Three half-day adventures near Nelson and Kaslo BC

Three half-day adventures near Nelson and Kaslo BC

What do caving, rafting and ziplining have in common? Beyond being family-friendly, a ton of fun, and requiring no experience, these half-day adventures are located just a short drive from the bustling mountain communities of Nelson, Kaslo, Balfour, and Crawford Bay BC.

It wasn’t all that long ago that summertime activities around Kootenay Lake were limited to water sports and golf. But along with the boom in mountain biking and other outdoor recreational pursuits, the region is full of things to do all summer long.

Activity providers include Lardeau River Adventures and the “Nelson Adventure Alliance”, featuring Nelson Whitewater Rafting, Cody Caves Tours, and Kokanee Mountain Zipline. With professional and highly trained guides, stunning locations, and accessible adventure for the whole family, these locally owned activities provide good times on the water, above the trees or even below ground.

1. Whitewater Rafting

River rafting offers a unique combination of fun and flowing water. Nelson Whitewater Rafting Scenic Float Tour is a gentle cruise through the spectacular Slocan Valley, while the Slocan River Facchina Rapids Whitewater features class 2 & 3 sections of more adventurous paddling. Rafting in Western Canada usually means icy cold water, but the Slocan River is warm enough for guests to swim alongside the rafts in calm water. And with a reputation for making trips fun from start to finish, including music trivia during the shuttle and personable guides with great stories, it’s little wonder that many guests return year after year.

“Fun for the whole family!” Our family, ages 18-78, went on the float tour. We had a wonderful day on the water where we saw a huge golden eagle sitting 20 feet away and a fawn. Chris was a great guide and kept us entertained. The cherry on the Sunday was winning the music trivia. We’re coming back next year for the rapids!   -  Joanne D, August 2018, TripAdvisor Review

At the north end of Kootenay Lake is a rare combination of accessibility, wilderness, and adventure. Lardeau River Adventures offers a fully guided and catered rafting tour of the magnificent Lardeau River. With minimal human presence in the area, the 32km trip offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the Kootenay Rockies’ stunning natural beauty. Highlights also include wildlife viewing, waterfalls, and a locally prepared picnic, along with water warm enough for swimming in the summer. 

"Fantastic day adventure!" Absolutely loved everything about this experience! Breathtaking scenery, incredible guide was very personal and knowledgeable. I was nervous about the rafting but felt very safe with the experienced guide. The lunch was great, and home made and grown! They even accommodated my vegan diet :) loved it, We will come again. HIGHLY recommend!   -  Amanda, July, 2018, TripAdvisor Review

2. Ziplining

If aerial acrobatics are more your speed, Kokanee Mountain Zipline should be on your bucket list. Nestled between two provincial parks and overlooking Kootenay Lake, you’ll be feeling like Tarzan in no time. Beginning with a couple of short introductory pitches, you’ll soon be soaring through the air on ziplines over 1000 feet in length and more than 300 feet above the forest floor. There is nearly a mile of ziplines in total, including a 2400 foot monster run that crosses the fast flowing Kokanee Creek. The 1.5-2 hour tour will get your heart pumping and feeling superhuman (transformation into the company’s Yeti mascot not guaranteed).

“Fantastic zipline and amazing staff” This was such an awesome experience, the staff there are so friendly and amazing, the ziplies are the best and biggest I've ever done. Can't rate this high enough.  -  Kelly M, September 2018, TripAdvisor Review

3. Cave Tours

For those seeking a quieter and more mystical type of adventure, the subterranean cave network along the north end of Kootenay Lake is just the ticket. Cody Caves Tours is one of only three caving operators in all of Western Canada, and offers a number of different tours to explore the deep dark labyrinth of tunnels near Ainsworth Hot Springs. The Family Tour gives guests an introductory overview of the unique rock formations over 2 hours. The more in-depth Explorer Tour is a 5 hour journey up ropes and ladders and deeper underground, while the 7 hour Adventure Tour is a full day experience including the spectacular soda straw passage and tight squeezes.

“Best family day trip” We have been on the cody caves family tour twice and both times were amazing. The guides were knowledgeable and relaxed. Kept the kids entertained and safe. Left us with a healthy respect for the conservation of the cave environment while still wanting more.  -   Laura K, August 2018, TripAdvisor Review

Whether in the air, on the water, or underground, the Kootenay Lake region allows guests to truly "choose your own adventure".

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