Vacations To Go


Exploring BC


Day 1 Friday October 14th  
9:00 a.m. Depart: Spokane  
    (Go noth on Hwy 2. Turn left on Hwy 211. Go left on Hwy 20. Continue on Hwy 31 at Tiger. At the border it becomes Hwy 6. At Salmo go left on Hwy 3.)  
12:00 p.m. Arrive: Castlegar 145

Doukhobor Discovery Centre (10-5) $10/$8 Sr
Village Bistro (11:30-4:30)
The complex was originally named the Doukhobor Village Museum, but in 2006, upon the suggestion of an eco-tourism consultant to Castlegar, the name was changed. Given the 10 buildings, the 10 acres including restaurant, heritage orchard, Tolstoy statue, etc. it was decided that the complex was not so much a museum as an entire discovery into the Doukhobor way of life. Thus, the name was changed to The Doukhobor Discovery Centre.

From modest beginnings, the present Doukhobor Discovery Centre has grown to include over 1,600 donated artifacts. The present day complex is a complete village consisting of ten buildings, including a Village Market and a Village Restaurant (currently closed for renovation). The original wood construction Banya (bath house) was lost to fire and was rebuilt from brick in its current location. The original wood Annex building was also lost to a devastating fire, but was later reconstructed out of brick on its original footprint.

    Sculpture Walk
cefa01_e53ecc376e6d44d0878812d7efbf6891.pdf (


Day 2 Saturday October 15th  
9:00 a.m. Depart: Castlegar  
    (Go north on Hwy 3A. Continue left on Hwy 6. At New Denver go right on Hwy 31A. Turn right on Sandon Rd.)  
10:30 a.m. See: Sandon Ghost Town
The town of Sandon was born April 7, 1892 when J.M."Johnny" Harris uncovered a fabulous vein of silver. He was born in Virginia and spent his early boyhood in the tobacco and cotton fields. Still only a boy, he left Virginia and wound up in Idaho in 1884 where he worked in the gold mines. He discovered he had a talent for selling real estate and opened an office. It was there a prospector from the North Country brought him a piece of ore shining with veins of silver. That was all it took for Johnny Harris to know where he must go-and he headed for the North Country. His goal was the outpost camp of New Denver, 35 miles up Slocan Lake. From there he started hiking up the Sandon River and reached the Carpenter Creek tributary and started digging. Almost at once, he discovered the vein of silver. The date was April 7, 1892. The city grew to a population of 3,000, the only city of any size in the otherwise unpopulated mountains. The town had much to offer its residents. Plush hotels, the Miner's Union Hall with a hardwood dance floor and stage for entertainment, two newspapers, two banks, drug stores, mercantile stores and the usual compliment of saloons. All was going well until May 3, 1900 when a fire was started by a lighted cigarette carelessly dropped into a wastebasket. The entire business section burned to the ground including all hotels, theaters, banks and stores. More than fifty buildings were destroyed. Sandon would never have been rebuilt had it not been for Johnny Harris who refused to let the town die. Even though the city had seen its best days, Harris kept it going by financing some slipping mines. The end was in sight in everyone's eyes except Johnny Harris. He was still full of faith that his city would make a comeback when he died there in 1953 at the age of 89. Sandon today is peaceful. There a few buildings still standing and a trip to Sandon is worthwhile.
Considered as being one of the true classic ghost towns of west, Sandon is the focal point of B.C.’s famed Valley of the Ghosts.At one time boasting a population of 10,000, Sandon was the prime mineral (silver, lead and zinc) mining community in the valley, five miles off the main Highway 31A.An unusual feature of the town was that its main street was the boarded over flume of Carpenter Creek, eventually crushed and washed away by devastating floods. The last major flood was in 1955 and the town was essentially destroyed and never fully recovered again. Today, mangled piles of timber, once the main street, are still littered all over. Besides scores of hotels and saloons, the town once boasted a city hall building, opera house, library, community hall, post office, which closed in 1962, leaving Sandon a ghost town.In recent years, the town — which now has a permanent population of 15 residents —has made a slow recovery after receiving provincial heritage protection.Scores of old abandoned houses and buildings, as well as mine machinery and parts, are still visible everywhere in the valley, including many tucked in nearby woods.Today, visitors can also visit a well-stocked and fascinating private museum, a souvenir shop and the Tin Cup Cafe; all immensely popular with tourists and ghost towners.
    (Continue on Sandon Rd for 2 miles. Rough road.)  
  See: Cody Ghost Town
In 1897, Cody had a population of about 150 residents, who were serviced by three hotels, a post office, livery, blacksmith shop, a dress maker and three laundries. The main employer of the town were the operators of the Noble Five Mine, which closed in the early 1940s following a devastating fire.Today, there is a breathtaking array of ruins — especially those of the old minesite — and a selction of old buildings still standing for the enjoyment of photographers. Like Sandon, Cody has been earmarked for provincial government heritage protection
Many thought at the time Cody – named after Henry Cody, a prospector from the Ainsworth district - would not only rival Sandon but even surpass its neighbor to the north. Cody was served by the K & S Railway and in the beginning prospects looked bright. The Noble Five Mining Company built a concentrator at the site. A total of 70 would work for the company at the concentrator, flume and tramway. By 1895, the company sold 200 lots, and businesses quickly established themselves, including the two-story Cody Creek Hotel, which could accommodate 60 miners, a general store and a dry goods business. At the same time, two other hotels were completed and another four in the planning stages. The town also had a livery, blacksmith shop and three laundries. Two years later Cody would open a post office and have a population of about 150 permanent citizens. That was the pinnacle of Cody’s success. In 1901, the post office closed and by 1910 the town site was deserted
    ( Go back to Hwy 31A and turn right.)  
15 min   Zincton Ghost Town
In 1892, a massive ore body was discovered at a point, about five kilometres west of Retallack, along what is known today as Hwy. 31A. However, the ore body was not the much sought after silver. It was predominantly zinc, which was unwanted and even despised by the silver-crazed prospectors. The Lucky Jim Group, which owned the site, had hoped they would find greater amounts of silver. However, by late 1903 zinc was becoming marketable and for many years the Lucky Jim mine became the only zinc mine in the province. After more than six good years, the mine site was leveled by a disastrous forest fire in 1910. After the fire, the mine and camp were rebuilt and the name Zincton was being used for the site. In 1915, the town site opened a post office. Zincton’s population grew to 200, and the town site included two large bunkhouses, a cookhouse, a recreation hall and several houses for families. The mine had many good years but was also shut down several times. In the fifties, when it was determined ore reserves had run out, the mine was shut down permanently. The town site was quickly abandoned. For several years, the site’s mine and residential buildings sat derelict, until a fire destroyed most of the relics in the 1980s. Although the site has long been abandoned and now taken over by nature, there are still many cement ruins at Zincton to remind explorers of a once unique venture in the Valley of Ghosts.
    (Continue east on Hwy 31A)  
4 min.   Retallack Ghost Town-Private property, so don't tour
Originally known as Bells Camp in the B.C.’s Valley of the Ghosts, the town grew to a population of about 300 before the turn of the 20th century. It was also known as Whitewater when the K & S Railway came through in 1895. It later changed to Retallack in 1928, named after J.L. Retallack, a prominent businessman in the district and one of the original locators and owners of the Whitewater mine.

