AAA Editor Notes
International Selkirk Loop is a 450-kilometre (280-mi.) scenic byway through southeastern British Columbia and adjoining parts of Washington and Idaho. From Nelson the main route follows Hwy. 6 south to the U.S. border at Nelway. The other leg of the loop heads east on Hwy. 3A to Balfour, where what is said to be the world's longest free ferry service transports vehicles and passengers across Kootenay Lake. Hwy. 3A continues south along the lake's east shore to Creston, where Hwy. 21 connects with the U.S. border at Rykerts.
One 166-kilometre (103-mi.) side route follows Hwys. 3A, 6 and 22 from Nelson to Castlegar and Trail, then Hwy. 3B and 3 from Rossland to Salmo. Another 217-kilometre (135-mi.) side route connects Nelson with Slocan Lake via Hwys. 3A and 6, then continues east from New Denver to Kaslo on Hwy. 31, completing the loop back to Nelson following Hwys. 31 and 3A.
Scenic highlights of the loop include Kootenay Lake, thick coniferous forests, snowcapped peaks and the lush Creston Valley. Museums, historic mining towns, heritage architecture, crafts villages and seasonal produce stands beckon travelers.
Recreational activities abound, including golf, fishing, boating, swimming, hunting, camping, hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, skiing and snowmobiling. You also can tour a ghost town and soak in a hot spring.
Towns with attraction listings on the loop and its side routes include Ainsworth Hot Springs, Boswell, Castlegar, Creston, Kaslo, Nelson, New Denver, Rossland, Sandon and Trail.
Chambers of commerce and visitor centers on the loop provide maps and more information. Visitors also can write the International Selkirk Loop, P.O. Box 920, Bonners Ferry, ID 83805, United States; or in Canada, P.O. Box 2079, Creston, BC V0B 1G0.