Super Camping British Columbia
Super Camping British Columbia

Super Camping
British Columbia
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Located in the Creston Valley in British Columbia’s Kootenay Rockies region, Kootenay Bay is situated on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake, the largest natural lake in the area and surrounded by forested woodlands. Kootenay Bay is the eastern port for the free ferry that operates year-round to Balfour on the opposite side of the lake – a 35 minute ride.

Golfing at a championship golf course, and fishing for Gerrard rainbow, Dolly Varden, and Kokanee trout as well as whitefish bring visitors to the area. Kayaking and canoeing offer an opportunity for a unique and timeless experience. Four and five-day kayak trips can be planned and plotted out using maps of the area or you can take several daytrips. There’s also many hiking trails in the area and in the winter snowmobiling. Plus, check out the historic Pilot Point Lighthouse which was built in 1907 when steamers moved up and down the lake carrying ore destined for the smelter, people looking to settle, supplies needed by the communities, and farm produce. The lighthouse building is open and people are encouraged to go inside to see the view from the top.

Location

Kootenay Bay is the eastern port for the Kootenay Lake ferry that connects with Balfour on the west side. Highway 3A runs south from Kootenay Bay along the east shore of Kootenay Lake to Creston.

A Step Back in Time

Prior to 1902, Kootenay Bay served only as a flag stop for paddlewheelers. In 1908, there was a pack trail to Crawford Bay and Gray Creek which was later upgraded to a wagon trail in 1912, but the steep terrain kept Kootenay Bay quite isolated.

The Fraser family, after emigrating in 1912, ended up owning a lot of the land in the area, and in the 1920s started the first commercial and agricultural development at Kootenay Bay. During the 1920s and 30s, there were about 25 permanent residents, most of whom were ranchers and fruit growers.

In 1947, the ferry terminal moved from Gray Creek to Kootenay Bay, and by June of 1948, the Trans-Canada Highway had been paved through to the ferry landing. During the same year, the K’niksu Lodge was built which was one of the first destination resorts on Kootenay Lake and had a faithful clientele of fishermen. It also served as a meeting place for local groups. Unfortunately, the lodge burned to the ground in 1962.

With the new upgraded highway and increased traffic, there came cabins, restaurants, a gas station, and a garage. Today, Kootenay Bay continues to offer hospitality to the traveling public and is home to about 100 people.

Camping Lodging

The Super Camping / Select Lodging Guide

First Published in 1989

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