Men's Journal - June 2004

While the rest of the sea-kayaking world logjams the Pacific Northwest this summer, Kootenay Lake, near the funky arts-and-powder town of Nelson, remains a secret paddler's paradise. For one thing, the scenery is more dramatic: The 7,000- to 9,000-foot Purcell and Selkirk mountain ranges ring this 90-mile lake. And the paddling conditions are ideal: a drier climate, warmer temps (ranging from 70 to 90 degrees in the summer), and no tides to contend with. Outfitter ROAM takes you kayaking for a few days, and throws in some sailing and fishing on the lake and a bit of Class III-IV whitewater on the Salmo River.