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West Kootenays by RV – Activities, recommendations, and info

The West Kootenay region has its own vibe and attractions – from quirky Nelson, to picturesque Kaslo, to historic New Denver and Sandon. This is an area to frequent local shops and cafes, visit museums, and let your mind travel back in time – to when this area was a booming mining and commerce hub. We kept thinking we’d seen it all, until we rounded the next corner – and then we were blown away all over again!

For us, the following were absolutely must-do and must-see activities, as well as some good things to keep in mind for the area! If these aren’t your cup of tea, feel free to contact us and we’d be happy to make other recommendations!


  • Sanderella shop and café – New Denver: This family owned and operated shop has a beautifully curated selection of clothing and gifts, as well as some absolutely DELICIOUS menu items! (Try the crepes and the chai milkshake – you won’t regret it!) The shop itself is wonderfully done, and a great place to spend an hour or two!
  • Galena Trail: This trail runs from before New Denver almost to Kaslo – which is LONG. We recommend entering the trail from Sandon – you’ll get to use a cable car to cross the river at one point!

  • Sandon: Speaking of Sandon, a visit to this ghost town is truly fantastic. This city was wiped out ages ago, but the area has been turned into a museum of sorts. It is an interesting glance into the past
  • S.Moyie: The S.S. Moyie was one of the original steam-powered ferries to service the Kootenay Lake region before roads made travel much simpler. The city of Kaslo purchased, restored, and preserved this relic, turning it into a standing museum. It is a monument of preservation, human diligence, and a true testament to the grandeur and simplicity of times past.
  • Kootenay Lake Waterfront: Kaslo boasts some of the most beautiful lakefront land we’ve seen so far in our trip, and we spent a whole day walking the rocky and sandy shore, skipping rocks, cooling off, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery!

  • Downtown Neslon: Neslon is a city with it’s own vibe – so head downtown, take in the scenery, and enjoy its inherent quirkiness! Nelson is also famous for its sandy beaches, so head to the lake and enjoy some fun in the sun!


REGARDING THE FERRIES: The Ferries in this region are operated by BC Transit, and they are FREE! So feel free to go buckwild, and visit ALL the places! This area has been serviced by ferries for over 100 years. The boats are not fancy, but they are clean, the air is fresh, and the coffee is hot!

If you’re planning to overnight in the area, we were impressed by the Kaslo Campground in Kaslo. Great location near the lake, and beautiful views!


We fell in love with this area, and will absolutely be returning on our own travels. If you’re looking for something new and different to visit in the area, the West Kootenays should absolutely be on your list!