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Best driving route from Revelstoke

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Newtown, PA
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Best driving route from Revelstoke

This summer we'll be spending 2 weeks in the Rockies. We are staying two nights in both Revelstoke and Nelson. Which route do we want to take that will give us scenery and stops between Revelstoke and Nelson? We have all day so time won't be a factor.

Also, when driving from Nelson to Radium Hot Springs, it looks like route 3 is pretty much a given. Any suggestions for stops on this drive?

Vancouver, Canada
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1. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

When you leave Nelson, take the ferry at Balfour rather than the highway through Salmo. Fort Steele just outside of Cranbrook is worth a stop. Can't help you on the bit between Revelstoke and Nelson.

Rockies BC
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2. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Can you give us a better idea of your itinerary? I kind of got the impression you were going to the Rockies, then Revelstoke, then Nelson (as you asked specifically about how to get from Revelstoke to Nelson - and neither Revelstoke nor Nelson are in the Rockies, they are 2 mountain ranges WEST of the Rockies), but then you threw in Radium (which IS in the Rockies) - are you going to Radium before or after Revelstoke/Nelson?? I can see you doing some backtracking so pls give us a few more details & we Kootenayers will be happy to help!

Vancouver, Canada
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3. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Not sure what best would mean to you but you could come down the Upper Arrow Lake. Hot Springs at Halcyon, Free inland ferry from Shelter Bay to Galena, Nakusp Hot Springs, New Denver has the Japanese story of internment from WWII, Silverton has a museum and interpretive center, Sandon is a silver ghost town. Drive across to Kaslo for the SS Moyie, down to Ainsworth Hot Springs and then west to Nelson. The Provincial Parks will have some hiking/walking.

Newtown, PA
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4. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Thanks to all. The itinerary is:

1 night Calgary (late flight)

3 nights Jasper

1 night Lake Louise

2 nights Revelstoke

2 nights Nelson

1 night Radium Hot Springs

4 nights Banff

1 night Calgary.

Rockies BC
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5. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Ah - that now makes sense.

I assume you realize the only practical way to get to Nelson from Revelstoke means driving south of Revelstoke & taking the ferry from Shelter Bay to Galena Bay - make sure you check the schedule so you don't have a long wait. Once you are at Galena Bay you can turn right and drive south to Nakusp (check out the hot springs there or before Nakusp you will pass by Halcyon Hot Springs) and then to New Denver. Or you could turn left and drive north and around in a semi-circle passing by Beaton & Trout Lake City, but that road is not great and not so much to see, pretty isolated, no interesting towns - I'd go via Nakusp myself. Once you drive out of Nakusp the next stop is New Denver. There you have 2 options - either drive south through the Slocan Valley, or east over Hwy 31A (the Valley of the Ghosts) as mentioned by Mufti - you will then end up in Kaslo (the Moyie is great) and then drive the windy and very interesting trip down the west shore of Kootenay Lake to Nelson. I prefer the trip via Kaslo but going down the Slocan is still interesting, pleasant and soothing & less spectacular. After Nelson yes you are stuck with Hwy 3 - you can either backtrack to Balfour & get the ferry or drive up the Salmo-Creston - the highest hwy in Canada. Altho not as gorgeous as the ferry, it's kind of neat in itself - I've driven it dozens of times and each time I still think, as we round the "last" curve, that we MUST be at the top now, only to see the highway ahead of us keep on climbing upward! So interesting choices either way. Then yes it's straight Hwy 3 through Creston & Cranbrook to Radium - about 1-1/2 hrs between Cranbrook & Radium (without stops). Don't forget the time change - Creston stays on Mountain Standard Time year round - right now it's in the same time zone as Cranbrook, but during the spring-summer-fall it's in the same time zone as Nelson. So as you are travelling in the summer you will be changing your clock about mid-way between Creston & Cranbrook (there's a big sign on the highway).

Vancouver, Canada
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6. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/ferry_schedules.htm

BTW ~ very nice itinerary.

Calgary, Canada
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7. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Agreed. Very good itinerary. You are in for a treat, the scenery is wonderful in the Kootenays, it's my favorite part of BC.

I want to give my vote for the Nakusp/Kaslo/Nelson route and the Balfour/Crawford Bay/Creston route via the ferry. If you have the time the drive from Crawford Bay to Creston is fantastic. But I should caution you that this route is going to add a couple of hours to your drive to Radium, because of the wait for the ferry and because of the extreme twists and turns on the road from Crawford Bay to Creston. If you are in a hurry the Salmo/Creston route is a lot faster.

Do take the time to tour the SS Moyie in Kaslo. It is an old paddle wheeler that has been restored and turned into a museum. It has been very well done and is worthy of a visit.

Kootenays, British...
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8. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Check out Idaho Peak (near New Denver) for a short hike and tremendous view. photoscanada.com/gallery/idaho_peak_new_denv…

The route to Nelson is pretty much as advised but if you want to change it up a bit you can take Highway 31A at New Denver across to Kaslo and drive down the west shore of Kootenay Lake to Nelson. That way you'll go through Ainsworth and can stop at the Hotsprings cave there.

To Radium, I agree with taking the Balfour Ferry and otherwise stick to Highway 3 and then up the trench.

Vancouver, Canada
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9. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

LOL - as soon as I saw the full itinerary I said "Ah! Now that's a good itinerary." and then I read all the comment below saying just that. Well done indeed. So many people seem to equate spending 10 hrs driving from A to B with seeing a place, which of course it isn't at all. You have allowed yourself time to see the area, stop and explore along the way and are seeing some fantastic country.

I particularly like the way you've split up Banff and Jasper, BECAUSE....if the weather is crappy at one end of your trip and the mountains are swallowed in clouds, you have a better chance of seeing them in their glory at the other end of your trip by which time the weather should have cleared.

Love, love, love Idaho Peak.

Newtown, PA
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10. Re: Best driving route from Revelstoke

Wow! After reading all these great suggestions, I'm happy we're spending some time in BC. Leaving Revelstoke it looks like the ferry, down to New Denver, over to Kaslo, and then to Nelson. In looking at google maps, do we want to take the road to Sandon and pick up Idaho Peaks Drive to the top? Looks like a neat spot.

How should we spend our full day in Nelson and the area? We like to get out of the car and be active, maybe do a hike or just enjoy the scenery. In the evening we're always up for a good meal and some tasty local brews.

Nelson is the only town I haven't booked our lodging for this trip. I was looking at the Hume Hotel, Mistiso's Place, Dandelion B & B, Best Western Baker St, Nelson Lakeside B & B, Chatham Street B & B, and this listing on vrbo:

http://www.vrbo.com/378938

They all look nice. The Hume Hotel does seem like a fun place for something different. Most of the lodging on this trip are suites in private homes.

Thanks for all the great ideas!

Edited: 11:05 pm, January 26, 2012