It’s true that the East Shore has the most beautiful beaches on Kootenay Lake. Most are easily accessible from HWY 3a and others require a bit more planning. The Lakes glacier fed waters provide the ultimate refuge from the summer heat. Bring your kayaks or canoes and discover the “big” lake’s many hidden secrets. Relax, soak up the sun and take in the epic mountain vistas and sunsets on uncrowded beaches. Stay awhile and discover the many unique history, recreation, culture and well being opportunities that the East Shore has to offer.
• Crawford Bay / West Beach
The recently acquired Crawford Creek Regional Park hosts two gorgeous public beaches. Easily accessible and safe for family swimming. Pit toilets with plan for improvements. Parking at the de-commissioned airstrip or drive in on the rough existing road.
GPS: 49o 40’19.02”N / 116o 49’06.12”W
A trail and boat access beach located 5km north of Riondel. Trail head is well signed on the left with room for parking. The hike down takes about 40 min. The RSTBC site has a picnic table and pit toilets.
GPS: 49o 48’32.42 N 116o51’19.71”
*Detailed driving and access information https//www.estba.ca/2016/04/12/pebble-beach/
• Riondel Campground
This is a beautiful pebble beach with a spectacular view of the “big” lake and mountains. Full access washrooms available.
GPS: 49o 46’04.76” N / 116o 51’30.76” W
• Kootenay Bay Beach at the ferry landing
A great place to cool off in the summer while waiting for the ferry. Enjoy lunch or an ice cream at one of the food service businesses. Full access washrooms. GPS: 49o 40’33.21” N / 116o 52”23.48” W
• Gray Creek Hall
This historic building offers a couple of small beach accesses among boulders. Clothing optional on the beach but not in the Hall. Pit toilets available. The Hall is a one minute drive south from the Gray Creek Store.
GPS: 49o 37”20.73” N / 116o 47’22.89” W
• Burden’s Cut/Gambling Otter
A slightly challenging access reveals a very special south facing pebble beach as well as a forested walking area. Plenty of parking across the highway. No washrooms. 10 min drive south from “down town” Gray Creek.
GPS: 49o 33’34.02” N / 116o 47’ 38.64” W
• Lockhart Beach Provincial Park
http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/lockhart_bch/ White sand beaches with a full 180’ view of the “big” lake. Picnic tables and pit toilets available Located in Boswell
GPS: 49o 30’33.52” N / 116o 47’08.78” W
• Mackie Beach Park
A local favorite just off HWY 3a north of the boat launch in Boswell. Pit toilets and picnic tables are located closer to the beach. Donation requested for site maintenance. Boat accessible
GPS: 49o 46’95.05 N -116o 76’82.05
• Midge Creek Provincial Park *boat access only
Over a kilometer of sandy white beach. Keep an eye out for Osprey and Eagle nests. Practice “leave no trace” camping methods.
• Drewry Point Provincial Park *boat access only
This inland marine park lies at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Selkirk Mountains Nelson Range. Located 36 km south of Balfour on the west shore of the Kootenay Lake, On the East Shore lake enthusiasts launch from across the lake from Kuskanook and Boswell Boat Launches. This park provides protected moorage in both the north and south bays making it easy to get out of the wind. Its secluded sand beaches and picnic area make this park a scenic place for a relaxing visit.
There are two sheltered coves that provide good boat moorage and protection from the prevailing winds which blow from the south and north. The north cove has a 50 meter long sandy beach which provides excellent swimming and an area where boats can land. Camping on the shore is limited to three tenting sites.