Rock Creek - Boundary Country, BC.
Located in Boundary Country in the south Thompson Okanagan close to the US border, Rock Creek is a small community situated on the famous Kettle Valley Rail Trail that has stunning views and parallels the banks of the Kettle River. The trail is popular with hikers and cyclists who can also stop and enjoy a cool dip in the river. While here visitors can try a little gold panning or perhaps go windsurfing at nearby Conkle Lake Provincial Park. In the winter showshoeing and cross-country skiing is popular and nearby Mt. Baldy offers excellent skiing.
The community of Westbridge is just 13.5 km (8.4 mi) to the north along highway 33.
A series of major and minor gold rushes began at Rock Creek in 1859 and throughout the area. Over the next 10 years the region saw the sudden influx of more than 5,000 miners. Governor James Douglas quickly ordered the rapid construction of the now-famous Dewdney Trail, going from the coast to the gold field just north of the border. Rock Creek became the supply centre for the Boundary Country. When bigger strikes occurred in the Okanagan and the Cariboo, the miners left, but an important trade route remained.
Later, as copper, silver, lead, and zinc ores were being mined in large amounts, the Kettle Valley Railway, a branch line of the Canadian Pacific Railway, was built so that ore and smelter traffic would remain in Canada instead of being shipped to the US. One of Canada’s most historic and scenic railway routes, the Kettle Valley Railway ran past Rock Creek, operating between 1916 and 1973. The track between the towns of Midway and Penticton was removed in 1980, providing an excellent hiking and biking trail.
After the initial mining boom, the residents of Rock Creek began to develop an economy in agriculture, forestry, and ranching – all of which remain the mainstays of the local economy today. Some of the finest blue-ribbon livestock in British Columbia is now raised in Rock Creek and the surrounding area.
The small town of Rock Creek and the Kettle Valley communities of Westbridge and Beaverdell are the gateways to hiking trails, wilderness recreation sites and some of the best fishing lakes in the Boundary Region.