Kootenay Rockies

Province

Oh, oh, a few pounds crept on during the festive season of 2019. Not to worry. Today is the day you plan your route to better health and fitness. But the Biggest Loser system of dropping weight and regaining fitness is not the way to go. Slow and steady builds a better body. So, what to do? Set your sights on one of the most sought after events in the region: The Kootenay Gran Fondo.

If you have yet to experience the Powder Highway, it’s a trip you must put on your bucket list. It's a snow hound's nirvana because it puts you smack in the middle of the world’s largest collections of skiable locations.

“How did we get from that,” I wonder, “to what we see now?”

The question ran through my head even before Margaret Teneese, Archivist with the Ktunaxa Nation Council asked it out loud. I had just watched a 28-minute video about the St. Eugene Mission, a grand red brick building that protrudes from the East Kootenay landscape, which was once a residential school.

When you think of Cranbrook, what likely comes to mind is the Rocky Mountains and all of the adventures to be had, but getting out on the water is one of the most popular pastimes in the East Kootenays.

When you're talking handmade, you can't get more hands-on than the artisans I met in Cranbrook who hail from India, Northern China, Marysville, Fort McMurray and the East Kootenays. They all have one thing in common: They saw a need in their community, so they decided to hone their skills and meet it.

Even if you are good at balancing your busy schedule and finding zen in everyday life, sometimes we all just need that well deserved time off to relax and recharge. Here are the top 3 places to find your Zen in the Canadian Rockies.

Cranbrook, B.C. – I was glued to the plane’s window as it started its descent into the Canadian Rockies International Airport in Cranbrook. The vistas, equally beautiful and mysterious, gave a hint of what the valley has to offer. Soon we’d be on the ground and experiencing it all for the first time. A short flight from Vancouver via Pacific Coastal Airlines was about to unleash a new world of possibilities.  

Cranbrook, B.C. – Rising to the early morning glow from outside the teepee walls, we breathed the crisp mountain air and arose from our comfortable sleeping quarters to greet the day. After spending a night nestled in a teepee at Speaking Earth in St. Eugene, part of the greater Cranbrook area, we felt refreshed and more connected to our Canadian heritage than ever.  

Experiencing history has never felt so hands-on and as adventurous as it does in Cranbrook, B.C. After a short, smooth and scenic flight with Pacific Coastal Air, we landed in a new kind of paradise, and eager to explore the history of the southern Rockies region, we wasted no time.

Driving along Highway 3 through the Kootenays, many folks pass by the city of Cranbrook, not realizing what lies just off the busy road. I recently spent a couple of days here and discovered this: a cool recreated historic village, miles and miles of trails for hikers and bikers, a deliciously vibrant food scene and a local craft brewery named after the impressive Fisher Peak that reigns the landscape here.