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If you’re looking for an underrated destination that has it all, come winter or summer, you should definitely consider Invermere! With awe-inspiring mountain peaks, two incredible lakes, more golf courses than one can shake a club at, and a huge range of natural and manmade attractions, it’s no wonder that it’s one of our favorite places to visit in BC!
Despite the incredible number of things to do and see here, the town has managed to remain somewhat off the beaten path for international visitors. Instead, the area is most often enjoyed by local Canadians who come for summer fun on the lakes, or the ski hills and hot springs in the winter.
Not only does this mean that Invermere sees just a fraction of visitors when compared to regions like Kelowna in the Okanagan Valley, but the town has kept its friendly local atmosphere which is a real pleasure to see.
Overall, this combination makes Invermere, BC a must-visit and one of my personal favorite areas in Canada!
However, for first-time visitors to Invermere, it can be hard to know exactly where to start. Luckily, Bailey and I know Invermere very well and have had the pleasure of exploring the area many times over. We have friends who live nearby, and we actually bought some property just down the road in Fairmont – so it’s safe to say we love the area!
So, if you’re planning a trip here, then keep reading and check out our blog on all the best things to do in Invermere, BC.
- FUN Things to do in Invermere, BC
- 1. Relax at James Chabot Provincial Park
- 2. Wander downtown Invermere
- 3. Float down the Columbia River
- 4. Rent a boat and enjoy Lake Windermere
- 5. Go skating or cross-country skiing on Lake Windermere
- 6. Play a round of golf
- 7. Go whitewater rafting
- 8. Visit the Invermere Soaring Centre
- 9. Visit Radium Hot Springs
- 10. Take it easy at Kinsmen Beach
- 11. Have a beer at Arrowhead Brewing
- 12. Drive or hike Swansea Mountain
- 13. Visit the Windermere Valley Museum
- 14. Explore Kootenay National Park
- 15. Eat the best fried chicken at Ullr Bar
- 16. Visit the Invermere Farmers Market
- 17. Taste your way through Taynton Bay Spirits
- 18. Go skiing or snowboarding
- 19. Ride the chairlift at Panorama for sightseeing & hiking
- 20. Mountain biking and trail riding
- 21. Enjoy Fairmont Hot Springs
- 22. Book a tubing/wakeboarding tour
- 23. Test your nerves Valley Zipline Adventures
- 24. Eat delicious smoked meats at Smokehouse 93
- 25. Visit the Dutch Creek Hoodoos
- 26. Explore Pothole Park
- 27. Head to Radium to explore Sinclair Canyon
- 28. Go camping
- 29. Relax at Olive Lake
- 30. Visit Lussier Hot Springs
- Day Trips from Invermere
- Where to Stay in Invermere, BC
- Thanks for Reading!
FUN Things to do in Invermere, BC
1. Relax at James Chabot Provincial Park
On those warm days in Invermere, one of our favorite places to hang out is at James Chabot Provincial Park. This small but beautiful park is located on Lake Windermere and actually has its very own 360-meter (1,181-foot) long sandy beach! It’s perfect for relaxing and enjoying the sunshine, and is arguably the best beach area in Invermere.
Bailey and I love heading down here with our picnic lunch and hanging out at the dedicated picnic area, where there are 40 tables which are free to use! We love sitting back and watching the entire day pass by while cooling down in the lake whenever we like.
There is a swimming area here that’s blocked off for boats and the water is super calm! Oh, and did we mention the incredible mountain views?
The park is located right in town and is completely free to visit. There is a large car park with around 171 spaces right next to the beach, however, on really hot days you’ll need to arrive early to get a spot. With that said, many Airbnbs and hotels in Invermere are within walking distance.
We’ve also seen fishermen out here early in the morning looking to snag some rainbow trout or whitefish, so if that sounds right up your street, why not give it a go! Just make sure that you have an appropriate license beforehand.
There is also a toilet block and a changing room located near the beach. Some days there will also be food trucks/concession stands, but this isn’t always true so be sure to bring some snacks.
2. Wander downtown Invermere
One of my favorite things to do in Invermere is simply to wander through town, specifically 7th Avenue which is lined with awesome restaurants and boutique stores. This is the perfect activity on your first day in town to get a feel for the place.
In fact, some of my favorite restaurants in Invermere are located along 7th Avenue, like Spice Hut Indian Cuisine at 1321 7th Avenue for authentic Indian food (you HAVE to try the delicious biryani dishes here!).
Blue Dog Café at 1213 7th Avenue is an excellent choice for breakfast or lunch with amazing coffee. Just keep an eye out that the café is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Circle Market + Cafe is another great alternative if Blue Dog is closed.
For a tasty sweet treat, Stolen Church has over 50 flavors of incredible gelato that are made fresh in nearby Windermere. It’s clear that the friendly folks that work there really care about their craft, and their passion totally shines through in their amazing frozen desserts!
For art lovers or if you’re simply looking for a unique souvenir to bring home, check out Effusion Art Gallery and Artym Gallery, both on 7th Avenue. Effusion really surprised us with their seasonal displays and array of original art, we’re sure you’ll love it too!
We think it’s a great option when you’re looking for something to do during the afternoon, as Effusion opens from 11 am – 5 pm Monday to Friday, with select opening times on the weekends.
There are also tons of clothing and souvenir stores here! Her Public Boutique was founded back in 2011 and is a great place to drop by for unique and affordable women’s fashion. If you’re searching for a gift for friends or family, then we recommend heading over to Three Bears Souvenirs, which is always full of cool little trinkets.
