The question is. "Why if Arrow Lakes are the deepest, third biggest lakes in BC and only 4.25 hours from Calgary, AB and 2.5 hours from Kelowna, BC is it a relatively undiscovered area for waterfront property?"
There is a dam at Castlegar, BC that causes water fluctuations. Since 2008 these are typically 30'/year. This is because a power station was installed at the dam at Castlegar. As a comparison, Shuswap Lakes rise and fall 14' each year and Kootenay Lake 17'. During the months of recreational water usage the lake is "full" and it is only if you visit the lake from November thru March that you will notice that you have acquired significantly more beach.
Like many BC lakes, the flat land is on the East side of the lake. As a result you need to take a ferry from the west highway accesses to the East side where the population is.
If you look at the pictures on this website you will see stunning beauty but seldom any boats. This is because there are no marinas on Arrow Lakes that have gas on their docks. It is not illegal. It is just that nobody has gone thru the regulatory process to do so.
Arrow Lakes are still pristine, relatively undiscovered, and property prices are affordable compared to other lakes in the area.
The Arrow Lakes (click here for a
Map of Arrow Lakes) are a widened portion of the Columbia
River, which flows north for over 300 km before hooking west
and south to begin its long journey, more than 400 km, to
the US border. For nearly half this length it widens to form
the Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes, vast reservoirs of water
that moderate winter temperatures and help retain moisture
in the local atmosphere, thus greatly influencing the types
of vegetation found there. The mountains loom large
, the scenery is magnificent, and the environment is very
Arrow Lakes are home to tranquil valleys that are remote
and sparsely populated. This was not always the case. In the
late 1800s prospectors flocked here from all over North
America in search of rich mining claims. The mining legacy
is evident all over the region in charming small towns and
villages that are built in the valleys of the Selkirk
In the West Kootenays, there is no better place to relax than in Galena Bay, a picturesque setting at the foot of the Selkirk Mountains, on the east shore of the Arrow Lakes. Ringed by the Selkirk Mountains to the east, the Valhallas to the south and the Monashee Mountains to the west, Galena Bay offers 3 hot springs within 30 minutes drive and a host of outdoor recreational opportunities. Summer in Arrow Lakes is a feast of mountain and rock climbing, hiking, camping, mountain biking, great canoeing, kayaking, golfing, swimming, water skiing, tubing, and fishing.
In the winter, this area is a veritable playground for skiers, snowmobilers and even ice fishermen on Box and Trout Lakes. For the day skier, there's the Summit Lake Ski Area just 20 km south of Nakusp on Hwy 6 to New Denver, and for those seeking more of a challenge, local helicopter skiing companies will whisk you and your guide high into the backcountry, where the finest virgin powder snow lies. Revelstoke Mountain Resort (RMR), destined to become THE downhill skiing destination in North America, including ferry ride, is only 1 hour away. Most communities in the area offer cross-country skiing; Barnes Creek between Fauquier and Edgewood, Wensley Creek Ski Trails closer to Nakusp, Mt. MacPherson, and the Upper Brouse Road area southeast of Nakusp are but a few that offer trails. Snowcat skiing and snowmobiling also await visitors who are ready for an adventure to happen.
The closest commercial centre is Nakusp, a rare Kootenay Gem, of 2,000 people. Witness the silly, August long weekend Nakusp Build, Bail and Sail, where teams build a boat in three hours and then race them - there's always a sinker or two.