Getting Here

Despite our rural location, there are many easy ways to get to Nelson, Kaslo and the Kootenay Lake region.

By Car

A ferry crossing the Kootenay Lake in BC.Offering spectacular mountain scenery, driving is a popular option for many visitors. The approach is easy by car, RV or motorcycle, with access from several well maintained highways.

Winter brings a note of caution: driving conditions can change quickly at higher elevations. Winter tires are required, carrying chains is advisable, and delays for avalanche control and snow removal may be possible.

If you don't have your own vehicle, you can find rides to, from, and around the region using Kootenay Rideshare.

Visit DriveBC for up-to-date road information across British Columbia.

USA border crossing information is on our Roads & Ferries page. Hours of operation vary at each crossing, and change during COVID-19 so please reference the border website to confirm. 

Electric Vehicles

There are electric plugins across the region, and more coming all the time. In addition, there are recharging stations in nearby Salmo and Castlegar. Visit PlugShare for a map of all EV charging stations from your starting point to here.

Distance and Driving Times

To Nelson
  Castlegar   44km   35 mins
  Calgary   618km   6.5 hrs
  Revelstoke   252km   3.5 hrs
  Spokane   239km   3 hrs
  Trail   69km   55 mins
  Vancouver   658km   8 hrs
To Balfour
  Castlegar   77km   1 hr
  Calgary   584km   7 hrs
  Revelstoke   234km   3.5 hrs
  Spokane   271km   3.5 hrs
  Trail   100km   1.5 hrs
  Vancouver   691km   8.5 hrs
To Kaslo
  Castlegar   114km   1.5 hrs
  Calgary   606km   7.5 hrs
  Revelstoke   198km   3 hrs
  Spokane   308km   4 hrs
  Trail   139km   2 hrs
  Vancouver   754km   9 hrs
To Kootenay Bay
  Cranbrook   182km   2.5 hrs
  Crawford Bay   4.5km   5 min
  Creston   81km   1.25 hrs
  Fernie   278km   3.5 hrs



Kootenay Gateway Kootenay Charters, and East Shore Transport Society offer chartered shuttles around the region. 


Glaicer Cab Company shuttles people around Nelson and up and down Kootenay Lake. They can be reached at 250-354-1111.

By Plane

Kaslo and Nelson each have a local airport. CastlegarTrail, and Cranbrook have regional airports which can reach international airports in Vancouver, Calgary and more.  

For more information on each airport and the services they provide please visit our page dedicated to Airports.

Castlegar Airport to Nelson

There are several ways you can get from the Castlegar Airport to Nelson. 

By Bus

Kelowna and Vancouver

  • Silver City Stage Lines runs from Nelson to Kelowna, departing 6:30am from the A&W Restaurant (512 Railway Street, Nelson BC), Sunday to Friday. Visit their website to book your trip.
  • EBus runs to and from Vancouver to Kelowna. To get to Vancouver it connects to the Silver City Stage Lines bus in Kelowna the following day.

Kaslo/Nelson to Vancouver

  • Mountain Man Mike's is offering shuttles to and from Kaslo and Vancouver (with stops along the way).

Kaslo/Nelson to Calgary

  • Mountain Man Mike's is offering shuttles to and from Kaslo and Calgary (with stops along the way).

Whitewater Ski Resort Shuttle

The Whitewater Ski Resort Shuttle offers slopefront service every day! With daily operation throughout the season, multiple pick up/drop off points throughout Nelson, and pickups timed to get you to the mountain on time for first chair, getting to Whitewater has never been so easy! Visit Whitewater's website for details on rates, shuttle times and pickup locations.

Spokane Airport Shuttle - NOT RUNNING AT THIS TIME DUE TO COVID-19

Spokane International Airport is located 250km south of Nelson and services a variety of airlines with daily flights to major US cities. Driving from Spokane airport to Nelson takes approx 3.5 to 4.5 hrs depending on driving conditions, route, and border crossing times. Kootenay Gateway runs charters, as well as daily winter service. 

International Selkirk Loop - BORDER CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO COVID-19

Travelling between the USA and Canada is welcomed by all travellers. The International Selkirk Loop hosts a website, mobile app, and travel guide to help you travel around Washington, Idaho and British Columbia.  If you want to just travel in Canada, they have lots of information on travel loops.

The Region

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Read our visitors guide online or order a copy of the official visitor's guide and map for our region.