International Selkirk Loop
International Selkirk Loop, North America’s only multi-national scenic drive and one of only 32 National Scenic Drives in the USA. Fernie’s nearest entry point is Creston and up Kootenay Lake but stop at the Kootenay-Columbia wildlife centre first which is a great spot for a picnic and to watch birds in the marshy area. This is the flyway for thousands of birds during their migrations.
Along the loop you will find charming towns like Kaslo and New Denver with historical backgrounds that are joined by unbelievable scenic byways surrounded by nature. Most of the loop follows rivers and lakes and are in National Forests and Provincial Parks. There are interesting stops along the way with many side trips to explore. Just north of Ainsworth Hot Springs is the Cody Caves Provincial Park with just under a kilometre of trails through caverns full of calcite structures of stalactites, stalagmites, ribbons, and draperies.
Farragut State Park in northern Idaho does not allow vehicles in the mossy tenting area nestled in among the towering Ponderosa Pines. It is magical in the evening to see dozens of colourful tents scattered through the trees with the lights on. Close by is Silverwood Theme Park full of all types of amusement rides including a Lazy River water feature.
Just a few miles away is the beautiful harbour town of Bayview. The colourful marina on Lake Pend Oreille is full of sailboats making for a picturesque scene as you come down the hill to the town site. The lake is so deep, the US Navy used it to train submariners in World War II.
It is a scenic lake that has breathtaking views either on the water or driving around the lake. Rent a boat for the day and cruise around the lake. For sport cars and motorcycle enthusiasts, the road around the lake is full of great windy roads. I would count on spending at least three or four nights in the area. Plan at least a week to explore the International Selkirk Loop.