It’s appropriate the Arrow Slocan region is shaped like a diamond because it’s a precious jewel embedded in the Canadian landscape as well as the country’s culture mosaic. At the northern tip is the village of Nakusp and its surrounding hot springs while at the southern point you’ll find the city of Castlegar near the American border. And in the middle you’ll encounter some of the most beautiful terrain in North America.

Named for the 232-kilometre-long Arrow Lakes system, and the 300-metre-deep Slocan Lake, Arrow Slocan includes three valleys nestled in the Selkirk Mountains that are connected by the Columbia and Kootenay rivers. At the conjunction of those waterways, near the southern terminus of Lower Arrow Lake, is Castlegar, the city famous for its fishing and other outdoor offerings, as well as its colourful history, which includes First Nation settlements, silver mining and it’s supporting networks of trains and river boats, Russian Doukhobor culture, and massive hydroelectric projects.

From Castlegar there are two ways to navigate north towards Nakusp: the first is by boat on the Arrow Lakes and the second is by car through the Slocan Valley. Travelling the water route promises secluded beaches, stunning views, and excellent fishing while the drive through the Slocan Valley takes you past eclectic communities, delicious eateries, and a wide range of outdoor activities from hiking and canoeing to rock climbing and mountain biking. And in the winter months you’ll find approximately 100 kilometres of cross-country ski trails, a downhill ski resort, and innumerable backcountry skiing spots.

There is also a wide variety of accommodations and campgrounds available in the region. Travellers can choose from five different provincial parks, as well as many private campgrounds where a tent can be pitched or an RV parked, or enjoy more amenities at the various hotels, inns, B&Bs and cabins in the area.

Below is a short list of some of the best ways to #ExploreArrowLakes. For more ideas, visit



  • Swim in the natural ponds in Castlegar’s Millennium Park, located on the shores of the Columbia River.
  • Visit the waterfalls near Syringa Provincial Park on the southern end of Lower Arrow Lakes.
  • Lounge on any number of sandy beaches strewn throughout the Arrow Lakes.
  • Fish for trout, walleye, and Kokanee salmon in the Columbia and Kootenay rivers and Arrow Lakes.
  • Paddle, sail, or powerboat on the river and lakes.
  • Kayak, standup paddleboard or go whitewater rafting with Endless Adventure in the Slocan Valley.
  • Spot wildlife on the shores of the Slocan River including otters, bears, eagles and trumpeter swans.
  • Camp at any of the variety of spots, from rec sites to private campgrounds, on the shores of Slocan Lake.
  • Fish for trout at Summit Lake and Box Lake or any of the many streams in the region.
  • Visit the hot springs including the luxurious Halcyon Hot Springs Resort and the community-owned Nakusp hot springs.


  • Visit the Railway Museum and Doukhobor Discover Centre in Castlegar.
  • Tour the quaint Slocan Valley communities of New Denver, Silverton, and Slocan that all have ties to the silver boom in the 1900s.
  • Explore the ghost town of Sandon which was once a silver mining metropolis complete with a city hall that can still be seen.
  • Learn about the Japanese Canadian internment in the Slocan Valley during World War II at the Nikkei Memorial Centre in New Denver.
  • Take a trip back in time at the recently remodelled Nakusp Museum to see artifacts from homes impacted by the flooding of the valley in the 1960s with the construction of the Hugh Keenleyside Dam.


  • Rock climb behind the Lion’s Head Pub near Castlegar, the only bar in Canada with a natural cliff for climbing on its property. Alternatively, visit any of the dozen other climbing areas around Castlegar, Lower Arrow Lake, and the village of Slocan.
  • Play disc golf at Little Bear Golf Course in Castlegar.
  • Enjoy any of the five traditional golf courses in Castlegar, Nakusp and Fauquier.
  • Hike the hills around Castlegar, in the mountains of Valhalla Provincial Park, on the 52-kilometre-long Slocan Rail Trail, or on the seven family-friendly trails near Nakusp.
  • Choose from hundreds of kilometres of mountain bike trails, from the famed Merry Creek area in Castlegar to the newly developed Mt Abriel trails near Nakusp.
  • Road bike the 100-kilometre-long Slocan Valley and enjoy the stunning mountain and lakes views, smooth pavement, and lack of vehicle traffic.

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