3. Float down the Columbia River
The first activity I ever did after arriving in Invermere was the Columbia River float. And wow, what an introduction it was! This is by far the most beautiful river float I’ve ever done – and I know that’s a big statement. I even rate it as one of the top activities to do in BC.
The river float starts in one of two locations (mentioned below) and has you drifting at a slow pace on the Columbia River through the town of Fairmont past the scenic golf courses and houses. The entire way there is full of breathtaking views of the mountains, so make sure to bring a camera along for the ride.
The best part is that if you have your own tube or floaty, then this activity is completely free! If you don’t happen to have your own tube, you can rent one in Fairmont at the Fairmont Outpost & Outdoors sports shop.
This is an awesome activity for those with kids, as small children can enjoy the float safely with a lifejacket and parent supervision. But if you’re big kids at heart like us, you’ll still have an amazing time!
As there is no river shuttle, you’ll need two cars, one parked where you end and one where you start (unless someone in your group isn’t joining you, then they can just drop you off and pick you up).
Where to start and end the river float:
There are two entry points to the Columbia River float. The first is along Columbia River Road, which gives you the longest time floating. To find the exact location, drive on your way to Columbia Lake Provincial Park until you make two sharp turns like an S bend down a steep hill. Just after this turn is the drop-off point. From here, the float takes just over 2 hours in spring and up to 4 hours at the end of summer.
The second and shorter option starts near the Spruce Grove Campground along the Kootenay Highway. I’ve personally never started from here but have heard it takes under 1.5 hours in the spring and under 3 hours in the summer.
The finishing point is right along River Drive. In the middle of summer, you’ll see lots of people getting off and parked here, but the location is also on the map above.
4. Rent a boat and enjoy Lake Windermere
The lakes near Invermere really are the crown jewel of the valley! During the summer months, they pack out with visitors on boats enjoying the sunshine and water sports. The best part is that even if you don’t have your own boat, you can rent one at a very affordable price.
The last time we went to Invermere we rented a boat on Lake Windermere for 4 hours. Between the 7 of us, including fuel the rental was only $490 CAD. That’s $70 CAD each for a fun day on the water!
We had a blast cruising around the lake, stopping along the way to swim and even have a few drinks. Spending time on the water is easily my favorite way to enjoy Invermere.
We rented our boat from Pete’s Marina which is located right on the lake in Invermere. This also meant the boat was already launched and ready to go when we arrived. Our rental also included one temporary boat license for the driver, so even if you’re not licensed you can get a rental for the day.
5. Go skating or cross-country skiing on Lake Windermere
If you’re in Invermere during winter, skating or cross-country skiing on Lake Windermere is (literally) a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! It holds the Guinness Book of Records for the longest skating pathway in the world – you really can’t find anything else quite like it.
The Lake Windermere Whiteway is a 30-kilometer (18.6-mile) frozen trail, created back in 2006 to help connect communities during the wintertime. It has two starting points – Kinsmen Beach in Invermere and Windermere Beach – both of which are easily accessible from Invermere.
The Whiteway is maintained by the Toby Creek Nordic Ski Club, and it is regularly groomed for cross-country and skate skiing, with another path cleared for ice skating.
Access to the Whiteway is just $5 CAD per person and there are a ton of places where you can rent out skis/skates in Invermere. We have our own ice skates, so we were good to go. But if you do need to rent skates or skis, check out Syndicate Boardshop, which rents their adult ski packages for the day for $37 CAD, but during the wintertime, you’ll see rental signs pretty much everywhere!
As one of the most popular winter activities in Invermere, we had an amazing time skating on this record-holding lake. It’s really something you don’t want to miss out on!
6. Play a round of golf
One thing Invermere isn’t short on is golf courses! From Invermere, there are a whopping 10 golf courses within a short driving distance. So if you’re in Invermere during the summer, you’re in for a real treat.
Of course, not all the courses are the same, and depending on why you’re here, you’ll want to pick the course right for you. Here are a few I recommend checking out:
Greywolf Golf Course
If you’ve come to Invermere to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime golfing experience, then you simply must head to Greywolf Golf Course. This world-renowned course is rated as one of the top 15 courses in Canada and is about a 20-minute drive from Invermere.
Surrounded by gorgeous mountains, Greywolf Golf Course is home to the “Cliffhanger Hole”, which is considered one of the best in the world. Green fees do vary a bit depending on what time of the week you visit, but you can expect to pay between $159-179 CAD per person. This also includes a Power Cart with GPS & Complimentary Range Balls!
The Ridge at Copper Point
On a bit of a time crunch but still want to fit in a game of golf? Consider playing a round of 18 holes at The Ridge at Copper Point! It’s also only a short 5-minute drive from Invermere and is a par -62 Masters Course, meaning a game can be completed in under 3 hours.
The Ridge is one of two courses offered by Copper Point, and although it’s a short course, it’s still one of the best in the valley with some epic views. For the best golf rates, head here from Monday to Friday when the green fees are $88 CAD per person. You can also go after 4 pm for only $65 CAD per person!
Eagle Ranch Golf Course
For a truly breathtaking round of golf, few places are as beautiful and unspoiled as the Eagle Ranch Golf Gorse. We had heard about Eagle Ranch even before heading up to Invermere, so we knew we wanted to check it out!
With its incredible par-72 course, the fairways here are sure to wow and challenge even the most seasoned golfer out there. There are surprises around every corner, from the quiet mini canyons to the babbling streams – if you’re looking for greens that are unlike any other, we say try it out!
