Travelling during winter is far different from travelling during warm summer days. I remember it took the group lots of discussion and arguments about the plan – whether we will go for a cabin in Revelstoke/ Big White/ Salmon Arm or just travel to Nelson, BC as one of the members’ friend has a place to offer for staying.
We almost chose the cabin trip but we realized we have a member who have a leg injury and will not enjoy any physical activity the whole long weekend. We ended up with fitting seven people in a Dodge van going to Nelson for 2 days and 1 night.
Hit the road from Lake Country – Kelowna – Beaverdell – Rock Creek – Grand Forks – Christina Lake – Castlegar – Nelson
We arrived at the the Diocese of Nelson Rectory and met our host who is Fr Neil, a parish priest for the diocese. He just finished conducting Sunday mass and attended to us later that noon. After a tour in the beautiful rectory we headed to Oso Negro, an A on the list of popular coffee shops in Nelson. A good note on this coffee shop : they have their own roastery. Tried their Americano and you can taste the richness in flavors.
Second stop was at The Yellow Deli. Open 24/5 , this beautiful restaurant is formerly an old heritage house. Menu range from sandwiches like Deli Rose and Reuben to delicious salads and hot soups. This was my second time at this restaurant (both during winter) and I would recommend this place to anyone visiting Nelson. We end the lunch with a birthday cake for one member of the troop.
Interested to check out other shops in Nelson, everyone agreed to head to Baker St. After few minutes of window shopping and strolling, all ended up in Backroads Brewing Company. This is truly a “one for the backroads”. Top two favorites were Saison – a Belgian style farmhouse ale and the bold and creamy Baltic Porter. We met a wonderful local couple here, played some cool group games, and just enjoyed each other’s company.
Visit this awesome craft brewery and do not forget to buy any growler size / beer. Backroads’ website is http://backroadsbrewing.com/. Furthermore, displayed on the walls are gorgeous Nelson photographs:
Headed back to the rectory and prepared ourselves for the Ainsworth Hot springs later on the night.
Bathing in a hot spring is definitely a great idea during winter ‘eh! With two hot springs pools and a cave, Ainsworth Hot Spring Resort offers a unique experience. A steamy 42C water emerges naturally inside the spectacular cave spanning 160-foot. The main lounging pool, meanwhile, averages 35C. Yes, we really treated ourselves with almost two hours of soaking relaxation.
The resort has a 40 contemporay guest room and a restaurant and the public entry for the hot springs is from 10:00 am to 9:00 pm. Book your stay through the following details below.
3609 Hwy 31, Ainsworth Hot Springs,
British Columbia, V0G 1A0Phone: 800-668-1171
So everyone agreed we will have a good Japanese dinner. Red Light District for some ramen was the target but when we were seconds drive away from the place they just decided to go to the Indian restaurant nearby. We spent an hour then at Tandoori Indian Grill and Lounge in Kootenay st. This was a good change of mind as the restaurant serves really authentic and delicious Indian cuisine. Kashmiri nan, garlic nan, Tandoori chicken kebab, korma, Bombay tikka masala, traditional curry satisfied our cravings.
And we ended the night with some boost from the growler beers we bought from the craft brewery.
8:00am – Morning walk towards Oso Negro and good fresh coffees to start the day 2 of our Nelson trip.
Eager for a heavy brunch, the group decided to walk towards HUME Hotel. This hotel is built in 1898 and boasts a great architectural beauty and rich heritage.
Hiking Pulpit Rock of Nelson was the consensus. The last time I have been at Nelson, I failed to do the hike and good thing everyone agreed to make this happen this time. The trail head is from 10 minutes drive away from downtown (Nelson, BC V1L 6J1). From Baker St., go towards BC-3A, the Orange Bridge, then turn left going to Johnstone Road. Follow Johnston Rd then parking should be on the shoulder of the road (one overflow parking on the left and one on the right) showing ‘Pulpit Rock’ signs.
It was a sunny day although the trail has icy and snowy spots. A good recommendation should be to wear nice pair of hiking shoes or snow boots with ice cleats to avoid skidding. The elevation is steep too thus extra caution is a must.
Pulpit Rock offers two viewpoints – Pulpit Rock and the Flagpole Trail. The Pulpit Rock has a 300m elevation in a 1.6km trail. A very steep terrain but the the reward is a spectacular view of the town of Nelson.
Do not forget to take a selfie, a group photo, and have a toast when you reach this viewpoint:
Three of the members are just crazy and decided to hike the flagpole trail which is about an additional 300m elevation and a kilometer distance. Funny, the beer cans we opened were reserved until we hit the summit. 🙂 We took care more of the beer than ourselves going up haha. Challenging yet we reach the Flagpole in 45 minutes time.
View of Nelson and the Kootenay Lake and the surrounding mountains is definitely breathtaking. Bonus is the last drops of beer and a lovely dog who trek with a local couple hikers.
Pulpit Rock/ Flagpole mission accomplished. We headed back to the base and quickly packed our stuffs way back home. A good bye and a simple token of appreciation to our host was made before leaving beautiful Nelson.
Dinner at Omega Restaurant in Grand Forks. We needed to fill our complaining stomachs so some Greek/ Russian food has to resolve this. Furthermore, this I think is the only open restaurant in the area besides a Chinese restaurant downtown. And it was a holiday (BC Family Day).
And we made it back Kelowna after more than 36 hours. Such an amazing trip. Highly recommended to any adventurers out there to check Nelson, BC.
Feel free to ask, comment for any inquiries or questions. Glad to help in ways I can. Happy travels! ~ Allan