Retallack was the shipping centre for several mines in the area and also had a saw and planning mill, which burnt down in 1910 and was never rebuilt. The town once boasted three hotels, several stores, a barber shop, post office and school. In 1901, the CPR opened a telegraph office at the town site. Mining activity in and around Retallack ceased in 1967. Since then, most signs of the town’s mining days have disappeared. A few residents have remained near the former town site and a small resort hotel is still operating. Two former mine buildings on the north side of Highway 31A, and a nearby house foundation, are the most obvious reminders of Retallack’s once prosperous da
    (Continue east on Hwy 31A. Turn left on 5th. Go right on Front. Right side.)  
21 min Arrive: Kaslo, BC 17
    The Treehouse Restaurant (7-3)
Treehouse Restaurant, Kaslo BC (
  See: K&S Antiques (12-3)  
    (Turn right on 4th and cross A St. On the corner.)  
    VHKAS Thrift Store (11:30-2)  
    (Continue south on Hwy 31. On the left side. )  
10 min See:
Fletcher Falls-
7 blocks roundtrip walk
    (Continue south on Hwy 31.)  
10 min Do: Ainsworth Hot Springs (10-6:30) 7
    Ktunaxa Grill Restaurant (until 8:30 p.m.)
62cb0e7e-4110-46c5-bcf7-4d33d8b0b5a9.pdf (
    (Continue south on Hwy 31. On the right side.)  
12 min Lodge: Kootenay Lakeview Resort BW Signature Collection $181 plus tax
(2 queens, lake view)


Day 3 Sunday October 16th  
9:00 a.m. Depart: Balfour  
    (Continue right on Hwy 31. It will become Hwy 3A. In Nelson the road will go right, then left. Finally left and right again. Turn left on Stanley St.)  
10:15 a.m.   Nelson, BC 22
  Do: Breakfast-Full Circle Cafe (8-2)
402 Baker St.
The General Store (7-Noon)
422 Vernon St
2022Breakfast.pdf (
  Depart: Nelson  
    (Go back to Hwy 3A and go west. Continue straight ahead on Hwy 6. At the border it becomes Hwy 31. At Tiger go straight ahead on Hwy 20. At Usk go right on Hwy 211. Go right on Hwy 2.)  
3.5 hrs Arrive: Spokane