At only a 5-minute drive from Invermere, this course is super easy to reach. Just head up Eagle Ranch Trail from the main high street and you’re there! Green fees at Eagle Ranch Golf Course are dynamically priced, so they can vary depending on the day and time you visit, but you can expect to pay around $100 CAD per person.
7. Go whitewater rafting
Nothing gets your adrenaline running quite like a trip down a river full of rushing rapids in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.
This half-day whitewater rafting tour is the perfect introduction to rafting for beginners – we’ve seen families have a ton of fun heading downriver and grabbing photos on the way! It’s a super fun way to see the incredible beauty of the region, keeping you in the moment every step of the way. From the incredible Pedley Falls to the huge swathes of remote wilderness, there’s so much to see as you go.
The experience kicks off from the Radium Hot Springs village, about a 15-minute drive from Invermere. Meeting up with our guide at 9 am, we had a short safety briefing before getting strapped up in our lifesavers and heading out onto the water.
While there’s a maximum of 20 people per experience, we had about 10 others with us when we went, and it didn’t feel crowded in the least! We were also super glad that we dressed a bit warmer, as the weather can be a bit changeable up in the mountains.
Tickets for this 5-hour, action-packed experience cost $109 CAD per adult, $89 CAD for kids (5-14), and can be booked online here.
8. Visit the Invermere Soaring Centre
One of the coolest things you can do in Invermere is to go soaring. But you’re probably wondering – what exactly is it?
Flying high above Invermere in a modern sailplane (also known as a ‘glider’), soaring is also known as gliding, where you use gravity and air currents to help you soar through the skies, just like a bird!
We were a little skeptical at first – I mean, there’s no engine at all?! But when we arrived at the Invermere Soaring Centre, we saw that there was a whole lot more to the sport than meets the eye. Not only is it one of the best ways to get an amazing view of the mountains and valleys, but Invermere is actually known as one of the best mountain soaring sites in the world!
From our experience, the best time to try soaring here is from May to September, as the weather tends to play ball in the summer (the last thing you want is a cloudy or rainy day).
Oh, and did we mention you actually get to FLY the sailplane? As part of this 45 to 60-minute tour, one of the friendly and super knowledgeable pilots will teach you how to operate the high-performance Duo Duscus plane. It’s actually really straightforward, and the pilot is always on hand to assist whenever needed!
This tour is typically done in the afternoon and the Soaring Centre is located at Invermere’s airport, just on the edge of town. Tickets cost $280 CAD per person, but you can also add on an additional half hour for $90 CAD! We highly recommend booking online in advance to secure the best times.
9. Visit Radium Hot Springs
In the Columbia Valley where Invermere sits, the most popular attraction by far is the Radium Hot Springs. The springs, which are fed by natural spring water, flow into a man-made pool which is simply the most divine place to relax after a busy day!
The springs are actually in Kootenay National Park, so they’re owned by Parks Canada, which thankfully keeps the entrance fee low at only $16.50 CAD for adults and $14.25 CAD for youths (3-17). While this is a pretty steep jump in price from the $8 per adult they were charging a few years ago, it is still pretty reasonable considering the quality of the hot springs.
This is only one of three hot springs owned by Parks Canada, and although I prefer the stunning Banff and Miette Hot Springs, it’s still a great attraction near Invermere that’s worth checking out.
The best part though is that this is an amazing year-round activity, with winter actually being the better time to visit. I love sitting in the warm water surrounded by snow – it’s so magical!
To reach the springs, you’ll need to drive 15 minutes from Invermere to the small town of Radium. From here, head out of town towards Kootenay National Park, and the springs are on your right with the overflow car park on your left.
Although we were totally up for an early morning dip in the springs, they’re only open from 11:30 am to 9 pm on weekdays and 10:30 am to 9 pm on the weekends, so bear that in mind! They do also occasionally close the springs for maintenance, so be sure to double-check the website before you go.
10. Take it easy at Kinsmen Beach
While James Chabot Provincial Park has got to be our favorite beach in the area, it’s closely followed by Kinsmen Beach! We saw plenty of families with young kids coming here to relax, with loads of space to play despite it being a fairly small beach.
You’ll find Kinsmen Beach right in the heart of Invermere, and there are also a ton of community events that are held here every year, including the Snowflake Festival which takes place in January, Canada Day Celebrations, and much more. It’s really worth keeping an eye out for events happening here.
Bailey and I came here one day and just walked the foreshore before heading to the distillery for a tasting. Although we didn’t stay long (as we had just spent the day over at James Chabot Provincial Park), we are definitely going to return on our next trip.
You’ll find parking right by the beach, but if this is full, there is also a large amount of overflow parking at the Rotary Ball Park and Tennis Courts, right next to Dorothy Lake.
11. Have a beer at Arrowhead Brewing
The craft beer scene in Canada has exploded recently. Nowadays, just about every mountain town has its own brewery, and Invermere is no exception. Arrowhead Brewing Company is Invermere’s local brewery and for any beer lover, a visit is a must.
The brewery serves a gigantic range of beers, including 7 permanent beers as well as a few seasonal brews for you to try. My personal favorite beer is the “I’m so Freakin Hoppy IPA” (kudos for the name, guys). I also love their honey ale, especially on a summer’s day on the outside deck at the brewery!
While the brewery doesn’t serve hot food, you can purchase homemade snacks like beef jerky to keep you topped up as you taste their menu. The wonderful Kalamata Grill is also nearby, so if you fancy something more to eat, the Greek food here is awesome.
Beers at the brewery cost around $8 CAD and their opening hours do vary depending on the day, so be sure to check their website before you go. They also tend to throw special events over the weekends, so feel free to join in on the fun if there’s one taking place.
