Meaning Strong Water or Turbulent Water in the Chinook language, Skookumchuk is located where the Lussier and Skookumchuk Rivers enter the Kootenay River, south of Columbia Lake in the Kootenay River Valley.
Skookumchuk has long been popular as a stopping ground for travellers moving between the Columbia River Valley and Cranbrook, with a coffee shop, gas station and a scenic picnic area with a host of friendly ducks waiting to be fed.
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One mile south of Skookumchuk, across the Kootenay River, is the Skookumchuk Pulp Mill, one of the most modern and environmentally sensitive mills in Canada. Guided tours of the mill can be arranged.
Skookumchuk is the gateway to Premier Lake Provincial Park, a pretty 15-km drive away on a gravel road. Fishing is the premier attraction at the park, located at the north end of the Premier Ridge in the Hughes Range. Premier Lake and three other smaller lakes offer great angling for trout – rainbow, eastern brook, and Gerrard rainbow (Gerrard giants).
Top of the World Provincial Park is accessible via Ram Creek Forest Service Road, but the access is rough, steep, and the road is often poorly maintained. Easier access to the park is available through Whiteswan Provincial Park.
Golf: Golfers can head north to play the Th’Flats Golf Course in Canal Flats, where every hole presents a different challenge on this beautifully maintained executive 9-hole, par 30 public course. To the south, golfers can choose from 3 golf courses in Kimberley. The Kimberley Golf Club winds through towering ponderosa pines high above the St. Mary’s River, Trickle Creek Golf Resort is a thrilling course to play on North Star Mountain, and Bootleg Gap Golf Course is a 27-hole public golf facility located off Highway 95A in South Kimberley.
Golf Vacations in British Columbia.
Fishing: The Skookumchuk area is within a 45-minute drive of 12 lakes that are famous for cutthroat and rainbow trout. It is known as a flyfisherman’s paradise and an ice fisher’s winter getaway.
Buhl Creek Hot Springs are worth a visit in late summer, if you don’t mind a long but scenic drive over logging roads to get there. The springs are found in their natural state, with clear and tasteless water. Good swimming in Skookumchuk Creek adds to the visit.
Live the excitement of an 1890s Boom Town, and kick up your heels in Fort Steele Heritage Town, the restored capital of the Kootenays, located 35 km south of Skookumchuk.
Whether you’re looking for night skiing, recently groomed runs, mogols, tree skiing, a half-pipe or an untouched fresh powder run, Kimberley Alpine Ski Resort has it all. The resort’s challenging runs and friendly local ambience draw skiers and snowboarders of all abilities.
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.