Travel Diary » Hot Springs, lakes and picnic lunches … driving through the Slocan Valley
Our June BC road trip took us to Christina Lake and then north to Revelstoke through the Slocan Valley. We hadn’t planned to drive that route but every single person that we told about our road trip plans suggested driving through the Slocan Valley. We thought we should see what the fuss was about. We're really glad that we did because the drive was spectacular.
We started the day out in Christina Lake with plans to get an early start on our drive towards Revelstoke. Suddenly over breakfast we realized that our travel insurance had expired a week earlier. Oops.
Being in North America without insurance was not ideal! There went our plans for an early start. Instead we sat on laptops researching travel insurance policies. We've come to realise that you really do need to read the fine print. If you find travel insurance confusing, I've found this article on how to choose the right travel insurance very helpful because it lists out some of the important things you need to consider. It's a great article to start you on the right track.
For example, some policies allow several thousand dollars to replace stolen goods but impose a per claim limit of $250-500 per stolen item. That's not going to cover replacing a stolen iPhone or expensive camera/laptop. It's worth knowing this so you can specify expensive items or look for a policy with higher claim limits. If you are visiting North America you want to ensure you have sufficient medical coverage. It's positively terrifying how quickly a simple procedure in the USA can turn into hundreds of thousands of dollars. Most policies have conditions pertaining to whether you need preapproval for medical treatment in order to be covered by your policy. Some companies also have exclusions in their family policies, like not covering children for all medical situations.
Finally after reading through so many policy statements, with all their fine print, that we were felling cross-eyed we had our insurance sorted and were ready to set off. From Christina Lake it’s a 5-hour drive to Revelstoke, assuming ferry connections go well and the weather is good. Two hours into the drive we reached the Slocan Valley.
The Slocan Valley is a 105km long valley filled with picturesque lakes, steep granite mountains, green forests and vibrant fields. The first half of the valley is dominated by smaller mountains, artsy coffee shops, camping grounds and villages filled with environmentally aware businesses. We started to wish we owned some camping gear. There were so many places to camp that I’m sure we could have happily spent a month here.
The further into the valley we drove the bigger and steeper the mountains become. One of the most sections was just before Silverton where the road climbs high above the lake. The view of the lake and the jagged snow capped peaks on the opposite shore was amazing. It reminded us a lot of New Zealand.
By this point the kids were getting sick of being in the car. Even Harry Potter on audiobook was loosing its appeal. We pulled over in the tiny town of Silverton for a picnic lunch on the lake. Silverton might go close to being one of the prettiest places on the planet. My photos don't come close to capturing just how pretty it is.
We skipped stones, watched men fishing, marveled at the racing creek and even helped some local children find their missing dog. The kids discovered the park to be filled with magic wands (aka sticks). They spent 30 minutes trying to levitate rocks and attempted to stupefy each other.
After stupefying Mum and Dad a few times, we got back in the car and drove on to Nakusp, a mid-sized town on the Upper Arrow Lake. The mountains weren’t as impressive but as you can see, the scenery between Silverton and Nakusp was still amazing.
We were hoping to make it to Revelstoke by late afternoon but by the time we reached Nakusp we all needed a break from the car.
Just past Nakusp are several hot springs that seemed like the perfect option. We chose to stop at Nakusp Hot Springs ... for no particular reason other than it sounded nice. It turned out to be a lot further off the main road than we were expecting it to be. But it was set in a very pretty location near a racing creek.
The pools at Nakusp were small but we were there mid-week so it was quiet. I suspect on the weekend during summer they would be busy and less relaxing. On our weekday visit though the hummingbirds darting past the four feeders near the pool out-numbered the swimmers.
We floated on noodles in the water while watching hummingbirds zip around. After swimming we walked to a nearby wooden bridge crossing the
Not a bad way to finish our drive through the lovely Slocan Valley. I'll definitely be recommending this drive to friends, as it was recommended to us.
The Slocan Valley was stunning. I'd definitely recommend the drive. Or camping. The valley was filled with amazing camping grounds. You could easily spend a few weeks relaxing in this beautiful place.