Related read: There is also a craft brewery just a couple of towns over in Cranbrook that’s delicious! Check out all the fun things to do in Cranbrook, BC!
12. Drive or hike Swansea Mountain
If you want to enjoy one of the best views of the Columbia Valley then you simply must take a drive or hike up Swansea Mountain. Only a short drive from Invermere, Swansea Mountain is a beautiful recreational area that’s super popular among hikers and mountain bikers (more on this to come!) who use the access road up to access a range of downhill trails.
At the bottom of the mountain, there is a small car park and recreational area with picnic tables. From here, you can either park and hike up Swansea Mountain, or take your vehicle further to the summit car park.
Going to the summit parking lot is faster and recommended for those who aren’t a big fan of hiking, but you’ll need a high clearance 2 wheel drive vehicle or a 4 wheel drive – we recommend the latter! From the top parking lot, there’s a short, 15-minute walk to reach the true summit via a 700-meter trail with a 105-meter elevation gain.
If you decide to park at the bottom parking lot, we recommend following the Mount Swansea Double Peak Loop which is a 12.6-kilometer (7.8-mile) loop track with a 750-meter (2,460-foot) elevation gain that starts from the parking lot. It’s a relatively challenging trail that around 4 to 5 hours to complete, but you’re sure to enjoy the views along the way!
Important: The area around Swansea Mountain is bear country, so always carry bear spray and hike in groups.
13. Visit the Windermere Valley Museum
Wherever we go, we love learning about the local culture and history, and the Windermere Valley Museum is the perfect place to go for this in Invermere! This museum houses an extensive photograph collection as well as hundreds of artifacts that give a fascinating glimpse into what life has been like here over the years.
Our favorite part about our visit was looking around the historic schoolhouse, which was used back in the early 1900s! There’s also a notary building/general store together with numerous cabins which would have been lived in by local families and workers that you can poke your head around.
There are also some outside exhibits to check out too! The Wagon Shed is home to historic wagons and carriages, while the Implement Shed houses the tools used throughout the years by the locals in farming and other manual labor jobs.
Just outside of the museum, we spent some time at a lovely grassy area, the perfect spot for a photo with the views looking out onto Windermere Lake and the Columbia River!
You can find the Windermere Valley Museum at 222 6th Avenue right in central Invermere. Entrance to the museum is by donation, and it’s also worth checking their website for opening hours as they do change with the season.
14. Explore Kootenay National Park
Kootenay National Park is one of Canada’s most beautiful national parks, yet year-on-year it remains one of the least visited. To me, this is such a shame! So, if you’re headed to Invermere don’t miss the chance to spend a day exploring the park.
It’s only a short 15-minute drive from downtown Invermere to the border of Kootenay National Park. Once past the gates, the national park is yours to explore. You can also spot lots of wildlife along the highway and stop and random viewpoints and pull-over bays. Of course, you’ll need a Canada Parks Pass for this, but it’s totally worth it!
There are loads of amazing attractions to visit and lots can be done in only one day! Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Kootenay National Park:
Walk the Marble Canyon
The scenic Marble Canyon is one of the easiest attractions to get to in Kootenay, all you need to do is park in the Marble Canyon parking lot that’s right off the highway! From there, the trail along the canyon makes for some amazing photos, and it’s also quite short, at about 1 km (0.6 miles) long.
Even if you’ve visited here before, we highly recommend visiting at a different time of year too. The canyon looks so surreal in winter, with the snow painting a perfect picture above the crystal-clear waters!
Hike to Stanley Glacier
Combining the powers of ice and fire, the hike to Stanley Glacier guides you through an area that was burnt in forest fires in 1968 and 2003, and is now undergoing a beautiful transformation! Wildflowers, willows, and lodgepole pine trees are all making a huge comeback, and are quite the sight to see as you make your way to Stanley Glacier.
The hike itself is around 4.2 kilometers (2.6 miles) long, and is quite straightforward if you’ve got a moderate degree of physical fitness. A round trip takes about 3 hours, and the views from the top of the trail are to die for!
Check out the Paint Pots
Take one look at these amazing mineral pools, and it’s easy to see where they get their name from! Starting at the Ochre Beds, the trail to the Paint Pots is an easy walk of less than 2 km (1.2 miles) and should only take about 30 minutes.
We were really impressed by the stunning green, yellow, and orange colors of the pools, and were delighted to learn that the whole area is sacred to the Ktunaxa people, who have made ochre paint here for generations.
Test your mettle on the hike to Floe Lake
Are you up for a serious challenge? This hike to Floe Lake is definitely up there with some of the most difficult single-day routes we’ve been on, but the views make it oh-so worth it! All-in-all, it’s about a 21-kilometer (13-miles) roundtrip (out and back) from the Floe Lake parking lot.
The trail officially ends at the Floe Lake Backcountry Campground where you can opt to stay if you have a booking or enjoy some time at the lake and hike back to your car. We recommend staying the night, completing this hike in just one day would be very challenging for most, and to us, it makes for a great overnight backcountry hike.
15. Eat the best fried chicken at Ullr Bar
Having friends in Invermere means we get the best recommendations for places to eat. One of those was Ullr Bar to enjoy some of the best fried chicken I’ve ever had!
If I’m being honest, I was a little skeptical that such amazing fried chicken could possibly come from the small humble town of Invermere in BC – but boy, was I wrong! The fried chicken at Ullr Bar really is that amazing and a meal here is a great way to spend lunch or dinner in Invermere.
