Kootenay Rockies

Travel Spotlight

Yahk

The small village of Yahk, located on the beautiful Moyie River in the Kootenay Rockies area of BC, is on the Selkirk Loop. This stunning area circles the Selkirk Mountains in Washington and Idaho in the US and British Columbia in Canada. This community is well worth a visit as you won’t want to miss the goats grazing on the roof of the Yahk Soap Company, and enjoy one of the many flavours of ice cream served up at Two Scoop Steve.

Nearby is Yahk Provincial Park which is a forested, tranquil park popular for canoeing and trout fishing and just north is Ryan Provincial Park where you can relax and unwind and do a spot of fishing for eastern brook trout.

Location

Yahk is located on Hwy 3/95 in the Kootenay Rockies area in south-eastern British Columbia. Just a 13-minute drive north of the US border and 41 km (25 mi) east of Creston, 64 km (40 mi) south of Cranbrook.

A Step Back in Time

Thanks to the CPR Railway pushing westwards, the community of Yahk came to be in 1899 when the railroad arrived. By 1905 the King family had settled in the area and set up the King Lumber Company with milling operations located in nearby Ryan. The Yahk Hotel, post office and general store quickly followed as other families moved here and logging continued to expand and flourish. A one-room school was opened in 1918 and by 1920 a second school opened. In 1928 CPR-sponsored families from Europe arrived and the town of Yahk was thriving. By 1931 a grass runway had been built designed as a stopping point for the Trans Canada Airway between Lethbridge in Alberta and Vancouver in British Columbia. Eventually the airstrip was used for emergency service only and it shut down in 1988. By the late 1930s the road was being paved.

During the prohibition era which began in 1917, inhabitants of Yahk had a very profitable side industry distilling and selling illicit alcohol, driving it to and from the US under cover of darkness – at least, so the story goes!

Today, the train no longer runs through Yahk and the artifacts from the bygone era are housed in the Creston Museum. This quiet hamlet is home to some 130 families and many more in the summer who come here to camp or stop enroute north or south to enjoy the scenic Moyie River or savour an ice cream at Two Scoop Steves.

Contact Information

Creston Valley – Discover Yahk

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989