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East Kootenay FAQ

Updated: Mar 28

I get asked questions about where I live all the time. Mostly about the geographical location of Kimberley and its proximity to more well known cities and areas in BC and Alberta. I've started a list of them in hopes that this helps and piques further curiosity. Here are your questions and answers:

Man walking on giant rock in Bugaboos Provincial Park bc

Q. Where is Kimberley?

A. Kimberley is located in the East Kootenays, an area in the southeastern corner of BC near the Alberta and US borders. Kimberley and my hometown of Cranbrook are about 29km apart and sit in what's called the Rocky Mountain Trench between the Purcell and Rocky Mountains.

Q. Are you near Kelowna?

A. Not really. Kelowna is in the Okanagan, still 6+ hours drive from Kimberley. Takes about the same time to get there from Calgary as it does from here.

Q. Is that near Vancouver?

A. Ya, no. Nope. Not near Vancouver. I mean both sit close to our American neighbours, but are very much on opposite sides of the province. Vancouver is obviously West Coast Best Coast where as Kimberley is tucked into the southeast corner of the province, very much land-locked. It's about 10 hours to drive to Vancouver from here, again, same as it would be from Calgary.

Q. Is that by Golden?

A. Ya, wow, ok. No, but we're getting closer. We're in southeastern BC now but still just over 2 hours away. Kicking Horse, great ski hill though.

Q. So you're by Banff?

A. You're thinking of Canmore. Not any closer to Banff than we were to Golden. Next question.

Q. How long does it take you to drive from Calgary?

A. If you're traveling the speed limit at 100km / hour and it's about 400km give or take depending on if you're going north or south then it should take you about 4 hours. Do not tell your dad the answer is less than that. He'll know you're speeding.

Q. Do you drive the north or the south way?

A. Great question! When I lived in Cranbrook and my sister lived in Fernie I'd only ever drive the south way home because it was faster (and Fernie is along the south route). The south is what I would call "going through Crowsnest" or "taking Longview". This is your route that goes through Frank Slide as well.

Now, I mostly travel the north for good reasons. One, you're going through Banff and Kootenay National Parks which are beautiful. Speed limit drops to 90km / hour this way, but there's too much to look at to rip through it anyways. Two, from May until August I would say, you will always have the pleasure of seeing tons of black and grizzly bears through the park. Please obey all signs, do not stop your vehicle at all, drive slowly , pay attention and admire from afar. Three, it's about 6 of one, half a dozen of the other in terms of time. We live in Marysville which is between Cranbrook and Kimberley so I guess either way doesn't matter but I feel like the north is shorter for me, especially when I am leaving work from the northwest quadrant of Calgary. Lastly, we find the roads are better in the winter. Because it's a national park, they are great about plowing and sanding. I find the south route to be so windy in the winter the blowing snow causes major anxiety.

Q. You mentioned Fernie. Is Kimberley close enough for me to stay there and drive to Fernie to ski?

A. Why don't you just ski in Kimberley? Can I answer my own frequently asked question with a question?

Q. What's there to do?

Girl fly fishing in river near Kimberley bc at sunset

A. Oh boy, this would have to be a separate post all on its own. Whatever your little heart desires man. Fly fish, golf, ski, cross country ski, skate on frozen lakes, camp, hike, paddle board, eat mucky fries, do yoga, drink Overtime beer, explore the largest municipal park in BC. Not to worry, we'll fill your schedule. It's a really good place to be.

Q. Can I fly there?

A. Totally. The airport is 15 minutes away and direct flights come in from Vancouver and Calgary daily.

Q. How big is it?

A. It has one stop light.

Q. How many people live there?

A. Just over 7400

Q. Are you by Nelson?

A. Hahaha oh dear God. To be continued.......

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