The menu at Ullr Bar is small and centered mostly around their amazing fried chicken. Bailey loved the classic fried chicken whereas my personal favorite was the fried chicken sandwich, which was unreal. They also make carefully crafted cocktails including a chili margarita which paired well with my sandwich on their outdoor patio.
You’ll find the bar right in downtown Invermere, and it’s also the best place in town to enjoy a fun night out! They have live music on weekends and a large dance floor. So, as the sun goes down, your day doesn’t have to end if you head over to Ullr Bar.
16. Visit the Invermere Farmers Market
Personally, I just love wandering and eating my way through a good farmers’ market. And thankfully during the summer in Invermere, the Invermere Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm in the Lakeview Parking Lot.
All of the stall owners here either bake, grow, or make their own products and there’s not only food on offer, but there are also some really unusual jewelry and craft items available for purchase too!
There are probably over 100 stalls here, with some of my favorite stalls including Me & The White Guys Fry-Bread for delicious, freshly made fry-bread, and Free Wolf Pastries which sells vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, as well as regular sweet treats.
As for non-food-related stalls, I’ve picked up some beautiful jewelry pieces at Tumbled Earth the few times I’ve visited! I also love picking up some cold-pressed soaps from Anchor Organics, who are actually from nearby Golden, B.C.
Important note: The Invermere Farmers Market typically runs from mid-June to mid-September.
17. Taste your way through Taynton Bay Spirits
Bailey and I love the show Dragons Den (similar to Shark Tank in the USA)! So when we saw an episode featuring a distillery in Invermere, BC we just had to check it out for ourselves.
Taynton Bay Spirits is Invermere’s only distillery and visiting is easily one of the best things to do in the area. The reason? They make some of the most unique and delicious infused liquor we’ve ever tasted.
The distillery is most famous for its infused vodkas, with great-tasting flavors such as Ginger Matcha Tea, Strawberry Herbal Tea, and Blueberry Rooibos. These infused vodkas are around 18% alcohol and can be enjoyed straight or mixed.
They also distill straight liquor with my favorite being the raspberry vodka that’s 40% alcohol, but tastes nothing like it! All of their blends use no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners, and the quality is easy to taste.
The distillery is located below The Station Neighborhood Pub, and they offer a very generous free tasting that just about covers every product they sell. Afterward, you can get a bottle to go – as we did – and enjoy it with friends! This also makes a great souvenir from your holiday in Invermere.
18. Go skiing or snowboarding
Come wintertime, Invermere transforms into a winter paradise where tourists from across the country come to enjoy lots of snow sports like snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, dog sledding, and more!
With that said, the most popular winter sport in Invermere is skiing and snowboarding at the nearby ski resorts. In fact, there are two resorts within driving distance of Invermere, with the best and largest being Panorama Mountain Resort.
When we first visited Panorama Mountain Resort, we weren’t too sure what exactly to expect, although we had heard a lot of good things! The first thing that struck us was just how close the resort was to town, it’s only a 20-minute drive from Invermere.
We also really like that the resort caters to beginners as well as experienced skiers and snowboarders, with 4 large chairlifts as well as a few smaller ones for beginners. The runs range in difficulty, from green all the way to double black, so there’s a good mix for everyone.
There’s a real community feel throughout the resort, so much so that it actually feels more like a warm and inviting village than just another ski resort. We were blown away by just how many creative and mouth-watering restaurants there were on offer as well, from the laid-back T-Bar and Grill to the cute and cozy Fireside Café. For foodies like us, we really were over the moon!
Open from early December through to mid-April, there are a few different options when it comes to booking the Panorama Mountain Resort, with the cheapest option being to purchase just the winter lift tickets. These full-day lift passes cost around $149 CAD per adult, $131 CAD for youths (13-17), and $70 CAD for kids 6-12.
Of course, there’s also the option to book a stay here at the resort lodging. Rates here start at $256 CAD per night and will also give you access to the fitness center, pools, hot tubs, and much more! For those looking to spend a few days hitting the slopes and really discovering all that Panorama has to offer, we could see this being an incredibly rewarding and fun experience.
For those with kids who are just starting out, we’d recommend considering the smaller but cheaper Fairmont Hot Springs Ski Resort. The skifield here has just the one ski lift, which we think is a lot less intimidating for new skiers.
Day passes here do vary a bit in price depending on when in the week you visit, but you can expect it to cost between $62-72 CAD for adults, $50-60 CAD for youths (13-17), and $34-44 CAD for kids (6-12). The price is a lot more affordable than Panorama, which is great for people just learning or families with younger kids.
If you don’t mind venturing a little further afield, Kimberley has a great ski resort and so does Fernie. There’s lots to do in Fernie in the winter, so you might want to plan a little side trip there and spend a night or two.
Regardless of where you go, if you love skiing or snowboarding and want to avoid the crowds at the larger resorts, then Invermere is the place to visit.
Related read: If you’re looking for the ultimate skiing experience, we highly recommend visiting Golden, BC in winter!
19. Ride the chairlift at Panorama for sightseeing & hiking
You don’t have to visit Invermere in winter or be a skier to enjoy mountain views from the top of the chairlift at the nearby ski resort! In fact, you can ride the Mile 1 Express Chairlift at Panorama Mountain Resort just to check out the views. Rising to 5,300 feet (1,615 meters), the scenery on the way up is out of this world!
We snapped some great shots of the Purcell Mountains and Mount Nelson as we sat inside our cozy gondola, and once we arrived at the summit, we found a ton of hiking trails that ranged in length and difficulty.
