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Stories from Columbia Valley

Paddling through the morning fog in the Columbia River Wetlands in Invermere

Paddle Trails: Exploring Lakes and Rivers in the Columbia Valley

Imagine gliding effortlessly across a glass like lake, the sound of water against your paddle and the birds singing is all you hear as the sun peaks over the Rocky Mountains and hits your face. This could be you!

The gentle float from Invermere to Radium Hot Springs is the most popular paddling route in the Columbia Valley, allowing paddlers to experience the Columbia River Wetlands. Serene paddling adventures also await you in the communities of Canal Flats, Fairmont Hot Springs, and Panorama, BC.

Fairmont Hot Springs

If you’re staying in Fairmont Hot Springs, you have two fantastic options for paddling and floating: Columbia Lake Provincial Park and the Fairmont Hot Springs river float which can be done without a paddle. Both options provide excellent bird watching opportunities. Details about the drop-off and pick-up locations for the floats can be found here.

Panorama Mountain Resort

When you’re done playing at the Springs Pools at Panorama, adventure 10 minutes down Toby Creek Road to Lake Lillian. This picturesque lake is popular for paddling, swimming, and wildlife viewing. Paddlers often spot loons, turtles, and otters at this small, warm water lake.

The most popular paddle adventure in Invermere is the 4-hour journey from Invermere to Radium Hot Springs down the Columbia River. This route is know for its scenic beauty, abundant wildlife, and accessibility. This relaxing paddle has a slow current, making it a terrific family activity. You can find canoe and kayak rentals at Columbia River Paddle and Far Out Gear Rentals, along with stand up paddleboard rentals at Syndicate Boardshop. You can also book a shuttle, or guided trip with Columbia River Paddle

Tilly Memorial Park

Pack the Picnic basketits time to enjoy the unique experience of paddling the headwaters of the Columbia River at Tilley Memorial Park in Canal Flats, BC. This is a popular day-use area at the southern end of Columbia Lake features picnic tables, a large grassy area, a pebbled beach, a playground, and wheelchair access via the public boat launch. There is a fee to use the Tilley Memorial Park Boat Launch and day use area. Columbia Lake is the largest warm water lake in the East Kootenays measuring 2km by 14km and averaging a temperature of 19C in July.

Resources for Information before you paddle

  • 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.

Do you love BC’s freshwater lakes and rivers? Then you better watch this and learn how to protect the waterways from invasive species. All watercraft must be properly cleaned, drained, and dried – even kayaks, paddleboards, and floating devices.

The Columbia Valley in British Columbia is a true outdoor enthusiasts paradise, offering a diverse array of waterways to explore on your next paddle adventure. From the warm flat water on Columbia Lake, many beaches along Lake Windermere, the calm Lake Lillian and the meandering Columbia River this region in the Canadian Rocky Mountains provides endless opportunities to explore by canoe, kayak, stand-up paddleboard (SUP), or floaty.

The water is warm, so jump in! Find accommodation for everyone from glamping & camping, to cabins & suites.

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