A boisterous mining town a century ago, Trout Lake has since been transformed into a quite backwater frequented by cottagers and fishermen.
The Trout Lake General Store sells everything from soup to nuts, but it’s outside at the gas bar that a difference is noted. The store still uses a pair of tall, slender old-fashioned glass-topped gas bowsers, where the fuel is handpumped into a see-through top compartment, then gravity feeds into your car’s gas tank!
Location: The community of Trout Lake is located on Highway 31 in the Kootenays, at the northern end of Trout Lake, and southeast of Revelstoke. Access to Trout Lake is via Galena Bay on the Upper Arrow Lake, or from Kaslo in the south.
Take an easy stroll to the Windsor Hotel, built in 1892 and lovingly restored. It is still very much open for business year-round.
Ghost Towns: The village is a good base from which to explore the area’s many Ghost Towns, like Ferguson, Canborne and Goldfields.
Trout Lake itself, narrow, icy cold and over 750 feet deep in places, offers great fishing for rainbow trout to 2 kg.
Take a self-guided tour of the nearby Hill Creek Hatchery, and its large tanks of kokanee salmon, rainbow trout and bull trout. You may be fortunate enough to arrive when some of the fish are being released into Hill Creek.
Strike out on the Silver Cup Trail, a popular 40-km network of hiking, mountain biking and horse riding trails through the alpine meadows of the Silver Cup Ridge, to the east of Trout Lake.
The once bustling townsite of nearby Beaton is worth a short side trip to see the shady little canyon where the Incomappleaux River empties into Arrow Lake. Ferns grow thickly on the steep sides, the river tumbles over huge boulders, and in still pools, the water is a translucent jade green.
South of the village, where the highway crosses the Lardeau River at Gerrard, another once was town, you may see some of the huge 4 to 5 feet Gerrard rainbow trout returning to spawn. The largest trout in the world may be seen around Mother’s Day, but leave your fishing kit in the car, as these beauties are protected by law!
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.