My personal favorite was the Cox Creek Trail, which is 3.5 km (2.2 mi) in total and will take most people about an hour to complete. It’s a family favorite that is rated as easy since it’s a downhill hike, ending at the Upper Village. Along the way, we even saw a few elk making their way through the valley, and had the chance to stop at some very photogenic viewpoints.
The Summit Trail is another popular option, but it’s much more difficult and will take 2 to 3 hours to complete. It’s rated as moderate/difficult with an elevation gain of about 930 meters (3,051 feet). This one is best for experienced hikers who are looking for a challenge that’s also not too long.
It’s important to note that most of the hiking trails on Panorama are only open from the end of June to early September.
20. Mountain biking and trail riding
If you missed out on hitting the slopes, don’t worry – you can still have an epic adventure in Invermere on two wheels! There are literally so many trails to try out that it would take months to finish them all – the last time we checked there were over 160 mountain bike trails, and another 80 trails appropriate for e-bikes (flatter, easier rides).
Trails here are color-coded similar to ski runs, and are grouped into networks around the region, including Panorama Mountain Resort, Swansea Mountain Recreation Site, or Lillian Lake. So if you’re heading over to one of these areas, you can probably hit a few different trails in one go.
We had a blast on the South Park trail over at Swansea Mountain Recreation Site, which is a moderately difficult trail that’s about 2.9 miles (4.6 km) long and is packed with flowy downhill fun! For something a bit easier, we’d recommend heading across to Panorama Mountain Resort, which has a ton of easy routes like the Rocking Horse and Let it Ride trails.
Just be aware that some sites, like the Panorama Mountain Resort, are only open during certain times of the year. For example, Panorama trail dates vary but generally are open on weekends from mid-May to June, and then daily from late June to early September.
Haven’t brought a bike with you? No problem! There are a ton of places where you can rent bikes here in Invermere, with resorts like Panorama having their own dedicated bike rental service. You can also find places in town like Lakeside Bike Co, which has a large selection of rental bikes to choose from.
If you’re looking to hit the trails, we highly recommend taking the time to do some advanced planning before your trip and selecting a few routes that fit your comfort and skill level. Of course, the town itself is also super bike-friendly – one of our favorite things to do is just cruise down the streets on our bikes and see where we end up!
21. Enjoy Fairmont Hot Springs
The Radium Hot Springs isn’t the only hot springs in the Columbia Valley near Invermere! Fairmont Hot Springs (which is the name of the town) also has its very own hot springs that’s the perfect place to relax after a day of adventure.
These springs are privately owned and operated by the Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and in my opinion, they are a little nicer than Radium. The views are the highlight (and gosh are they great!), but the pool is also on the larger side too.
As of a recent change in 2022, the hot springs are currently only open to guests of the resort, campground, or members. However, you can now buy a one-day membership for $20 CAD or if you’re looking for an exciting way to indulge yourself, why not book a room here for one night? Rooms here start from $139 CAD per night, and we’d say they are a great option for families with kids and couples alike.
22. Book a tubing/wakeboarding tour
If renting out your own boat sounds a little stressful, you can also book this Airbnb experience with our Airbnb host named Mike. That way you can simply sit back and relax while someone else does all the heavy lifting – not a bad deal!
Mike has a beautiful ski boat that’s much nicer than the rentals you’d typically find, and you won’t need a designated driver or need to rent extra equipment for wakeboarding and tubing. There’s also a cooler on board which you can stock up with your own drinks and snacks – how neat!
Because the tour is on Airbnb Experience, it’s also much cheaper than you’d expect to pay elsewhere. The best part? You only need two people to book the tour, but can have up to 9 people for the exact same price – the more the merrier.
This thrilling experience starts from $740 CAD per group for 4 hours of fun on Columbia Lake. That’s a little over $80 CAD each if you have a full group! You can check your dates and book this experience online here.
Alternatively, Nauti Watersports offers a 2-hour charter for up to 8 people for $570 CAD, which we think would be perfect for families or groups of friends looking to spend some quality time out on the water. They supply all the gas, gear, lifejackets, boat driver, and insurance that you’ll need for an incredible day out!
Nauti Watersports is located at the marina in Windermere, just a ten-minute drive from Invermere.
23. Test your nerves Valley Zipline Adventures
Where are all my adrenaline seekers at? This one’s for you! Valley Zipline Adventures is not for the faint-hearted, with a roué of 7 zip lines over a section of 2,000 feet (610 meters). Soaring through the air, over the stunning Dry Gulch Valley, we couldn’t help but feel like kids again, zipping off to a new adventure!
For another height-defying activity that we highly recommend (pun intended), check out the 35-foot (10.6-meter) climbing wall or the 32-foot (9.7-meter) Jump Tower… Basically, you can just climb up things and jump off things while your friendly guides keep an eye on you – right up our street.
All in all, the whole experience takes about 1.5 hours, and you’ll need to be at least 4 feet tall (122 cm) to ride, oh and don’t forget to bring a pinch of courage with you!
Tickets for this epic Zipline experience start from $99 CAD per adult, and $89 CAD for youths (15 and under). Tours also operate at 11 am, 1 pm, and 3 pm, but this experience is pretty popular and normally books up a couple of weeks ahead, so we recommend booking well in advance.
Fancy turning your experience into a full-day extravaganza? Valley Zipline Adventures partners with other businesses in the area, so you can bundle your zipline experience with a Segway tour, massage, beer tasting, ATV adventure, or white-water rafting, among so many others. These options can be an additional $30-$100 CAD on top of the Zipline price, depending on which you choose.
