This picturesque town of New Denver (pop. 600) is on Slocan Lake, opposite Valhalla Provincial Park. Originally called Eldorado and renamed after Denver, Colorado, the town reached its mining peak in the 1890s. Today the main street is lined with funky false-front stores and pioneer-style buildings left over from the prosperous silver days.
Visit the Silvery Slocan Museum (202 6th Ave., 250/358-2201, daily 10 a.m.–4 p.m. July–Aug., weekends only May and Sept., adult $2, child $1), in a restored bank building, to find out all about New Denver’s heyday.
Down on the lake within easy walking distance of the main street, Sweet Dreams (702 Eldorado St., 250/358-2415, www.newdenver bc.com, $65–90 s, $80–95 d) is an inviting guesthouse with five large guest rooms, some with shared bathrooms. Rates include a cooked breakfast, and dinner is available with advance notice.
Out of New Denver to the south, Silverton Resort (250/358-7157, www.silvertonresort.com, $195–315 s or d) takes advantage of its watery location with self-contained log cabins that are as close to the water as any I’ve seen in British Columbia.
Campers can head to a municipal campground (May–Sept., $15–18), on the south side of the town and with full hookups, or Rosebery Provincial Park ($14), on Wilson Creek six kilometers (3.7 miles) north of town.
In the local museum, New Denver Visitor Centre (202 6th Ave., 250/358-2719, www.slocanlake.com, daily 9 a.m.–5 p.m. July–Aug.) is a friendly little place with lots of ideas that will tempt you to linger longer in the area.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition