Elko is located at the junction of two major scenic highways (Highway 93 and Crowsnest Highway 3), north of the Roosville Canadian-USA border crossing.
Elko is situated in a narrow valley in the rugged Canadian Rocky Mountains, in the heart of southeast BC. The community is in a local area called the “South Country”, which includes the communities of Elko, Jaffray, Baynes Lake, Wardner, Newgate, Galloway, and Grasmere.
Elko is a small but friendly sawmill town on the Elk River, at the beginning of the famous Elk Valley, surrounded by natural beauty due to its locaion on a high plateau at the base of the Rocky Mountain range and overlooking the beautiful Rocky Mountain Trench to the west.
Services in Elko include a convenience store, gas and diesel service station, a motel, and a laundromat and RV sites in season. Watch for the big ice cream cone announcing the towns’ claim to ice cream fame.
Location: Elko is located in the extreme southeastern corner of British Columbia, at the junction of Highway 93 and Highway 3, 20 miles (32 km) south of Fernie and approximately 23 miles (37 km) north of the Canadian-USA border crossing at Roosville.
Mount Fernie Provincial Park is a small park with a big personality. Black bear, deer, and elk are commonly seen in these parts, and if they drop by for a visit, you better be on your best behaviour. Situated in the southern portion of the Kootenay Range, this 259 hectare park is shadowed by the 2,133m high Mount Fernie and protects the drainage area of Lizard Creek. Fishing in the nearby Elk River and mountain biking are also popular activities, and campsites are provided at this semi-wilderness park, as well as a day-use/picnicking area.
Fishing: Excellent angling is available on the beautiful Kootenay River and the nearby Bull River.
Skiing: Winter vacationers in Elko are in close proximity to excellent skiing. Fernie lies nestled in the Elk Valley and is another of British Columbia’s legendary ski areas. The Fernie Alpine Resort gets heaped with snow and is renowned for its fabulous powder conditions.
Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Park to the southeast of Elko, together with Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta and Glacier National Park in Montana, form the Crown of the Continent, a combination of biological, geological, and climatic factors that occurs nowhere else in North America. And if that weren’t enough, these parks are home to one of the densest grizzly bear populations in North America and the only specimens of Wyoming (Yellowstone) moose in Canada. Add unique geological features and the highest peaks in the Clark Range of the Rockies – Starvation and King Edward, clocking in at 9,301 feet (2,837 m) and 9,186 feet (2,802 m), respectively – and you have a royal park system indeed. It’s likely that up to half of all the rare and endangered plant species in British Columbia occur in Akamina-Kishinena. To protect this delicate ecosystem, no motorized transportation is allowed in the park.
Backcountry campsites are available, and the area is good for horseback riding and some fishing. Exercise caution: There really are many very big bears around here. Akamina-Kishinena Provincial Recreation Area is located in the extreme southeastern corner of the province, close to the Alberta and US borders. The only road to the park in Canada is gravel, south from Hwy 3 at Morrissey Provincial Park, or from the town of Michel south to Kishinena Creek Logging Road.
Elko Dam: Built one mile south of the Elk River, south of Elko, the East Kootenay Power Company completed construction of the Elk River Dam in 1924. Construction began on the tunnel in 1922, and the powerhouse in 1923. It is a concrete diversion dam that is 16 metres tall and 66 metres long. It was built to allow high water levels to easily pass over the dam during spring run off. The power was first used by the Sullivan Mine in Kimberley, and supplemented the supply from the dam on the Bull River and powered the towns of Fernie, Cranbrook and Kimberley and the surrounding areas.
Golf: Golfers can head north on Highway 3 to the 18-hole, par-70 Fernie Golf & Country Club in Fernie, or travel west on Highway 3/93 to play the challenging 9-hole executive par-4 Will-O-Bend Golf & RV Park in Jaffray.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Farmers’ Market: Check out the home-grown and baked goods at the Jaffray & Baynes Lake Farmers’ Market at the Baynes Lake Community Centre on Saturday mornings in summer (mid June to early September, 9:00am to 12:30pm). Forty vendors sell arts and crafts, baked goods, plants, and fruit and vegetables.
Circle Tours: See the best of the area on the Okanagan and Kootenay Rockies Circle Tour or the Kootenay Rockies Hot Springs 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.