24. Eat delicious smoked meats at Smokehouse 93
It was my nose that led me to Smokehouse 93! Located along the highway, we must have passed it just about every day, and every time we did my stomach made me know about it. This led to a much-belated visit on the last day of our most recent trip, and the only thing I regret is not going sooner.
This small roadside smokehouse serves the most amazing meats with my favorite being the AAA Canadian Beef Brisket! The amazing folks over there serve their food either by weight on its own or in burgers and other sides.
While I got the Brisket Burger and loved it, there are a whole bunch of amazing options on their menu! The meat literally falls apart, and the flavors are incredible. Bailey is a mac and cheese lover, so she got the “Meat and Mac” which comes with brisket on top.
Honestly, if you love smoked meats then Smokehouse 93 will be your holy grail during your visit to Invermere!
25. Visit the Dutch Creek Hoodoos
Said by the Ktunaxa Nation to be the ribcage of the ancient sea beast, Yawunik, the Dutch Creek Hoodoos are quite the sight to behold, with their sharp jutting edges painting a beautiful picture! I’m just glad the sea beast won’t be making a return anytime soon…
The Hoodoos crop up across Canada, and blow us away every time we see them! Another awesome location to see these natural marvels is Drumheller in Alberta, they’re really something to behold.
As for Dutch Creek, one way to see the Hoodoos is from Highway 93/95. From the road and pull-over bays, you actually get great views of the Hoodoos, making it a great rest stop as part of a road trip.
However, if you want to get up close and personal, then the Hoodoo trail is one of the best ways to explore them. It’s not particularly difficult as a 3.4 kilometer (2.1-mile) out and back trail with about 135 meters (443 feet) of elevation gain.
Although you can see the Hoodoos from the highway, the trail gives you another amazing perspective and a wonderful view of the valley, so we’re a little biased! I’d allow around 2 hours to complete the track and spend some time at the top. The trail starts over on Westside Road off Highway 93/95.
26. Explore Pothole Park
There are too many great events to list here, but one of our favorites is the weird and wonderful Summerlude event, which takes place in mid-July and is full of all types of festive family fun. There’s also the much-loved summertime Movies in the Mountains event and the Invermere Light-Up Festival that takes place in November, which are always a hit!
Interestingly, the park is actually sunken into the ground, below street level – hence the name and was up until recently a wild, unmaintained part of the city. But in 2005 the local council decided it was time to turn it into something great.
And that they have! Today it is a lovely scenic park with an amphitheater, a small bridge, a forested section, and a flat path that runs the outskirts of the park. Most days during the warmer months you’ll find lots of locals here, particularly families, walking, having a picnic, or playing soccer. In fact, this is a great place to meet people!
Top tip: The large grassy area here is the perfect place for a picnic in the summer months!
27. Head to Radium to explore Sinclair Canyon
As the name suggests, this trail system follows Sinclair Creek, offering some easy and enjoyable walks right next to the rushing river. Good news for dog owners – the trails are all off-leash dog areas!
When we last visited, we made our way down the main trail and came across some pretty neat kiosks, which were full of helpful information about the area! It was amazing to learn just how important the river is for trout and salmon spawning, as well as all of the work that has gone into habitat restoration.
So if you have a couple of hours to spare and are looking for somewhere to stretch your legs, we think this is a great choice! There are even a couple of picnic tables in the open area which would make for the perfect lunch stop.
28. Go camping
Camping has got to be one of the quintessential Canadian experiences. And what better place to do it than in the Columbia Valley?
Plus, camping is a cheaper way to stay and play in the area without breaking the bank with hotels! Here are a couple of our favorites near Invermere:
Dry Gulch Provincial Park
Dry Gulch is one of the closest campgrounds to Invermere, only a 10-minute drive away from town! We love to visit the very best (and often busy!) spots around, and if you’re like us, you’ll know that there’s nothing better than unwinding at a relaxing campsite like this after a packed day.
It’s quite a small and cozy campground, with about 27 sites that are surrounded by trees, so it’s cool and shady during the hot summers. There are all the basics that you could want, too, including flush toilets, campfire rings, drinking water, and vehicle-accessible camping. A site here starts from $25 CAD per night, and you can reserve your spot through the BC Provincial Parks site here.
Located within Kootenay National Park, Redstreak campground can be found on Redstreak Road, about a 2.5 km (1.5 mile) journey from Radium Hot Springs. If you fancy stretching your legs, there’s also a fairly steep 1.8-km (1.1-mile) trail that leads from the campground back into town, so it’s pretty straightforward to go and grab any extra groceries you need.
One of our favorite parts about this campground is that it sits on a sunny plateau area, with great views overlooking the valley. There are also many amenities such as kitchen shelters, drinking water, fire rings, playgrounds, cell coverage, and food storage. Basically, everything you need!
To book Redstreak, head over to the Parks Canada website to secure your space. The campground is open from April through to October, with prices around $40 CAD per night for a site. There are also a few extra small fees for things like a fire permit and using the dump station, so be sure to check out the full list of costs here.
29. Relax at Olive Lake
All of these hiking and outdoor activities probably have you itching for some R&R! If you need a day to just relax and let yourself unwind, check out the wonderful Olive Lake.
Located just 29 kilometers (18 miles) from Invermere in Kootenay National Park, Olive Lake is perfectly picturesque and is my go-to place to spend a peaceful afternoon with a good book! There are also plenty of picnic tables around the lake, so bring along some lunch and let the time fly by.
Important Note: You’ll need a Park Pass to explore Kootenay National Park! These passes can be obtained in the town of Radium Hot Springs, online, or at any national park office.
