British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
Set on the sublime shores of Kootenay Lake between the Selkirk and Purcell mountains, the small town of Kaslo is rich in history and blessed by natural beauty. Known as the Switzerland of the Americas, the town centre maintains its historic charm with several national historic sites, including the SS Moyie, a Canadian Pacific Railways sternwheeler that operated on the lake from 1898 to 1959, and the municipal hall, built in 1898, and still used as the seat of government. With tree lined streets and elegant Victorian era buildings, it is set amongst some of the most beautiful mountains in the province, and well worth the 70 km journey up Highway 3A from Nelson.
Kaslo was founded on fantastically rich deposits of silver, as well as lumber, and like many boom towns of the Canadian west, once had a population six times its present day figure of approximately 1000. The mines have long closed, but along with tourism, forestry continues to be important to the economy.
Summer visitors come to enjoy the superb hiking, highlighted by huge fields of alpine wildflowers, as well as rafting, fishing, camping, swimming and boating of all kinds. In winter, the deep snows typical of southern BC, provide excellent downhill, cross country, backcountry and snow-cat skiing, as well as snowmobiling and ice fishing.
The town boasts the longest Maypole celebration in North America, and a summer jazz festival on the August long weekend with a floating stage facing the beach. Housed in a restored Victorian era hotel, the Langham Gallery displays work of local artists as well as theatrical performances.
Kaslo Things to Do