Super Camping British Columbia
Super Camping British Columbia

Super Camping
British Columbia
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Lussier Hot Springs | Kim Walker

Motorcycle Touring in Southern British Columbia: Golden to Nelson

By Kimberly Walker

Southern British Columbia is excellent territory for motorcycle touring.  In Part 1 of our series we travelled from Agassiz to Nakusp. In Part 2 we ventured from Nakusp to Golden. For the third portion of our trip we spent three days exploring between Golden and Nelson.

Before we left Golden we spent the morning taking a walk on the Golden Rotary Trail. The trail departs directly from the Golden Municipal Campground. We opted to follow the Kicking Horse River towards town, across the beautiful Kicking Horse Pedestrian Bridge, take a detour through the Golden Farmers’ Market (Wednesdays 10-3 from mid June to late September), then carry on as far as Confluence Park before returning to the campground to pack up and head out of town.

The highway between Golden and Radium Hot Springs – our next destination – is very beautiful. The road follows the Columbia River Valley and is home to spectacular wetlands. Next time I am in the area my goal is to do less of a “road trip” and spend more time in the area, including getting on the water, as it would be a beautiful location to paddle.

Fairmont Hot Springs | Kim Walker

When we arrived in Radium Hot Springs we couldn’t help but take a short detour into Kootenay National Park as Sinclair Canyon, just outside of town, is one of my favourite road trip destinations. Since our ultimate destination was south, we turned around before long and headed back towards a late afternoon dip at Fairmont Hot Springs.

Fort Steele Train | Kim Walker

After soaking away my motorcycle aches and pains, we got back on the road for an evening ride to Wasa Lake Provincial Park. Wasa Lake Provincial Park was our first multi-night destination, and it was great to be able to spend more time in one area. In addition to the park offerings, we spent time exploring Fort Steele Heritage Town, which had been on my bucket list ever since missing it when I visited the Kootenays over a decade ago. It did not disappoint! From a 4km ride on a hundred-year-old steam train to tasty treats at the café. Checking out a show at the Wild Horse Theatre to visiting 98 carefully restored structures and oohing and ahhing at an impressive array of heritage livestock animals including Clydesdales, donkeys, chickens, and more, Fort Steele is definitely worth a visit. While in the area, we also did an early morning gravel ride to Lussier Hot Springs – wild hot springs along the edge of the Lussier River – where we spotted a moose!

Rain at Moyie Lake | Kim Walker

When it was time to move on from Wasa Lake, we headed towards my namesake town – Kimberley! Kimberley has consistently been one of my favourite communities to visit as I really feel like I have just scratched the surface when it comes to exploring the area.

Departing from Kimberley we ran into our first rain on the trip while riding past Moyie Lake. Luckily for us, by the time we got to Yahk it was beautiful sunshine – just in time for ice cream at Two Scoop Steve!

Two Scoop Steve, Yahk | Kim Walker

We grabbed groceries in Creston, and then made a run for the Kootenay Lake Ferry – the longest free ferry in the world clocking in at 8km from Kootenay Bay to Balfour. Unfortunately – or, as it turns out, fortunately – for us, we arrived at the ferry terminal just in time to see it gliding away from us. With an hour and a half to fill, we decided to spend our evening exploring rather than waiting at the terminal and set out to visit Pilot Bay Provincial Park, home to the Pilot Bay Lighthouse. Lighthouse, you may ask? Aren’t we a long way from the ocean? But from the 1880s to the 1950s, when sternwheelers transported people and goods up and down Kootenay Lake, the Pilot Bay Lighthouse – constructed in 1904 and activated in 1905 – was an important navigational aid. Pilot Bay is the last inland lighthouse in BC and is a true gem to discover.

Pilot Bay Lighthouse, Pilot Bay Provincial Park | Kim Walker

After a quick visit to Pilot Bay Provincial Park – a destination I definitely need to revisit with more time to explore – we headed back to Kootenay Bay, caught the ferry, and sailed on to our next destination: Kokanee Creek Provincial Park.

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Published: May 30, 2024
Last Updated: May 30, 2024

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About the Author

Kimberly is a Special Education, Elementary School teacher in Hope, BC. Previously having worked ten years at the Hope Visitor Centre & Museum promoting tourism in Hope and British Columbia, Kimberly worked on many local history projects in the museum as well as researching and writing articles for the local newspaper. Kimberly loves travelling with her husband Dale and their dog Alpine. In the fall of 2014, they spent the first 78 days of married life travelling and camping their way across Canada - just the two of them and the dog - travelling in a Hyundai Elantra! Kimberly loves various outdoor recreation types and exploring our beautiful province.

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Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989