Why Travel from Osoyoos to Castlegar?
This 249 km (3 hours) stretch of the Crowsnest Highway passes through rugged and scenic parts of southern British Columbia. This route passes through many mountain, ski, or forestry towns close to the Canada-US border.
Heading east from Highway 97, you pass through Osoyoos’ main tourist street, with accommodation, dining, and retail, which as it approaches Lake Osoyoos turns into a causeway over the lake. As you climb up the east side of the lake, you pass the Nk’Mip Winery, owned by the Osoyoos First Nation (they also own a golf course and an RV Park there, too). You climb to Anarchist Summit 1236 m (4055 ft) with the Anarchist Protected Area north of the highway.
Then Highway 3 snakes around as it navigates very rugged terrain, and you pass Anarchist Lookout on eastbound side, Osoyoos Lookout on the westbound side, and a few kilometres further (23 km from Osoyoos) a rest area with picnic tables eastbound, and a rest area /brake check area westbound, another 1.5 km east is a Striding Sasquatch Statue. The highway then begins to drop elevation a bit.
At Rock Creek, the highway follows the eastward path of the Kettle River (and the Kettle River Recreation Area is just to the north of town). Then it passed the town of Greenwood and the Phoenix Mountain Ski Area, before heading north and then back south to Grand Forks just north of the Canada-USA border.
The highway heads east to the town are resort community of Christina Lake, before it heads north past Gladstone Provincial Park, and past Nancy Green Provincial Park where the highway climbs over Nancy Green Summit (Blueberry Pass) 1575 m (5167 ft) and to continues to Castlegar, where it crosses the Columbia River.
Castlegar is a good pitstop on this stretch of the Crowsnest Highway. To the NE of Castlegar is the hippy town of Nelson which lies on the West Arm of Kootenay Lake and has stunning views of the Kokanee Glacier to the north of town. To the south of Castlegar are the towns of Trail and Rossland, known for the Rossland Ski Resort (home of Olympic skier Nancy Green).
Osoyoos to Castlegar (Crowsnest Highway) Route Map