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Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

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Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

We are flying into Cranbrook from Vancouver and renting a car, then driving to Fernie to go fly fishing for 3 days. We also want to check out the Aerial Park, Mtn. Biking, Dirt Jump Park in Fernie. After that though, would like to go to a Hotsprings. Which one would be the closest to Fernie? or which one is better than the other? Is there any great things that we cannot miss while visiting this area? Should we head to Kimberley, Nelson, Golden etc? I am taking along my 12 year old son.

Thank you

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1. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

Hi QUEST ~

The Nelson area is pretty nice. About a 4 hour drive from Fernie. It would be worth 2 nights in order to make a full day to explore the area. There's a stationary paddlewheeler, the SS Moyie, a ghost town and Baker St in Nelson. And Ainsworth Hot Springs is up the road as well. There is a free inland ferry across from Crawford Bay to Balfour. You have to drive up the east side of Kootenay Lake from Creston to take that ferry. A 12 year old might enjoy that!

hellobc.com/driving-routes/22/silvery-slocan…

Ferry #8: www.th.gov.bc.ca/marine/ferry_schedules.htm

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2. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

Thank you for the info. I will look into this. Is Ainsworth Hot springs closer to Fernie than the Fairmont hot springs?

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3. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

map for Fernie - Fairmont HS: http://goo.gl/maps/BA8Qb

map for Fernie to Ainsworth: http://goo.gl/maps/OADf7

Ainsworth is much closer to Nelson.

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4. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

I think the closest hot spring is either Ram Creek or Lussier. I'm not sure if Ram Creek has been fixed since the landslide: e-know.ca/news/… . Lussier is probably easier to access since it is in Whiteswan Provincial Park …gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/whtswan/. If you want a developed hotspring then Fairmont is closest. Ainsworth is great, but if you are coming up for a holiday in the east Kootenay then I think you're well advised to stay on that side of the divide given your limited time.

Kimberly is worth taking in and has lots of biking opportunities. From Fernie it is a fairly short junket to Waterton National Park on the Alberta side and it is well worth seeing. Some of the old Crowsnest pass communities are rich in history (eg the Frank slide site). The Elk Valley (north of Sparwood) is definitely worth a drive. And, if you feel like a swim, head over to Surveyor Lake in Kikomun Creek Provincial Park.

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5. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

I like Redtrail's advice. If you look at photos of Radium and Invermere, these are just big commercial swimming pools with hot water in them. We have been to Ainsworth, and the caves provide some ambience to the otherwise sterile commercial pool setting. I don't know anything about the other hot springs Redtrail is recommending.

My kids really enjoyed Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is only three hours from Cranbrook, so just over two hours from Fernie on the other side of the Crow's Nest Pass.

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6. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

Oh wow, Redtrail. Just added this one to my list. Have a very longtime girlfriend in Cranbrook I haven't seen for years. Will have to get out there and see Lussier while we are there. This is the sort of place I like (although I know they can have issues with coloform counts at these less developed places. Meager Creek had major issues and I think its closed now.)

www.flickr.com/photos/blueix/3560917353/

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7. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

"My kids really enjoyed Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a UNESCO World Heritage site that is only three hours from Cranbrook, so just over two hours from Fernie on the other side of the Crow's Nest Pass."

I strongly second this suggestion. As a further alternative, if you decide to go to Waterton you can swing back through Pincher Creek and hit 'Head -smashed-in' with a short side trip.

Edited: 05 June 2013, 00:02
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8. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

Thank you for the info. So if we land in Cranbrook, is it interesting enough to stay overnight or should we head staight to Fernie? We will Fly Fish for 3 days and do the Aerial Park and some Mt. Biking hopefully. When we are finished with Fernie, what are some other towns that we most definately visit before leaving out of Cranbrook. I thing for sure we will do Kimberly, but any suggestions on other towns that are close by?

9. Re: Need help with an itinerary through the Kootenays in August.

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