Creston Valley Wildlife Area

Creston, British Columbia

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Like those in uncounted other river valleys, the vast wetlands of the Creston Valley were nearly lost to development and agriculture. A conservation project initiated by sportsmen made the difference, and led to creation of the 17,000-acre Creston Valley Wildlife Area in 1968. Dikes hold back water that attracts ducks and geese. Biologists have counted more than 260 species of birds, with the greatest concentrations in spring and fall. It is British Columbia’s most important inland stopover for migrating birds. Autumn visitors sometimes hear elk bugling from the tules, and see area creeks turned red with spawning kokanee salmon—which lend their name to the beer that is the pride of the nearby town of Creston. The trip described here takes boaters from the meandering Kootenay River Channel—a quiet slough that was once the main riverbed—to the Kootenay itself. Many variations are possible. Although the river can be paddled year-round, other waters in the refuge freeze in winter, and Summit Creek can be too low for paddling even when there is ample water elsewhere.

Creston Valley Wildlife Area Professional Review and Guide

"Like those in uncounted other river valleys, the vast wetlands of the Creston Valley were nearly lost to development and agriculture. A conservation project initiated by sportsmen made the difference, and led to creation of the 17,000-acre Creston Valley Wildlife Area in 1968. Dikes hold back water that attracts ducks and geese. Biologists have counted more than 260 species of birds, with the greatest concentrations in spring and fall. It is British Columbia’s most important inland stopover for migrating birds.

Autumn visitors sometimes hear elk bugling from the tules, and see area creeks turned red with spawning kokanee salmon—which lend their name to the beer that is the pride of the nearby town of Creston. The trip described here takes boaters from the meandering Kootenay River Channel—a quiet slough that was once the main riverbed—to the Kootenay itself. Many variations are possible. Although the river can be paddled year-round, other waters in the refuge freeze in winter, and Summit Creek can be too low for paddling even when there is ample water elsewhere."

Activity Type: Flatwater Kayaking & Canoeing
Nearby City: Creston
Distance: 19
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 10 hours or overnight
Class: Class I
Season: Best: Generally April through October
Local Contacts: Creston Valley Wildlife Interpretive Centre; Creston Chamber of Commerce
Local Maps: Canada EMR Creston 82/F2
Driving Directions: Directions to Creston Valley Wildlife Area

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May 2018