The Kootenay region (or “The Kootenays” to locals) is nestled in the southeastern portion of the province. Two geographical features dominate the area: mountains and water, and both make for some pretty spectacular scenery as well as some great opportunities for outdoor adventure. Historically, mining has always been the primary industry in the Kootenays; however the region also thrives on agriculture and forestry.
Originally settled by miners, rail workers and pioneers, the Kootenays are steeped in history. There are more than 50 ghost towns in the mountains and valleys, and it is not uncommon for hikers to come across sunken paddlewheelers and abandoned miners’ shacks. Trek into the backcountry here, and you never know what you might discover!
With its snow-capped peaks in winter and idyllic lakeside summers, the Kootenay region attracts those who love being outdoors. People in the Kootenays like to live a little quieter, and residents are known for their laid-back attitude. Much of this region is still undiscovered country, and residents spend their weekends canoeing, kayaking, hiking, and skiing. For those looking to explore outside of the province, Alberta is just a short drive away.