Sustainable Travel

Ecotourism and Environmental Stewardship in Nelson BC and Kootenay Lake

Prestige HotelEnvironmentally Friendly Vacation

If you’re hoping to make your next vacation a green one, Nelson BC and the Kootenay Lake region is the place to be. Ecotourism, Environmental Stewardship, and sustainable travel are all terms we hear a lot in our region, and for good reason: It matters to us.

Green Hotels & Sustainable Lodging

If you’d like to stay in a certified green hotel, Nelson has two hotels with the coveted “GreenKey” rating. Both the Prestige Lakeside Resort and the Best Western Baker Street Inn have scored a “3-Key” rating. If sustainable practices are important but certification is not required, you’ll find Nelson, Kaslo and the Kootenay Lake area have a large number of hotels, bed and breakfasts and inns that adhere to a high standard of environmentally friendly practices.

Eating Locally and Drinking Sustainably

Eating locally is a priority for our community as well. Our local supermarket, the Kootenay Co-op, is the largest and most successful independent natural food co-operative in Canada. Recent changes to the definition of “local” food inspired them to create a “true local” campaign, so you can be sure that the food you buy will be really, truly local to the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region. Beyond the co-op, Nelson has markets, and many more local and organic dining and food choices. We’re also home to Nelson Brewing Company (NBC), the first certified organic brewery in British Columbia.

Electric Vehicles

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

Backcountry Ecotourism

If you’re interested in our backcountry, there are lots of options available for you. Backcountry Skiing Canada lists many lodges, including those that are part of the Alpine Club of Canada as well as private lodges. And for eco-tours, ROAM, "Rivers, Oceans, And Mountains" is an ecotour operator based in Nelson but offers tours all around the world, and in their own backyard. For a series of articles on the different tours operated by ROAM, including a few from our region, take a look at the reviews on their website.

Kootenay Cycling Adventures offers fully supported and self-supported road cycling tours based out of Nelson, allowing you to discover the region under your own pedal power. Plus, their unique promise of planting one tree for every ten kilometres cycled means you're making an additional positive environmental difference.

Summit Mountain Guides is based in Nelson BC. They offer professional mountain guiding services and instruction for the vertically inclined. Their programs include beginner to advanced backcountry ski touring, mountaineering, rock & Ice climbing and hiking trips.

Whether you’d like to go rafting, touring, kayaking or hiking, there are lots of opportunities to try different adventures while you stay in the Nelson and Kootenay Lake region. Each tour operator takes a slightly different angle with regards to stewardship. Lardeau River Adventures, for example, takes care to create all their lunches from food grown organically in their own garden.

Kootenay Lake Stewardship

Taking care of our own Kootenay Lake is important to many of the people who live here. The Friends of Kootenay Lake is a stewardship organization set up to not only protect the fish and wildlife of the lake, but also promote sustainable tourism and business around the lake. Their website includes a number of events and activities surrounding the lake. Make sure to take a look and see what’s going on during your stay with us.

The Region

Newsletter Subscribe
Travel Book


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