Speed Limits and Bylaws

Please respect the speed limits (80km/hr outside municipalities and 50km/hr within municipalities) and noise bylaws (can not exceed 60 dBA/dBC daytime and 50 dBA/dBC nighttime). We all love this area and want to keep it our little, peaceful piece of heaven.

Motorcycle Paradise along Kootenay Lake

With winding roads boasting impressive scenery, Kootenay Lake is a must-ride destination for motorcycle touring, with some of the best motorcycling roads in BC. For example, the ride along the East Shore of Kootenay Lake on Highway 3A is rated the best motorcycling road in British Columbia by Destination Highways.

Most roads have well maintained surfaces, great visibility and many passing areas. There are also many opportunities to stop off for a bite to eat and visit charming towns and communities. Early spring and fall can be a bit chilly, and the best months for riding are May through October. 

A popular route is the “Glacier Loop”, starting in Nelson and continuing on to Kaslo, New Denver, and through the Slocan Valley back to Nelson. At just over 220kms, it’s a good half-day ride (plus no shortage of photo opportunities).

Another ride includes the world’s longest free ferry, with a loop that can start in Nelson or Kaslo and climbs up over the Kootenay Pass before descending into Creston. From there, the road veers north along the East Shore of Kootenay Lake to Kootenay Bay, and then the 35 minute ferry over to Balfour, followed by a short scenic ride back to Nelson.

For those with a passport, other routes south of the border also tempt riders with longer options, including destinations such as Kettle Falls, Sandpoint and Spokane.

Motorcycle shop in Nelson

Visit our local motorcycle shop, Main Jet Motorsports in Nelson BC, and chat with the team there for information on where to ride, road conditions and get your bike all ready for your trip. 

Kootenay Lake Weather and Road Conditions

Riding conditions are typically fine from April to November, but be sure to check road conditions before travelling in the cooler months when roads are less preferred for motorcycle travelling. For specific motorcycle camping and cabin rentals be sure to stop at Toad Rock Motorcycle Campground just north of Balfour. For more details about the area and what to do stop by one of our Visitor Centres.

Motorcycle Touring — Kootenay Lake Self Guided Tours

Explore Nelson Kootenay Lake by motorcycle with one of the following self-guided tours:

The roads around Kootenay Lake have recently been highlighted in an article from The Globe and Mail - "Explore B.C.'s Interior on a twisty tour around Kootenay Lake"

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The Region

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Travel Book


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