Nestled in the Creston Valley, between the Selkirk and the Purcell Mountains, the attractive town of Creston presides over a broad and fertile river valley, where the Kootenay River comes home to Kootenay Lake.
Also known as The Valley of the Swans, the Creston Valley is a breathtaking combination of snow-capped mountain peaks, waving fields of grain, deep clear lakes, quiet mountain streams and wide-open spaces.
The Creston Valley begins at the BC community of Rykerts on the US border, 11 km south of Creston, and parallels the east shore of Kootenay Lake to the village of Riondel.
It’s an agricultural region, with dairy farms and orchards dotting the surrounding landscape. Warm weather arrives early here, and sticks around longer too, blessing Creston with one of the mildest climates in British Columbia.
Spectacular mountain views, surrounding expanses of wilderness and the beauty of Kootenay Lake all combine to make Creston an excellent base for outdoor adventure, and a popular destination for visitors. Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy Creston’s scenic hiking, biking and naturalist trails.
Location: Creston is located south of Kootenay Lake in the southern Kootenays, at the junction of Highway 3, 3A and Highway 21, which runs 7 miles (11 km) south to the Canada/US border.
Farms: Second only to the Okanagan in fruit production, Creston’s mild climate boasts farms and orchards ripe with fruit and vegetables in season, and fields of prairie grain in summer. Pick up a copy of the Creston Valley Farm Tours brochure from the Visitor Centre and explore the agricultural side of valley life.
Events: Whether you consider a holiday just basking in beautiful scenery or participating in a major festival, Creston has it all! Don’t miss the Blossom Festival during the May long weekend, the Yaqan Nukiy Pow-Wow or the Fall Fair.
Step into the past at the Creston and District Museum, and explore the pre-history of the valley and the natives who have lived here for thousands of years. Share the lives of the first white settlers in the valley, learn about life on the gold creeks, but don’t believe everything that Panhandle Pete tells you about Creston’s pioneer days!
Murals: Stroll the streets to view the larger than life Murals of Creston, and see the decorative scenes depicting the history , local beauty and life in the Valley.
Columbia Brewery Tour: Visit the Columbia Brewery in Creston, home of Kokanee Beer. The brewery can trace its roots back to the Fort Steele Brewery, which opened in 1898. Brewery tours include a history of brewing and the complex operations of brewing and packaging beer, and experiencing fresh beer from the source.
With three exceptional wineries and counting, the Creston Valley has been dubbed Canada’s next wine region.
The Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area is a large expanse of preserved wetland where up to 250 species of upland birds and waterfowl nest. A major stopover for migrating Tundra Swans, the area has the third largest population density of Osprey in Canada, the only nesting population of Forster’s terns in British Columbia, and the largest breeding population of Wood Ducks in BC.
Guided walks and canoe tours are available for anyone who appreciates nature. British Columbia is one of the richest wildlife viewing areas in Canada.
Paddling: For those who devote themselves to adventurous exploration, the Moyie, Goat and Salmo Rivers will provide a challenge for experienced whitewater kayakers.
Nearby Stagleap Provincial Park offers excellent mountain biking for enthusiasts during the summer, backcountry and cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowboarding in winter.
The Yaqan Nuki Heritage Centre (pronounced yaka nookie), located south of Creston, explores the rich heritage of the Yaqan Nuki peoples, who lived in the area over 10,000, as well as the unique culture and traditions of contemporary local First Nations. The Heritage Centre features Aboriginal artisans working onsite and the Legend Logos gift shop.
From Creston, travel north up Highway 3A along the east shore of Kootenay Lake – beautiful scenery, sandy beaches, campgrounds and panoramic views of the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains are sure to melt your worries away, and delight both young and old. Operating between Kootenay Bay and Balfour, the Kootenay Lake Ferry is the longest free ferry ride in the world.
Fishing: Fishing holes abound around Creston. With so many to choose from, and all being so good, just pick a spot based on its name; Devil’s Holes, Goat River, Kidd Creek, Summit Creek, Bridal Lake, Monk Lake, Nun Lake…to name just a few.
Hiking: Hikers aren’t left out either. Lady’s Slipper Trail on Goat Mountain, a game trail named after the beautiful and rare mountain orchid, is home to deer, elk and black bears, and groves of cedar and western larch. The 2-km Fern Forest Trail connects Summit Creek Campground to the Balancing Rock Trail on Mount Creston. Follow this trail through forests of cedar, fir, larch, and fern to the moss-covered “weeping” wall. Hikers can explore part of the original Dewdney Trail near Summit Creek Campground.
Mountain Biking: Mountain Biking trails ranging in length from 8 km to 30 km are available at the Summit Creek Campground, Mount Thompson, Duck Lake Dykes, Mount Midgeley, Goat Mountain, and numerous other outdoor areas. The varied terrain of the B.C. Rockies region of British Columbia accommodates every outdoor recreation known to man.
Golf: Creston offers two golf courses: The Creston Golf Club provides a wealth of excellent golf on rolling fairways and quick, undulating greens. Professionally designed and immaculately maintained, the par-72 course offers golfers 18 challenging and beautiful holes playable from a number of tees ranging from 5,300 to 6,500 yards, with views of the Creston Valley, Kootenay River, Purcell and Selkirk Mountains. The Creston Golf Club is located on Mallory Road, three miles south of Creston off Highway 21. The Canyon Heights Golf Course in the community of Canyon offers a par-3 golf course and an 18-hole putting course. Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Circle Tour: See the best of the area on The Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour. Travel the sunny interior of British Columbia, north through the Okanagan to Sicamous, following Highway 1 into the mountains of the BC Rockies. From Golden, head south through the Columbia Valley to Creston, and west through Boundary Country and the Southern Okanagan to complete the loop. Circle Tours in British Columbia.