British Columbia Travel Guide
The unofficial BC Travel & Tourism Guide
On the shores of a spectacular lake and at the doorstep of two provincial mountain parks (Kokanee Glacier and Valhalla) New Denver is a prototypical British Columbia mountain town. Though small in population (approx 600) the setting, in the Selkirk Mountains, provides more than enough activities for the nature and history buff.
Like many Kootenay towns, it was originally built around the mining industry. The historic town has a variety of old buildings that add to the enjoyment of a stroll through the village shops and cafes.
Festivals include a Victoria Day celebration featuring a soapbox derby and the Hill’s Garlic Festival.
Mining history is best viewed at the site of the once booming town of Sandon (15 min east of New Denver), which at its peak in the 1890’s had a population of 5000 people working the silver and lead deposits. During World War II, New Denver was the site of a large Japanese Canadian Internment Camp set up during the perilous days after the Pearl Harbour invasion. The Nikkei Memorial Centre sits on the site of the camp called “The Orchard”.
Activities naturally center on the lake and mountains. Besides boating of all kinds, from motorboat tours to kayak and canoe touring to peaceful beaches, the lake is famous for its clear waters and SCUBA diving. The lake is also home to at least three different species of trout.
Mountain bikers and hikers have a range of choices, with trails beginning in the immediate vicinity and making their way along abandoned rail lines or into the mountains. Of particular note are the Galena Trail and Slocan Valley Trail.
Idaho Peak is famous for its 360 degree views of the Selkirk Range with its seas of wildflowers, while to the west, Valhalla Provincial Park, with its rugged peaks that rise to 2100 meters, alpine lakes and waterfalls, is popular for backcountry hiking and camping. The dry snow of the interior makes cross-country, backcountry and snow-cat skiing extremely popular.
New Denver Accommodations
New Denver Things to Do