30. Visit Lussier Hot Springs
If when you think of hot springs you think of wild, natural pools bubbling with spring water, then maybe you weren’t quite so keen on Fairmont Hot Springs and Radium Hot Springs. Both of these places are really popular, but they are a lot closer to a swimming pool than a natural spring!
For something a little more in tune with nature, why not try out Lussier Hot Springs, about an hour’s drive from Invermere? Here, you’ll find the springs on the side of a river located in the Kootenay Mountains in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park.
There’s not one, not two, but three rock-walled, gravel-bottom pools that you can explore! Although these walls and bottoms are somewhat man-made, the rest of the pools are not, so they look and feel like “wild hot springs.”
To get to the springs you will need to go down a well-maintained dirt road, and then travel a short hike down a maintained trail with wooden railings. When we last went, we saw a few families bringing kids for their very first hot springs experience, which made us remember our first time coming here!
The upper pool is usually around 47 °C (118 °F), but can get as low as 34 °C (94 °F). As the pools cascade down, the spring seems to get slightly cooler. And if you want, you can jump in the river for a cold plunge to cool off! The springs can get pretty busy, so I recommend trying to go early in the day during the week if possible.
If you are in need of a changing room or restroom, you can find them in the parking right off the road (a 5-minute walk to the springs). Don’t expect anything too fancy though, think more of outhouses and old wooden stalls. We also didn’t have cell service for most of our trip here!
Day Trips from Invermere
Besides visiting Invermere’s neighbor, Radium, there are a few other cute towns nearby worth a day trip from Invermere. Some other nearby places worth visiting on a day (or overnight) trip include:
- Golden – Whether you’re visiting Golden in the winter or summer, there’s plenty to do and see here. Hit the slopes, walk Canada’s highest suspension bridge, or dine at Canada’s highest-altitude restaurant! Golden is located about a 1 hour and 20-minute drive from Invermere.
- Fernie – This small town is surrounded by towering mountains and has so many fun things to do. Fernie Mountain Resort is known as an excellent place to hit the slopes in winter. Hiking enthusiasts also love Fernie for its quiet trails and stunning landscapes. Fernie is located just over two hours from Invermere, so it might be best to spend a night or two here.
- Kimberley – This tiny town looks like something out of a movie scene – it is so picturesque. The colorful historic buildings that line the streets of Kimberley are worth seeing on their own. Besides that, other fun things to do in Kimberley include hitting the slopes here in the winter and chasing waterfalls in the summer. Kimberley is about a 1.5-hour drive from Invermere.
Where to Stay in Invermere, BC
After a day exploring some of the amazing activities in Invermere, you’re going to want somewhere just as special to rest your head! We’ve got you covered with some of our favorite places to say in Invermere:
Invermere Hostel – $
Who said backpackers and budget travelers can’t stay in a bit of style? Invermere Hostel is a great budget-friendly option that’s got all the amenities you could want, including a shared kitchen, comfortable dorms, free WiFi, and private rooms too!
It’s also in such a great location, being only a few minutes walk from our local favorite spot, James Cabot Provincial Park. The hostel is also super close to all the other amazing activities there are in central Invermere, like visiting Arrowhead Brewery or stopping by Pothole Park.
Rooms here start at $92 CAD per night and can be booked online here.
Copper Point Resort – $$
Located on the Copper Point Golf Course, this Copper Point Resort is a great mid-range option for travelers and a spot we’ve tried ourselves before! Although it’s a few kilometers out of town, the views from the rooms are spectacular, overlooking the resort’s very own golf course.
Just a 5-minute drive away from Windermere Lake, all the suites here are fully equipped with kitchens and even have a wine rack for those cozy nights in. We had a blast on the tennis courts, and there’s also an on-site fitness studio for burning off those calories from Smokehouse 93!
Rates here start at $147 CAD and you can secure your dates here.
Holiday Homes in Invermere
On our visits to the Columbia Valley, we’ve found there’s a huge market for stays at holiday homes and private cabins. We usually travel in a large group and love the fact that holiday homes have us all in one house together with everything we need to bbq and hang out. Here are a few of our favorites!
Oasis Getaway – $$
Less than a 10-minute drive from central Invermere, Oasis Getaway is a beautiful holiday home that sleeps up to 9 people, with over 2000 square feet (185 square meters) of space to enjoy. With its own double garage, it’s also a couple of minutes drive from Kootenay Highway, so there’s easy access to Kootenay National Park and Windermere Lake too.
One night here starts at $247 CAD, which we think is a great price considering how many people it sleeps! You can check dates and secure your stay here.
Cozy Mountain – $$
Cozy Mountain really couldn’t be any closer to central Invermere. This awesome property sleeps up to 5 and has its very own hot tub and pool – it’s like its own mini resort! With free WiFi, a public fitness center nearby, and its own patio, it’ll definitely be difficult to leave come the end of your trip.
Rates for Cozy Mountain start at $241 CAD and you can book your spot here on Booking.com.
Other places to stay near Invermere
There are lots of amazing Airbnbs in Radium that you should check out – they are usually cheaper than those you’ll find in Invermere too!
Thanks for Reading!
With a list of things to do in Invermere as amazing as this, it’s no wonder the region is becoming more popular! Personally, I think the Columbia Valley has way more charm than the Okanagan, and with more unique attractions, it’s one of Canada’s top tourist destinations.
Thanks so much for reading our guide to the best things to do in Invermere, BC. Both Bailey and I hope it’s helped you plan your upcoming trip. If you found this blog helpful, be sure to check out all our other Canada blogs or these related articles below!