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Kaslo is a small village in the West Kootenays of British Columbia, Canada with the distinction of being the oldest incorporated community in the Kootenays. Sometimes called the Switzerland of the Americas.

Get in[edit]

Kaslo is about 65 km north of Nelson (British Columbia) along the west side of Kootenay Lake. The easiest way to get to Kaslo is by vehicle as there is very limited public transit in this area. There is a small paved air strip near town which is used by small private planes but no commercial airlines land here. The closest airport with commercial airline service is in Castlegar, almost 2 hours away.

Central Kootenay Transit[12] provides limited bus service between Nelson and Kaslo. For some time, this has meant service one day each week.

Get around[edit]

Kaslo is small enough to be easily walkable and the main "shopping district" is only about a block long. Park your vehicle on a side street and wander. "Lower Kaslo", as the name suggests, is closest to Kootenay Lake and is where stores and shops can be found. "Upper Kaslo" is mainly residential with great views of the village's natural setting.

See[edit][add listing]

  • SS Moyie National Historic Site, [1]. 9am - 5 pm. the world's oldest intact passenger sternwheeler, lovingly restored by the Kootenay Lake Historical Society, now making it's home on the lakeshore just a minute or two walk from downtown. $7.00.  edit
  • Kaslo Jazz Etc Festival, [2]. usually held over the August long weekend, this is an internationally recognized music festival that attracts crowds and famous musicians.  edit
  • May Days and Kaslo Logger Sports. Over the May long weekend, Kaslo celebrates May Days with the main attraction being the Logger Sports activities. It's a good display of the varied skills found in this erstwhile logging town. With the logging industry going through a sustained slowdown, these skills seem to be finding more use in the tourist business than in the woods.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Kaslo River Trail. hike this 3 km scenic trail loop from town along the Kaslo River and across the Kaslo River Bridge and back to town. The whole project, trail and bridge, is the legacy of a local trail group, the Kaslo Trailblazers [3]  edit

Supplies and Services[edit]

Kaslo has most of the essential shops available, including a grocery store, an organic food store, a bakery, liquor store, post office, a couple of gas stations and a selection of shops selling flowers, clothes and souvenirs. The village is also served by a Primary Health Centre (aka: Hospital), an Information Centre and a funky little Library in the basement of the historic Village Hall building. Internet access is available in several locations including the Library, the bakery, Kootenay Lake Computers and the Kaslo Hotel.

Eat and Drink[edit]

  • Kaslo Hotel & Brew Pub, 430 Front St, 250-353-7714, [4]. a recently renovated building in the center of town with great views from the pub and restaurant out to Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Mountains to the east.  edit
  • Treehouse Restaurant, 419 A Front St, 250-353-2955. this seems to be where the locals often go for breakfast and such.  edit
  • Kaslo Golf Course, 418 Pine St, 250-353-2262, [5]. 7 am to 8 pm. the new (as of 2007) clubhouse has a good restaurant which is developing a reputation for quite decent food. The view from the restaurant, inside or from the deck, is really quite inspiring and looks out across Kootenay Lake to the Purcell Mountains.  edit

Sleep[edit][add listing]

There are a good number of places to find overnight accommodation, including a hotel, a motel, many B&Bs and several campgrounds in the area.

  • Kootenay Lake Guest House (Kaslo Hostel), 232 B Avenue, 250-353-2551, [6]. located in Lower Kaslo minutes from the Lake and the village's stores and visitor centre. E-mail: [email protected] dorm $25/night.  edit
  • Kaslo Hotel, 430 Front St, 250-353-7714, [7]. For reservations, e-mail [email protected] $120 to $200 depending on season.  edit
  • Kaslo Motel, 330 D Ave, 1 877 353 2431.  edit
  • Mirror Lake Campground. about 4 km south of Kaslo on Mirror Lake  edit
  • Kaslo Municipal Campground, [8]. on the lakefront at the foot of A Ave in Lower Kaslo.  edit
  • Kootenay Lake Provincial Park, HHwy 31 north of Kaslo, [9]. has two campsites (Lost Ledge and Davis Creek), 25 and 30 km respectively, north of Kaslo on Hwy 31 towards Meadow Creek. $15 & $10.  edit
  • Beach Gables Guesthouse Motel, 243 Front St, Kaslo, 250-353-2111, [10]. A restored heritage building across the street from Kaslo's beach on Kootenay Lake within view of the SS Moyie and a block from downtown Kaslo. between $85 to $105.  edit
  • Kaslo Manor Lodge, A Ave and Hwy 31a to New Denver ((Upper Kaslo)), 250-353-2999, [11]. A complete restoration of an original 1896 original. Has complimentary high speed internet, cable TV and private baths. $80 +.  edit


Internet access can be obtained at several locations in town:

The Kaslo Public Library [13] has Internet-accessible computers available for free public use. The Library has somewhat restricted hours of operation so it's best to check their website to see when they're open first .

Kootenay Lake Computers sells Internet access.

WiFi Hotspots

Kaslo InfoNet Society has free WiFi access [14].

The Kaslo Hotel has free WiFi access.

Get out[edit]

If you really want to Get Out, consider going on a challenging backcountry hike. There are many to choose from and they've been keeping lots of the locals busy for years. These aren't always easy to find and they are challenging, so you need to be prepared. Arm yourself with a copy of the trail guide Where Locals Hike in the West Kootenay, the latest copy of the Backroads Mapbook of the area, possibly a topographic map, a high clearance vehicle and some knowledge of how to conduct yourself in mountainous terrain where bears live and visit some of the truly stunning destinations available in the area. Some examples would include Monica Meadows, Macbeth Icefield trail, Whitewater Creek (not anywhere near the ski hill, despite the similar name), Fry Creek Canyon, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park....

Rent a Kayak and go for a paddle. These are available in Kaslo from Kaslo Kayaking [15]. Just be aware that Kootenay Lake may look like a calm millpond at times, but can experience high winds that attack without notice, making the Lake very rough and potentially dangerous. You could end up trapped on the other side of the lake, or worse....

At the right time of year, late August to October, the Kokanee salmon (aka Redfish) start spawning. An excellent place to see them is the Meadow Creek Spawning Channel [16] about 45 minutes north of Kaslo.

Drive to the top of Mt Buchanan for a fantastic view of Kaslo, Kootenay Lake and the surrounding mountains from an old fire lookout almost a kilometer above the town. Most vehicles can handle the Mt Buchanan Forest Service Road, about 12 km west of Kaslo on Hwy 31a towards New Denver, just be aware that it is steep in places and requires some care.

Visit Cody Caves Provincial Park [17] just south of Kaslo about 3 km north of Ainsworth on Hwy 31. Drive another 10 km west on a narrow forest service road to the Park. Tours are available during July and August and cost $15/person. [NOTE: As of June 2010, this facility is closed because of the inability of the Park's concession holder to reach a suitable financial agreement with BC Parks. It is not known when or if this attraction will open again.]

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