Deep in the majestic Kootenay Valley, on the western shore of Kootenay Lake, is the small lakeside community of Mirror Lake.
Nature has blessed Mirror lake with a unique combination of a small warm water swimming lake, the picturesque hundred mile long Kootenay Lake, and the towering Selkirk and Purcell Mountains that envelope Mirror Lake.
Enjoy the excitement of discovery and beauty around every corner – the beautiful countryside abounds with attractions to suit everyone’s taste.
Camping: Families flock to the swimming beach, play area, RV sites and camping facilities of the Mirror Lake Campground. Set on the private Mirror Lake, and only a short walk away from Kootenay Lake, the campground is an ideal place for family fun.
Follow the backroads in the North Kootenay Lake area to Ghost Towns, old mines, glaciers and natural caves.
Fishing: Fish for bass in Mirror Lake, angle for kokanee, dolly varden and trophy rainbows in Kootenay Lake, or pack your fly rod and head up to the mountain lakes and streams in search of trout.
Paddling: Row your own boat, paddle your own canoe or head out onto the lake in a paddle boat – rentals are available at Mirror Lake.
Hiking: The 2-km Fletcher Lake Trail (difficult, 92-meter elevation gain) is a steep rustic trail leading into an alpine lake area. The trail starts on a skid road in a cutblock, and winds its way through dense sub-alpine forest and creekside vegetation to the east end of Fletcher Lake. The area is inhabited by grizzly bears, so hikers should make a noise when hiking. Hike in groups, and store food out of bear-reach and well away from campsites. The site at Fletcher Lake provides good backcountry camping and fishing. Access to the trailhead is via the Fletcher Lake logging road that branches off Woodbury Creek logging road north of Woodbury Creek. A number of hiking trails are located in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park.
Fletcher Falls Recreation Site is a volunteer-maintained beach site on the west shore of Kootenay Lake offering picnic facilities and 4 campsites. Cartop boats and canoes only. A trail above the camping area leads to a spectacular waterfall and moss-lined grotto on Fletcher Creek. The falls are most spectacular in the spring when visitors are washed by the cool mist off the falls. Access to the site is 8 miles (12.5 km) north of Ainsworth on a dirt road immediately south of the Fletcher Creek bridge. There is a gate at the top of the trail down to Fletcher Waterfalls and beach/campsite. This trail is for foot traffic only – no vehicles are permitted on the trail.
Golf: Kaslo Golf Club on Oak Avenue at the south end of nearby Kaslo offers a beautiful 9-hole golf course, one of the oldest golf courses in BC. Great views on each of the 9 holes include a panoramic lake view on #1 fairway, a glacier view on the 4th green, and the 5th fairway lined with 100-year-old apple trees.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
For an experience under this world, visit Cody Caves Provincial Park on the eastern slopes of the Selkirk Mountains, near Ainsworth Hot Springs. The cave system features an underground stream flowing through ancient limestone formations, discovered by prospector Henry Cody in the 1890s.
The rugged mountain wilderness of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park offers excellent recreation in summer and winter, with some fine angling for trout in the more than 30 glacier lakes. The park is a mountain wilderness of 32,035 hectares, most of which lies above 1,800 metres. The Kokanee Glacier is one of three glaciers within the park that feed over 30 small lakes.
Travel back into the history of this region, to the Ghost Town of Sandon, once the Capital of the Silvery Slocan and now a renowned and restored historic site. Located northwest of Ainsworth on Highway 31A, Sandon was an incorporated city of 5,000 people at the height of the mining boom in 1892. Two railroads once served this Monte Carlo of Canada, with its 29 hotels, 28 saloons, opera house, 2 newspapers, 5 men’s clothing stores, a bank, and several other gambling halls, brothels, offices, stores and businesses.
An unbecoming period of history has been commemorated at the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre, on Josephine Street in nearby New Denver, where visitors can enrich their understanding of internment history. In 1942, about 22,000 Nikkei (people of Japanese descent), 75% of whom were Canadian citizens, were stripped of their civil rights and labelled “enemy aliens”. The federal government ordered men to road camps, while families were placed in animal stalls awaiting forced removal to interior BC relocation camps or sugar beet farms in Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario. More information on Internment Camps in British Columbia.
South of Mirror Lake (15 km) is the small village of Ainsworth Hot Springs, considered to offer the best commercial hot spring in BC. Set into the mountainside overlooking the vast expanse of Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains, Ainsworth Hot Springs Resort, is open year-round, and is popular with families and local residents wishing to linger in the soothing waters and play in this exhilarating wilderness playground.
The postcard pretty village of Kaslo is just 5 km up the road; Stroll amoungst the Victorian architecture, or walk the decks of the romantic SS Moyie, the oldest surviving sternwheeler.
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.