Between Radium Hot Springs and Kimberly, on Hwy 95, you will come across Invermere, Windermere, and Fairmont Hot Springs. Invermere and Windermere are located on the Windermere Lake while Fairmont Hot Springs is between Columbia Lake and Windermere Lake. This valley, known as one of the sunniest spots in Canada, can be reached by jet or car, as there is a new airport at Fairmont Hot Springs serviced by flights from Vancouver and Calgary.
Windermere Lake is one of the warmest in the Rockies. In the summer fishing, sailing, water-skiing, swimming and canoeing are the main activities. In October and September you can see Bald Eagles gathering to feast on spawning Kokanee at the mouth of Windermere Creek.
On the West Side of Windermere Lake, Invermere has 2 beautiful beaches. The village contains many captivating boutiques and cafes. In July you can enjoy the music and other entertainment during Visitor Appreciation Day along with a complimentary pancake breakfast. In August there is the Windermere Loop Triathlon and every summer the village hosts a major hanggliding competition. Invermere is also home to the Windermere Valley Museum and the Pynelogs Cultural Centre. The museum features mining and railway history and is housed in a heritage building. The cultural centre is housed in a historic building, built by a former Lieutenant Governor of BC, and holds exhibits, theatre, concerts, and workshops.
Just 17.5 km (10.9 mi.) west of Invermere is Panorama. Here you can heli-ski, ride, whitewater raft, hike, golf, and more bike. You can also cross-country ski or just plain ski down a hill. The mountain features a vertical drop of 1158m (.625 mi.), a run of 3.5 km (2.2 mi.) and plenty of lifts.
Windermere is located on the East Side of the lake and is home to BC's biggest robbery. In 1887 St. Peter's Church was built 209 km (130 mi.) away in Donald. The CPR moved it's operations 10 years later and most of the citizens of Donald moved to Revelstoke. One couple who did not go to Revelstoke was Rufus and Celina Kimpton. They went to Windermere and so did the church. Somewhere along the way the Kimptons realized they didn't have the bell and the folks in Revelstoke realized their church was missing. The church is now standing on Kootenay St. in Windermere while the bell is hanging in a steeple in Golden. One other major attraction of Windermere Valley is golf. There are 5 world class courses. One is an 18-hole course cut into the edge of a mountain. Another course has unique crowned greens, while still another runs along 4km (2.4 mi.) of the Columbia River's headwaters.
Fairmont Hot Springs
The Ktunaxa people discovered Fairmont Hot Springs long ago. Since the early 1900s the property has been run as a ranch and resort. Since that time the resort has expanded and the ranch and its award winning cattle have ceased to exist. The Hot Springs are odorless and have no sulphur. The natural mineral waters of the pools are between 35C and 45C (95F and 113F).
Fairmont Ski resort has a vertical drop of 304m (.19 mi.) and a longest run of 1.5km (.93 mi.). Cross-country skiers will enjoy the 20km (12.4 mi.) of trails.