A Road Trip to Kimberley BC
As much as I love Regina, I also really enjoy going on a trip. A good road trip is a favorite of mine, particularly to somewhere that has different topography than the prairies. I think that you can appreciate your home more when you go away. I never love my bed as much as when I haven’t slept in it for a while. We like a road trip that is preferrably only one day of driving, but that is far enough away that you feel like you aren’t at home any more. Somewhere like Kimberley British Columbia.
We went on a road trip to Kimberley a few weeks ago. Both of my kids came, plus my hubby. We drove there – it’s about 950 km from Regina to Kimberley, which is pretty doable for experienced road trippers. It isn’t the most interesting drive until you are basically in BC, but it’s also not a hard one. Driving is so much more affordable than flying. Flying is unavoidable sometimes, but if we can drive somewhere in a day, we usually drive.
Kimberley is a city of about 7600, located in the south east corner of British Columbia; it’s located between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains. It is a tourist area, with ski hills, white water rafting, snowmobiling, hiking and golfing attractions. There are 7 provincial parks within 100 km (or so), plus several National Parks within a 2 or 3 hour drive.
The best word that I can think of to describe Kimberley is charming. Flowers adorn most houses and public space, the fire hydrants are painted like Star Wars characters and the people are very friendly. I also loved that there were zero mosquitoes. Zero. Mosquitoes.
Kimberley looks like it was settled by Germans, but the Bavarian flair was due to a 1970’s desire to diversify the mining economy. You can see the Bavarian architecture that is prevalent. The largest freestanding cuckoo clock in Canada is in the Platzl, which is the pedestrian only streets where tourists can eat, drink and shop. There are Bavarian restaurants like the Old Bauernhaus Restaurant, where we ate some weinerschnitzel and jagerschnetzeltes, all prepared with a culinary flair. The Old Bauernhaus Restaurant building itself is 350 years old; it was disassembled in Germany and reconstructed in Kimberley in 1989.
We had 4 days in Kimberley, and we were determined to get the most out of our trip. Our first day, we headed to the Marysville Falls. Marysville is a town about 5 minutes away from Kimberley, just down the highway. The falls are likely more majestic in the spring when the water is more plentiful. Nonetheless, we enjoyed the easy hike. We splashed in the crystal clear water and hiked up to see St. Mary’s River from above. There is something majestic about a waterfall that has carved its place out of zillion year old rocks.
White Water Rafting
We went white water rafting another day. Being newbies to rafting, we did the “easy” rafting excursion. It was class 1, 2 and 3 rapids, which basically just gives you a taste of the craziness that is white water rafting and leaves you wanting more. Kimberly Rafting Co did a great job of making sure that we were all safe at all times. Even when I bounced right out of the raft, they kept me safe, with the tiny guide hauling me up by herself. I have to say that it was frightening, but also exhilarating. I never thought that my life was in danger, but I was definitely awake after falling into freezing cold mountain water. The scenery was amazing – you are right in the middle of nature, and although we didn’t see the bear that we were hoping to see (from afar), but we did see some bald eagles.
The thing that was great about white water rafting was seeing the progress that I am making with my fitness levels, thanks to Ryan at Strength Effect. I haven’t updated you yet, but rest assured that I am making great strides with my strength. I paddled like a rock star (if I do say so, myself), and there is no way that I would have done that prior to starting at Strength Effect. You can read about the start of my training here.
The golf courses in the Kimberley area are made more for admiring than chasing down a little white ball. That is completely my not-a-very-good-golfer opinion. With evergreen trees lining the lush green fairways, it is like a postcard. You can spend a lot of money golfing, but you can also find some bargains. The Bootleg Gap course has a recreational 9 hole course that is gorgeous and not too hard. And it was only $19 to golf. That’s pretty affordable and it’s not as intimidating as the 18 hole championship course. You can get more information on the Bootleg Gap course here.
As a pretty organized person, it always amazes me that the things I enjoy the most are the ones that are unplanned. We left Kimberley for Wasa Provincial Park, which is about 35 km away. It is one of the warmest lakes in the Rocky Mountains, and the kids wanted to go swimming. After swimming and hiking around a bit, we stopped for lunch in the only restaurant in Wasa Lake – a 70’s era pub with pink bathroom fixtures and deer head decorations. The pub was not updated but the food was decent.
The pub owner gave us some tips on places that the locals enjoy. He recommended Lazy Lake, which was halfway up the mountain from Wasa Lake. I hadn’t heard of Lazy Lake in all of the research that I did before the trip, likely because the locals keep it to themselves. Lazy Lake was worth the drive. Turquoise blue water competed for attention with evergreen trees that lined the lake. With the mountains in the background, it was like a postcard. I took a ton of photos, but there is no way that I could do justice to the perfection that is Lazy Lake. You can swim, kayak or canoe in Lazy Lake. If you are feeling adventurous, you can paddle to the other side and jump from a rope that is hanging out over the water.
We stayed halfway up the mountain in Kimberley, in a condo that we rented on Airbnb. We just can’t spend a week with the four of us in a single hotel room. Plus the flexibility of having a kitchen is great – I mean, who can eat out for 3 meals a day and not be completely sick of it by the third day! After a day of hiking or rafting, it was nice to slip into the hot tub that was on the deck. If you want to check out Airbnb, here is a code to get $40 off of your first trip. We used them in Europe as well as in Canada and have only really good things to say about it. You can also stay in hotels in the Kimberley area.
We had a great family trip to Kimberley. If you want a drivable vacation to somewhere beautiful that is way less busy than Banff, I recommend Kimberley.
I would love to hear about your summer vacations. Drop me a line if you want to comment.
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