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Nestled within a scenic valley along the southern Trans-Canada Highway in British Columbia, Cranbrook is surrounded by picturesque mountain views, with the Rocky Mountains to the north and east and the Purcell Mountains to the west. Calgary is a scenic four-hour drive from Cranbrook along the Trans-Canada Highway. Spokane, Washington is roughly three and a half hours from Cranbrook. The bustling town of Nelson, BC is only about two and a half hours west of Cranbrook.
There are several lakes near Cranbrook, including Elizabeth Lake, Norbury Lake, Jim Smith Lake, Wasa Lake, and Crazy Lake. Boating, fishing, and RV camping are popular activities near Cranbrook. Renting a motorhome in British Columbia is a convenient way to spend a few weeks exploring the surrounding area. Search for an RV in Cranbrook and you'll enjoy the ability to travel around the region at your own pace.
Find a luxury RV rental in Cranbrook and head over to Jim Smith Lake Provincial Park. RV campers can pull their rig into the park’s campground and enjoy swimming in the lake or launch their non-motorized boat into the water for some fun. Sunbathers can stretch out along the lake’s beach. Pack a picnic and stay for most of the day. During the winter, Jim Smith Lake Provincial Park transforms into a winter wonderland for ice skaters. Tobogganing is another popular activity once a thick layer of snow covers the trails.
Another popular destination for those seeking some quality time in the great outdoors is the Cranbrook Community Forest. People from all over the region enjoy biking or hiking here. Some even trailer their horses in and spend a few days horseback riding through the forest. Winter wanderers flock to Cranbrook Community Forest for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Rent a camper to make the most of your time hanging out near Cranbrook.
Baker Park, named after one of the first settlers in Cranbrook, Colonel James Baker, sits inside the city. This green space offers great picnic areas and places to relax while taking in the natural beauty of the park. There are multi-use trails where hikers, bikers, and horseback riders can enjoy being outdoors, breathing in the fresh air and stretching their muscles. Golf enthusiasts can try their luck on the park’s golf course.
You'll find plenty of places to park your RV rental in British Columbia while exploring the area. The Mount Baker RV Park is located on the banks of Joseph’s Creek in Cranbrook and is within walking distance of downtown's quaint shops and fantastic restaurants boasting foods from around the globe, such as French, Canadian, American, Mexican, and Chinese. Campsites have 30- or 50-amp electric, water, and sewer hookups. Standard amenities include laundry facilities and modern, spacious bathhouses. Guests can also enjoy access to Wi-Fi and the sanitation station.
Jim Smith Lake Provincial Park boasts modern campgrounds with spacious campsites for motorhome rentals. Head over to Jim Smith Lake for a weekend of relaxation and fun on the water. Drinking water taps are located in the campgrounds. Pit toilets are within walking distance of all sites.
Head into Cranbrook and pull your campervan rental into the Cranbrook/St. Eugene KOA Journey campground. This is a typical family-friendly KOA with full hookups for RVs. A convenience store and gas station are provided right inside the KOA for guests. Restrooms and showers are centrally located, and the coin-operated laundry facilities are open 24 hours a day.
While you have your travel trailer rental from Cranbrook, take some time to explore the city and get a feel for its amazing heritage. The Forte Steele Heritage Town, located near Cranbrook, is an absolute must-see for anyone visiting the area. Fort Steele was declared a historic park in 1961 to preserve the historic settlement and educate future generations about the area's history. Fort Steele Heritage Town is essentially a living history museum that transports you back to pioneer life in the 1890s with more than 60 fully restored buildings. History buffs will love wandering through the town and exploring treasures from the past.
Cranbrook is also home to one of the largest rail travel collections in North America. A trip to the Canadian Museum of Rail Travel should be on your list of things to do while in Cranbrook. The first fully restored rail car arrived in Cranbrook in 1977, and since then, the collection has grown to over 25 fully restored and preserved rail cars. One of the top attractions is the 1927 luxury car named Strathcona, where Queen Elizabeth II once stayed as well as Sir Winston Churchill. Several of the rail cars can now be viewed from the inside on one of the museum's guided tours.
Be sure to visit the St. Eugene’s Mission Resort before heading home after a relaxing stay in Cranbrook. This resort is owned by the Ktunaxa Nation, the First Nations tribal council government that consists of four Ktunaxa or Kutenai bands within British Columbia. The St. Eugene’s Mission was originally a residential school for First Nations children and was in operation from 1912 to 1970. The resort now houses a Ktunaxa Nation Interpretive Center where guests can learn about Ktunaxa culture through history, indigenous art, and the Speaking Earth program.