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Lakes & Rivers

Lakes, rivers, and creeks, oh my! With plenty of activities on the water, you’ll find summer days in the Columbia Valley aren’t quite long enough.

The Columbia Valley in British Columbia, Canada is a paradise for water lovers offering a diverse array of flat and flowing waterways to explore. Paddlers will find opportunities for stand up paddle-boarding, kayaking, canoeing, whitewater rafting, and fishing on one of the many lakes and rivers between Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, Panorama, Fairmont Hot Springs and Canal Flats. Grab your paddle, and let’s get going!

watersports and public beaches.
A protected stretch of undisturbed wetland.
A small Vibrant green lake known for wildlife sightings.
The headwaters of the Columbia River.
Columbia River & Columbia Lake Park.
From Invermere to Radium hot springs.
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Places to paddle & play

Relax lakeside in Invermere in the warm waters of Lake Windermere. 

Lake Windermere spans between Invermere, Athalmere, Windermere, and Fairmont Hot Springs, BC.  Known for it's picturesque Rocky Mountain backdrop, warm waters, and wide range of recreational activities including swimming, paddling, boating, and fishing you won't believe you're not on a tropical vacation. Lake Windermere offers public public beaches: Kinsmen Beach, James Chabot Provincial Park, and Windermere Beach. The popular Kinsmen Beach offers greenspace, a splash park, playground, walking trails and the Pynelogs Art Gallery just a few short steps away from the water. Lake Windermere is a favourite summertime hangout in the Columbia Valley. Grab a paddle board and paddle around the Taynton Bay, relax on a beach park, or take a stroll on lakefront paths. 

Learn about the health of Lake Windermere and support the Lake Windermere Ambassadors here.

Explore the Columbia River Wetlands in Invermere, BC a protected 180 km stretch of undisturbed wetland.

The Columbia River Wetlands are one of the longest intact wetlands in North America known for its wildlife, including over 260 bird species, fish, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and invertebrates. Head out in your SUP, Kayak, or canoe and meander down the mouth of the slow flowing Columbia River Wetlands and back to your starting point or take the 17km trip from Invermere to Radium Hot Springs.

Take this journey self guided, arrange a shuttle, or book a tour for your whole crew.

Take the half day paddling adventure down the Columbia River to the Village of Radium Hot Springs.

This paddle begins in Invermere and goes with the current to Radium Hot Springs. Breathtaking mountain scenery and quiet atmosphere make for the perfect canoe, kayak, or paddleboard trip.

The trip to Radium Hot Springs can take anywhere from 3 – 5 hours depending on water conditions and paddling speed. For a shorter excursion, the wetlands at the beginning of the paddle have very little current, and one can paddle back to the starting point.

Stand up paddle board, kayak, float, swim, and fish at this small warm water lake near Panorama, BC.

This small 26.7ha. lake located 10 minutes west of Invermere on the Toby Creek Road offers opportunities for paddling, fishing, wildlife viewing, and swimming. While the beach area can get busy during peak hours, venturing away from the main access point allows paddlers to enjoy the tranquil waters. The Lake is known for it’s vibrant green colour and ample amount of wildlife. Keep your eye out for turtles, otters, birds, and crawfish.

Explore the Headwaters of the Columbia River at Columbia Lake in Canal Flats. 

Columbia Lake is a 2,758ha. warm water lake and the headwaters of the mighty Columbia River. Access this flat water lake from Tilley Memorial Park in Canal Flats (day use fee), or from Columbia Lake Provincial Park in Fairmont Hot Springs. The lake's average July temperature of 18C makes it the largest warm water lake in the East Kootenay region. Bring your paddleboard, canoe or kayak to enjoy the vivid waters of Columbia Lake, or relax on a sunny beachside park. 

The Fairmont Hot Springs river float is a popular summer activity that allows visitors to leisurely float down the Columbia River while taking in the stunning scenery of the Canadian Rockies, Purcells, Hoodoo's, and the Riverside Golf course.

Tucked away just beyond the town of Fairmont Hot Springs, on the way to Columbia Lake Park. The Fairmont Hot Springs river float takes about a half day and can be done by  SUP, Raft, or kayak. This is a fun class I-II section of the Columbia River that is clear, warm and a good place to gain confidence on moving water. Watch out - the river gets quite shallow in some areas.

Directions: From the traffic lights on Highway 93/95 at the Invermere junction, drive south towards Fairmont Hot Springs. Turn left off the highway at the fire hall on Fairmont Creek Road, then make your first right on Columbia River Road. The road will turn into a dirt road where you you find the Columbia River kayak drop point. The River take out, located on River Drive in Fairmont Hot Springs is a a public park with ample birdwatching opportunities.


Find equipment rentals in Radium Hot Springs, Invermere, and Fairmont Hot Springs.

Columbia River Paddle and Syndicate Boardshop in Invermere offer a variety of summer water sport rentals.

Radium Hot Springs has an array of rentals available at Far Out Adventure Hub including kayaks, paddleboards, and more. 

Fairmont Hot Springs Resort offers tube rentals at the front desk or check out Liquid Rush and their line up of summer rentals.

Go with a Pro

First time, no gear, no ride? No problem! Book your river paddle adventure, pick up, drop off, stand up paddle board, canooe, kayak, or guided expedition at Far Out Adventure Hub or  Columbia River Paddle.

Ready for the next level of river adventure? Try a guided whitewater rafting experience down the Toby Creek, Kicking Horse River, or Kootenay River with Kootenay River Runners. Whitewater rafting is perfect for adrenaline junkies who are ready to tackle the toughest whitewater terrain.


Know Before you go

  • Wear your lifejacket: It is the most important piece of life saving equipment.
  • Be prepared: carry essentials like food, water, and proper layers.
  • Be aware of cold water risks: the immediate effects of cold water immersion can be life-threatening.
  • Take a course: familiarize yourself with the area and activity in which you are engaging.
  • Don’t drink on the water: For your own safety and the safety of others, you must be attentive and responsive.

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