WILD KOOTENAYS TOUR: NELSON TO TROUT LAKE LOOP
Accessible Wilderness. Patagonia-esque Scenery. Pavement & Dirt. Cozy Lodging. Hearty Meals. Fully Supported.
Looking for a taste of the wild and remote? Not afraid of some dirt roads and big days? But still enjoy hearty meals and hot springs? This is definitely not the kind of trip you’ll find from most other providers. This epic loop will challenge and reward you with everything the Kootenays have to offer. This is about as close to adventure cycle touring as you’ll get while still having a fully supported ride with all the details covered.
Start: Nelson, BC
Overnights: Nelson, Kaslo, Trout Lake, Nakusp, Slocan
Finish: Nelson, BC
Length: 6 days/5 nights (5 days of cycling)
Total Distance: 402 km (250 miles)
Total Elevation Gain: 3,480 metres (11,417 feet)
Trip Size: Maximum 8 participants (guaranteed departure with 2 participants)
Available as a custom, private or self-guided tour. Contact us for details.
Distance: 71km – 108km per day
Elevation: 406m – 1018m per day
See details below for daily trip segments
Mostly pavement except for 70km of hard packed dirt on Day 3
$1,799 (CAD) per person based on double occupancy
Single supplement: $375
GST (5%) extra
- 5 nights accommodations
- 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 1 Dinner and snacks
- Fully supported sag wagon (you can always jump in the vehicle if you’ve had enough cycling for the day!)
- Hot springs entry fee
- 1 tree planted for every 10km cycled
- High quality bicycle rental ($55 per day plus 5% GST)
- 4 Dinners (to allow you choice of great local restaurants recommended by your guide)
- Alcohol beverages
- Single supplement
- Airport transfers if required
- Basic accommodations in cozy inns, motels and lodges
- True Kootenay character and charm!
- Comfortable rooms and beds
DAY 1 (Nelson)
0km – Arrival
How do you describe Nelson? Nestled on the shores of Kootenay Lake, the artsy capital of the Kootenays radiates energy, culture and heritage. Enjoy a stroll along historic Baker Street with its street front cafes and boutique shops, or soak up some sun at Lakeside Park’s sandy beach. We’ll set you up with your bikes in the afternoon and then enjoy a group dinner and prepare for the adventure ahead!
Accommodation: Adventure Hotel (or similar)
DAY 2 (Nelson to Kaslo)
70km, 641m elevation gain
We’ll pedal out of Nelson via BOB (the Big Orange Bridge), and follow the relatively flat winding waterfront road to the small settlement of Balfour, terminal for the world’s longest free ferry. Our route bends north, where a series of small hills provide stunning views of fjord-like Kootenay Lake. An optional stop at Ainsworth Hot Springs offers a soothing dip before the final leg to the charming small town of Kaslo.
Accommodation: Kaslo Motel (or similar)
DAY 3 (Kaslo to Trout Lake)
108km, 1018m elevation gain
This day’s a doozie! It’s not as tough as it sounds though. We’ll pedal north from Kaslo on a quiet road with views of Kootenay Lake with rarely a car in sight. The wilderness and adventure begins once we get to the north end of the lake. We’ll leave the pavement (and the few vehicles) behind as we gradually gain elevation on a hard-packed (yet surprisingly smooth) dirt road that parallels rushing Gerrard Creek. We’ll savour the incredible Patagonia-esque views of Trout Lake then skirt around the water before descending to a historic lodge for a well deserved dinner (included) and rest. And if it’s a little too much, you can hop in the sag wagon. We promise we won’t tell.
Accommodation: Windsor Hotel
DAY 4 (Trout Lake to Nakusp)
77km, 672m elevation gain
You might be feeling yesterday’s ride, so today is all about the downhill. There a few short climbs but this is the cruisiest day of the tour. We’ll enjoy a liesurely ride from Trout Lake down towards Upper Arrow Lake with few vehicles in sight. And did we mention hot springs? We’ll soothe those aching muscles at Halcyon Hot Springs, then pedal quiet roads as we head south to the quaint waterfront town of Nakusp for the night.
Accommodation: CMH K2 Rotor Lodge
DAY 5 (Nakusp to Slocan)
81km, 890m elevation gain
Are you ready for mountain lakes? We’ll visit three of them today, starting with Arrow Lake as we pedal out of Nakusp. After a gradual climb to peaceful Summit Lake, we’ll enjoy a twisty and windy road that leads us down to the historic sleepy town of New Denver. Nestled on the edge of Slocan Lake, it might just be one of the most spectacular places in all of Canada. You be the judge. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to admire Slocan Lake as we push on to the southern end of it and our last night of cozy lodging and dining.
Accommodation: Lemon Creek Lodge (or similar)
DAY 6 (Slocan to Nelson)
71km, 406m elevation gain
Our final day will be a relatively flat ride along a mixture of roads and rail trails for the morning. We’ll leave the main road and cross the Kootenay River across a bike only pathway, and after a good climb, it’s all downhill to Nelson, our final stop. Spend another evening or two in the “Queen City” or depart at your leisure.