When travelling through the region, please respect the nature, the places, and the people. Follow these guidelines:

Backcountry Safety

Some Essential Backcountry Safety Tips

The Kootenay region of British Columbia is the epicentre of backcountry skiing and sledding in Canada and that includes Castlegar where we boast perfectly light and fluffy snow, and lots of it. Almost 12 metres or 40 feet fall in the nearby mountains here each winter. And, because we’re conveniently located at the centre of three mountain ranges, it can all be accessed via snowmobile, cat, helicopter, and on foot. Winter backcountry activities of any sort are not without their risks, however, so before embarking on any excursion:

  • Take a registered avalanche safety course.
  • Own avalanche safety equipment and practice using it.
  • Know the conditions before you go.
  • Research your route.
  • Never travel alone.
More About Backcountry Safety

Wildlife Safety

Some Essential Wildlife Safety Tips

There is no shortage of wildlife in and around Castlegar, from the tiny Rufous hummingbirds to large elk. In fact, people come here specifically to see such rare creatures as the Western blue-tailed skink and the White Sturgeon, which can grow as long as 12 feet! We also enjoy sharing our surrounds with black bears, cougars, grizzlies, and wolves and while these top predators can invoke some fear, they’re actually shy, majestic creatures if left alone. To ensure a safe trip in the backcountry surrounding Castlegar, make sure to:

  • Make noise. Avoid moving silently or alone.
  • Never feed or approach a wild animal.
  • Avoid travelling through forests at dawn and dusk.
  • Carry bear spray and know how to use it.
  • Keep your dog on a leash.
More About Wildlife Safety

Paddling Safety

Some Essential Paddling Safety Tips

Whether you like cruising flat water in stand up paddleboard or canoe, or you prefer playing in whitewater rapids, there is something for everyone in Castlegar. Located at the confluence of two major rivers, the city offers paddling opportunities right near the downtown core. There are also three huge lakes nearby including the 230-kilometre-long Arrow Lakes system, and the Slocan River, located a 20-minute drive northeast, offers class III rapids at certain times of the year. Remember these safety precautions before embarking on a paddle adventure:

  • Transport Canada mandates all paddlers carry a personal floatation device.
  • Pay close attention to water levels as they change quickly in Castlegar.
  • Know your gear and your skill level.
  • Stay away from logs and other debris.
  • Always paddle with a friend.
More About Paddling Safety

Hiking & Camping Safety

Some Essential Hiking Safety Tips

From soaring mountains to lakeside trails, and from warm beaches to lush rainforest, Castlegar is a hiker’s paradise just waiting to be explored. And there’s something for every hiking ability, from mild strolls past beautiful viewpoints to epic romps in the alpine. The camping opportunities are just as amazing, whether you prefer front-country RV parks or remote, backcountry sites. Before you embark on any hiking or camping adventure, there are important safety measures to consider including:

  • Check the weather before you leave and be prepared for it to change.
  • Carry extra food and clothing.
  • Be aware of wildlife, including bears and cougars, and never approach them or feed them.
  • Keep to the trail.
  • Obey campfire restrictions.
More About Hiking Safety