a distinctly Bavarian flavour and home to Canada's largest freestanding cuckoo clock.
The Kimberley Alpine Resort offers a variety of recreational activities during the summer months. Ride their high-speed quad from the resort village base to the top to enjoy a vast view of the Rocky Mountains. Take your mountain bike or hiking shoes and enjoy the trails!
St Mary Lake is a beautiful and peaceful lake only 30 minutes from town, up the St Mary Lake Road. Boating and fishing are permitted, but with strict regulations. There are no camping facilities.
Kimberley offers a variety of hiking, from casual day or half-day hikes within the community's Nature Park, to day or multi-day backpacking trips up the St Mary Valley and other pristine valleys in the area.
Kimberley is an excellent mountain biking location featuring a variety of trail systems for all abilities, all within town or a short drive away. Visit the Kimberley Visitor Centre for trail maps.
Kimberley is a world-class golf destination with three award-winning professional courses within town - plus it's only a 30-60 minute drive to over five other high-end courses.
The Kimberley Nordic / XC Ski Trail System was first established in 1967. Located adjacent to the Kimberley Alpine Resort, the nordic trails consist of a variety of double-track set trails of varying degree of difficulty and length, complete with centre skating lanes. There are also a variety of single track set secondary trails and a 3.3 km (2 mi) double track set loop lit for night skiing every night until 10:00pm.
All community trail systems are open to snowshoeing and cross country skiing in the winter. Please be respectful on the trails by keeping off the Cross Country ski tracks. Snowshoeing is not allowed on the Nordic Trail System.
Excellent ski touring is accessible up the various drainages of the St Mary Valley. To access the majority of locations, a snowmobile is required. Ski touring in the Valley is a bit complicated in that locations are not documented anywhere in a guide, but in local knowledge. The best advice is to find these locations either through local coffee shops, local adventure operators and stores, or via friends and family. Ski tourers should be knowledgeable about avalanche terrain and hazards, and must carry a transceiver, shovel, and probe.