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British Columbia, the westernmost province of Canada, is home to the Castlegar Destination. The region is situated along the country’s border with the United States of America. Castlegar, the namesake, is located near the destination's western boundary, just off the Columbia River, which runs along the city’s eastern border. The confluence of the Kootenay River and the Columbia River is found near the center of Castlegar. Kootenay Lake, east of Castlegar, is the primary source of water for the Kootenay River. Other geographical locations of the area are Kootenay Mountain, Kianuko Provincial Park, and West Arm Provincial Park. Bears, elk, bighorn sheep, squirrels, skunks, raccoons, and multiple different types of birds inhabit various parts of the destination.[1] Attractions in the destination include Castlegar Station Museum, featuring the history of the Lake Salish people; Brilliant Overlook; and Waldie Island.[2] Based on Castlegar’s tourism score, it is recommended to visit the area between July and August since these months allow easier access to warm-weather activities. Temperatures vary over the course of the year, with the average daily high for summer being 74 degrees Fahrenheit. Winter’s average high typically drops to around 41 degrees.[3]

What Castlegar is known for

Canada’s western province, British Columbia, serves as the home to the Castlegar Destination. The United States of America borders the region, more specifically, Washington state. Castlegar, the namesake of the destination, is situated on the western side of the region where the Columbia River courses. In addition to the city being ranked as the “second-largest community in the West Kootenay region of British Columbia, Canada,” it is also rated as one of the Top Eight Places in British Columbia, primarily for its “promising growth.”[8] In 1966, the area was officially incorporated as a town.[4] The name of the city was given before the official establishment of the territory, and it derives from a village known as Castlegar in County Galway, Ireland.[8]

One can undertake various activities when visiting the Castlegar Destination, namely attractions such as the Castlegar Station Museum, which is over a century old and displays one of the “best-preserved rail stations in the province of British Columbia;” Zuckerberg Island, where the history dates back to the Lake Salish people; Brilliant Overlook, which is somewhat popular among hikers; the Doukhobor Discovery Centre; and Waldie Island Trail. One attraction that is available exclusively between the months of May and October is the Sculpturewalk. This attraction pays homage to the nickname of the area, the “Sculpture Capital of Canada.” Local and international artists perform annually throughout this time.[2]

When visiting the area, it is recommended, based on Weather Spark's tourism score, that the “best time of year to visit Castlegar” is from mid-July to mid-August, when the climate is fairly moderate. Weather conditions depend on the season, as summers have been described by previous visitors to be "short", and the winter season has been said to be "freezing." Over the course of the year, the average temperature varies from 22 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter to 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.[3]

According to the 2020 census, Castlegar has a population of 8,600 people; however, the number of residents increases by 0.20% annually.[5] The area is known for having a “rich and diverse history, steeped in the heritage and culture of the Doukhobors, who migrated here in the early 20th century.” The area's history has influenced the aforementioned attractions and is one of the draws for tourists. It is reported that “people flock to Castlegar for many reasons,” which may include art, recreational activities, culture, and the mountainous Kootenay Region.[6]


The confluence of the Kootenay River and the Columbia River is found along the eastern border of Castlegar’s city limits. Kootenay River is a runoff of Kootenay Lake, also located within the region, and is one of the larger water features within the destination. Another lake in the area is Duck Lake, located below Kootenay Lake. Other natural attractions include Kootenay Mountain, West Arm Provincial Park, and Kianuko Provincial Park.

The destination is home to a diverse range of flora and fauna. One specific type of flora in the area includes the Larch, which is notable for its changing colors during autumn. This time of the season is also acknowledged by many visitors as a “great time for wildlife viewing around Castlegar.” Fauna living in the area includes raccoons, skunks, squirrels, ducks, elk, bears, bighorn sheep, and multiple types of birds.[1]

Climatic conditions in the Castlegar Destination vary throughout the area, typically anywhere from 22 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit on average, depending on the time of the year. Summers are often described by tourists to be “short, warm, dry, and partly cloudy.” The warm season lasts from June to September, with the average daily high temperature being 74 degrees Fahrenheit. November to February is generally considered the colder season of the year, with 41 degrees Fahrenheit being the average daily high. Winter has been said by previous visitors to be “freezing, snowy, and mostly cloudy.” Over half of the year falls into the “wetter season” of Castlegar, specifically from October to July, with each given day having a 25% chance of precipitation. June, on average, receives the most rainfall in comparison to other months. Based on the tourism score provided by Weather Spark, it is recommended that those wishing to participate in warm weather activities should visit Castlegar anytime between mid-July and mid-August.[3]


Castlegar, the namesake of the Castlegar Destination, was first inhabited by the Lakes Indian people. The area’s indigenous people are “a branch of the Interior Salishan linguistic and cultural group, with close language ties to Okanagan and Colville bands.” The area’s topography, along with the nearby rivers, allowed for the area to become a relatively popular trading place for the early people. Many people came to the area after gold was discovered in 1855 near Pend D’Oreille River. The discovery of gold led Edward Mahon—who was originally from Ireland—to the region in 1890. Mahon’s homeland, a town known as Castlegar in County Galway, Ireland, is the derivation of Castlegar’s name. Though foreigners initially settled the town in the late 1800s, it wasn't incorporated as a town of British Columbia until January 1, 1966.[4]

Since the area was officially established as a town, the region continued to grow in various ways. The topography of the area led Castlegar to be recognized as “the geographic and economic centre of the Columbia and Kootenay River valleys extending north to Nelson and south to Trail/Rossland.” Resources contributing to the economy include forestry and mining activity. However, Castlegar's economy is driven by five particular pillars: forestry, education, government/education, retail, and tourism.[7]

The town of Castlegar has grown to a population of 8,600 people as of the 2020 census. However, the population has been experiencing a growth of approximately 0.2% each year. Females account for nearly 51% of the population, while males make up the remaining percentage of 49%. Regarding the ages of residents, the largest demographic group in the destination is those older than 65, constituting 1,865 people, with the second largest group being those 55 to 64 (1,275 people).[5]


The Pair-A-Dice RV Park is located in Creston, British Columbia. It has 44 spaces that guests can stay at, all including 15, 30, or 50 amp power hookups with water and sewer. Ten of the sites are pull-through. Patrons can shower in the park’s bathroom facilities free of charge, and they can do their laundry in the same building with the coin-operated laundry machines. The park is close to many different trails that guests can hike and bike on if they would like to. Visitors can also visit Kootenay Lake to the north of the park to explore additional hiking trails and to swim in the lake itself. The area is known for Kootenay Lake and Arrow Mountain, as well as for its agriculture, namely the many orchards and wineries that are located in the region.

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Valhalla Pines Campground

Valhalla Pines Campground

Valhalla Pines Campground is located in Vallican, British Columbia, and offers 14 tent sites, 5 RV spaces, 3 huts, and access to WiFi, a community building with a kitchen, bathrooms, and showers. The 6.75-acre campground is located in a relatively quiet forested residential neighborhood. Guests may self-check-in or request an orientation on arrival. The owner/operator, Tom, lives on the property and says that making the guests feel comfortable is his number one priority. The campground is generally busiest in July, August, and September, and is closed in winter with the exception of the huts, which are insulated and have access to a bathroom. The community building is closed for winter.

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