As we crossed the border from ID into British Columbia, the stoke was high. We were really on our way to Alaska now. Immediately, miles turned to km and French was as prevalent as Spanish is in the states. Border crossings are typically uneventful and this one was no different. With one thing on our minds – exploration – we made our way into unchartered territory … the Canadian Rocky Mountains. First stop, Invermere for some really fun Water Activities … beach fun for the littles and wild kayaking for the bigger kids. Read on for a guide to our favorite Things To Do In Invermere.
Traveling is, without a doubt, one of the most adventurous and exciting ways to spend your time. There is nothing quite like experiencing something, anything for the first time. It’s a high I can only find anywhere else in the form of whitewater kayaking. And, currently, we are Alaska Bound … everything is new!!
Crossing the Canadian border and immediately being gifted the views of the the Canadian Rockies was crazy exciting. We realized we were crossing paths with friends, Chasing The Sun, on their way home from Calgary, heading to Southern BC and so we met up with them at a rest stop and chatted for an hour or so. Pretty cool to meet friends in another country, eh?
We then headed toward Invermere, near the border of Alberta, but didn’t get close, we were too enamored by the view. Instead, we found the most amazing rest stop, on a lake, and a breathtaking sunset. We were moved to silence. Our first night in BC was magical! The excitement of what was to come, undermined by what was.
The next morning, we woke and got back on the road. Looming mountains beckoned us forward as we hung out the RV windows snapping picture after picture with Invermere in our sights.
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James Chabot Provincial Park
Heading into Invermere, our first stop in our short list of the best Things To Do In Invermere, you know we are always about the water activities,was James Chabot Provincial Park, a beach park with beautiful mountain views. We chilled here for the day, pulling out our Shaboomee SUP boards and paddling around the lake, checking out the enormous houses and hoping for an offer to catch a ride on the back of a jet ski … or even a boat. Ha ha
Cardy, Rowdy, Emmy and Coby had a go at fishing, caught nothing and quickly became bored. We built sandcastles in the white sand, wrestled on our SUP boards and played in the surprisingly warm water. It was a great place to spend the day with the kids, just playing and being goofy.
We managed to spend the night in the parking lot without getting kicked out, but were chastised in the morning by a park employee. But, y’all that’s our motto … ask for forgiveness, not permission.
Nestled in the scenic Columbia Valley, Windemere Lake is a major draw for locals and visitors alike, it’s a no-brainer in the Things To Do In Invermere list. It is a year round center for activity. During the summer, everyone enjoys the beautiful beaches and there are a plethora of jet skis flying around the water. And because I want to know every lake that freezes and is played on in the winter, I asked locals. Because of the Lakes relatively shallow waters, an average depth of 4.5 meters (just under 15′), the lake indeed does freeze. One local told me about “White Way”.
White Way is a 16-km (10 mile) stretch that is cleared for ice skating. They also lay tracks for cross country skiing and, of course, pond hockey (so cool) and then let’s not forget, curling! To me, this is epic. A place where the community gathers for outdoor activity in the throes of winter … without being robbed and nickel and dimed.
Lake Windemere is super cool as it’s actually a wide opening of the hugely enormous Columbia river! It’s quite shocking to see how expansive the Columbia River really is…
Toby Creek will live in infamy in our family. Dan had a super scary experience, yes, but leading up to this creek there was a lot of heated discussion about who was ready to run a Class V river run without having good beta. River descriptions in Canada are not nearly as complete as those in the USA, thanks to American Whitewater, the best beta comes from locals.
So … we went in search of locals. Since we were parked in front of the Panorama Mountain Resort, we ran into Kootenay River Runners and asked around there, but unfortunately none of the guides there knew much about the Canyon Section.
No problem, we saw kayaks on top of a vehicle and introduced ourselves and started asking questions. This guy’s son was on the Canyon Section right then, and we got a bit of info from him. He told us it takes about 8 hours to run, especially the first time. Seeing that it was 1 pm, we opted to wait the next day.
It was well worth the wait, even with the craziness that ensued. Kenny, Dally and Brody had a blast and it was so beautiful, if you’re a paddler, Toby Creek is a must-do on the list of Things To Do In Invermere.
Radium Hot Springs
While not exactly IN Invermere, the town of Radium Hot Springs is only 15 minutes away, hence it makes perfect sense to make a stop here with your kids. Especially if you love Hot Springs.
Radium Hot Springs boasts the natural Radium Hot Springs. It has a large hot pool, and a fun kids swimming pool complete with a slide (crazy slow) and a diving board.
While they advertised their restaurants and spa services, neither were readily available because we massive construction was underway. This was especially disconcerting because we weren’t permitted to leave the premises (even to eat a candy bar from the vending machine on the deck) and return without having to pay entry fees again. So … be sure to check status of the amenities, and prepare accordingly.