Posted by: cherylyoung | February 6, 2013

Cranbrook, the largest city of the Rocky Mountain





region, and the sunniest place in British Columbia,

Cranbrook is located in the Columbia Valley, offering

the best of city and country.


The vistas of snowcapped mountain peaks, lush green

valleys and crystal clear lakes are sure to take your

breath away.


For those seeking an oasis of civility in the rough

Rockies, there is shopping galore, boutiques and cafés,

an arts centre, several heritage centres and an

abundance of other attractions to entertain visitors.



Cranbrook’s history is rather colourful, and filled with

interesting characters.


It is said, however, that the railway made this city.


There is virtually no other reason for its existence, as

it is neither on a major lake nor on an easily navigable



Prior to the entire rail goings on, the Cranbrook region

was inhabited for over ten thousand years by the

Ktunaxa (pronounced “Too nah hah”) Native people.


They followed retreating glaciers into the Cranbrook

area from the great lakes to the south.


As the land evolved and changed, they passed down

many legends and stories.


The Hoodoos, for example, are said to be the bones of

Yawo’nek (pronounced “Yehwoonik”), a great water

monster whose bones were thrown up onto the banks

of the river.


The area now called Cranbrook was called “The Pine

Tree in the Centre” in the Ktunaxa language.



David Thompson, an early explorer, was the first white

man to explore the Kootenay River in the early 1800s.


He established trade with the Ktunaxa, who sustained

themselves in the hunting, fishing and gathering

lifestyle of their ancestors.


Fur traders, missionaries and prospectors soon arrived

in the area, calling it “Joseph’s Prairie”, because the chief

of the band was called Joseph.


It was renamed Cranbrook by the city’s founder who

named it after his ancestral home of Cranbrook in

Kent, England.


Population: 20,102

Location: Cranbrook is located near the junction of

Highway 95A and Crowsnest Highway 3 in the BC

Rockies, 20 miles (32 km) southeast of Kimberley.


Take a self-guided tour of restored heritage buildings,

which include City Hall, Imperial Bank building,

Mount Baker Hotel, Tower House, the Corey Home,

Colonel Baker’s home and the Fire Hall.


For those seeking outdoor recreational activities

activities, the Cranbrook area has it all; from world-class

golf to backcountry hiking and camping to swimming

in some of the warmest lakes in Canada, plus every

winter activity imaginable.


A little south of the city is a “must see” for bird watchers:

the 249-hectare Elizabeth Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, a

marshland that attracts all manner of migratory birda

and waterfowl as they pass through the Elk Valley



The wildlife area also provides prime habitat for

muskrats, turtles, reptiles, elk, moose and white-tailed


A trip up the St. Mary River valley to St. Mary Lake and

over Grey Creek pass to Kootenay Lake makes a good

day trip.


After the lake, the road is gravel and passable in summer

conditions only.


A four-wheel drive vehicle is not necessary.


A round trip over the pass, and back via Creston, is a

terrific way to see the backcountry.

The Canadian Museum of Rail Travel houses a fine

collection of beautifully restored classic railcars and

locomotives, including the Canadian Pacific’s 1929

Trans Canada Limited, vintage parlour cars and the

richly inlaid Argyle dining car.


The romantic history of Canadian railroading comes

alive in this fascinating museum.


The Kootenay Trout Hatchery rears up to 3 million trout

fingerlings each year.


Lakes throughout the province are stocked with these

rainbow, brook and cutthroat trout, to enhance

recreational fishing opportunities.


In addition, white sturgeon are reared at the hatchery

as part of a conservation program.


Walk through an extensive interpretative area featuring

aquariums, educational models and interactive displays.


Guided tours are offered during the summer.


Travel 2 km out of Cranbrook toward Kimberley to see

examples of local wildlife on display at the working

Aasland Taxidermy Museum.


Visitors are welcome to see the displays or watch the

taxidermists at work.

A visit to the Gilnockie Creek Ecological Reserve is well

worth doing.


This circle trip for the adventurous motorist or cyclist,

goes past Moyie Lake, then south on narrow back road

to Gilnockie Creek and finally follows Bloom Creek and

Gold Creek back to Cranbrook.


The 2800-hectare reserve contains some of the oldest

larch and fir trees in the region.


This area supports elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer and

moose. Don’t forget a map though!

Golf: Cranbrook offers a number of golf course options,

played in abundant sunshine:


The championship 18-hole Cranbrook Golf Club on 2nd

Street South is a mature parkland layout that plays

from 5,200 to 6,800 yards, offering challenge and

enjoyment to golfers at all levels.


Each hole of the mature course is beautifully framed

in tall evergreens, affording a quiet dignity that feels

quite special and invites you to play.


Way-Lyn Ranch Golf Course is a challenging 18-hole

executive golf course located in the beautiful Saint

Mary’s River Valley, on Highway 95A between

Cranbrook and Kimberley.


Golfers enjoy an inspiring view of the Purcell Mountain

Range to the west, and the majestic Rockies to the east.


The family-oriented executive Par-3 Mission Hills Golf

Course on Theatre Road features 18 holes nestled in

mature ponderosa pines, with spectacular vistas of the

surrounding Rocky Mountains.


The 18-hole golf course at St. Eugene Mission on

Mission Road winds its way through open links land

and rolling woodlands, with spectacular views of the

St. Mary’s River and Fisher Peak, and on the opposite side

of the valley, the Purcell Mountains are etched against

the sky.


Plays 5,398 yards to 7,007 yards from the championship

tees. Golf Vacations in the BC Rockies.


A visit to Old Town on upper Perry Creek is a nice drive.


There are a few old buildings left, and the waterfalls are

definitely worth a visit.


The base of the falls was called the Jewellry Box in 1867

and a 5-foot hole drilled through rock by early settlers

can still be seen there.


The old Perry Creek water wheel is now at Fort Steele.

The Dewdney Trail was the first all-Canadian route

across southern BC, completed in 1865, from Hope to

Wild Horse Creek.


The original trail followed the east side of Moyie Lake,

through Peavine Meadows and Cranbrook to the Wild

Horse gold diggings and Fisherville.


Parts of this trail can still be found around Fisherville

and Moyie.


Now a heritage site, Fisherville was the first town in the

East Kootenays and once boasted six general stores,

four saloons, numerous restaurants, and hundreds of

gold miners’ shacks and tents.


The most beautiful people we have known are those

who have known defeat, known suffering, known

struggle, known loss, and found their way out of

the depths.

These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity, and an

understanding of life that fill them with compassion,

gentleness and a deep loving Concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

Elisabeth Kubler-Ross



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