Skip to main content

Explore Arrow Lakes

Explore the Arrow Lakes region starting in Castlegar, following the waterway north past Fauquier and Burton to Nakusp, and onward to Halcyon.

Named for the 232 Km long Arrow Lakes system and the deep clear Slocan Lake and meandering Slocan River, the region encompasses three valleys resting on either side of the Selkirk Mountains, connected by the Columbia and Kootenay rivers.

Find hot springs, lakeshore hikes, mountain bike trails, vineyards, a ski resort and nordic trails, innumerable paddling opportunities, museums and galleries, a ghost town, and plenty of fishing holes for every type of angler.

Along the Arrow Lakes there are provincial parks and recreation sites, as well as many private campgrounds to set up a tent or park an RV. Find a basecamp with more amenities in the many hotels, inns, lodges, B&Bs and cabins available to suit a range of group sizes and needs.

Find more ideas about what to do in Castlegar.

Check out these itineraries:

On the Water

With all the lakes and waterways there are endless opportunities for fishing, paddling, boating, swimming, and beach-side camping. Here are some ideas of what to do:

  • Swim in the natural ponds on the shores of Columbia River at Millennium Park in Castlegar.
  • Check out the beautiful waterfalls and lake-side camping spots at Syringa Provincial Park on the shores of Lower Arrow Lake.
  • Fish for trout and walleye on the Columbia River.
  • Join a guided rafting trip with Endless Adventure.
  • Rent kayaks, paddle boards and safety equipment from Endless Adventure, then explore the Slocan River or Slocan Lake.
  • Stop at Summit Lake and Box Lake to enjoy trout fishing.
  • Visit the hot springs – community-owned Nakusp Hot Springs or the luxurious Halycon Hot Springs Resort.
A boy and his dog at Wragge beach, Slocan Lake, British Columbia. Photo by Steve Ogle
Paddling Slocan Lake

Silver Explorers

Silver mining is what drove development in the Arrow Lakes region in the mid to late 1800’s, leaving behind historical locations and mining memorabilia.

  • Visit the Railway Museum and Doukhobor Discovery Centre in Castlegar, home to 10 historical buildings that recreate the culture of the pacifist farming people who shaped this region in the early 1900s.
  • Enjoy the historic downtowns of the silver boom in Slocan, Silverton, and New Denver.
  • Visit the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre in New Denver to learn about Japanese Canadian internment in this location.
  • Explore the ghost town of Sandon and the many old buildings still standing, including the old city hall and powerhouse.
  • Dive into Arrow Lake history at the recently remodelled Nakusp Museum to view artifacts from homes impacted by flooding of the valley in 1960s when the Hugh Keenleyside Dam was built on the Columbia River.

Find more stops on the Silvery Slocan Tour.

Photo by Adrian Wagner of Slocan Beach
Slocan Beach

Outside Adventure

Arrow Lakes has everything from hiking and biking to golfing and climbing. Get into the outdoor spirit and enjoy everything the region offers.

  • Rock Climb at the on of the rock climbing areas around Castlegar, Lower Arrow Lake and Slocan City with hundreds of routes for beginners to experts, as well as a burgeoning bouldering scene.
  • Golfer in Castlegar a the three courses (as well a disc golf course), plus the two other golf courses in the Slocan Valley, one in Nakusp and one in Fauquier. 
  • Enjoy a family-friendly hike near the Nakusp Hot Springs and visit to the wooden footbridge.
  • Check out the Galena Cable car along the rail line from New Denver heading toward Sandon.
  • Mountain bike the hundreds of kilometers of singletrack, including adaptive and regular trails at Mt Abriel south of Nakusp and the Merry Creek Trails in Castlegar, famous for their hand-built structures and stunts. 
Skiing at Summit Lake Ski Hill
Skiing at Summit Lake Ski Hill with Rugged Peak in the background.

Rest and Rejuvenate

Upper Arrow Lakes, including Nakusp are well known for their hot springs. Rejuvenation seekers are called to the springs to soak away tensions and leave feeling renewed.

Let life’s stresses melt away at one of these locations:

Relax at Halcyon Hot Springs on Arrow Lakes