About Nakusp



Average hours of sunshine 1902
Average annual precipitation 570 mm
Average annual snowfall 200 cm
Frost-free days 150-162
January mean daily temperature -3.9°C
July mean daily temperature +21.0°C
Annual mean daily temperature +7.3°C

Population (2016 census)

Nakusp 1,605
Burton 111
Fauquier 118
Edgewood 236
Kaslo 968
New Denver 473
Salmo 1,141
Silverton 195
Slocan 272

Distances to some major centres

Kelowna 248 km (150 mi)
Kamloops 309 km (185 mi)
Spokane 395 km (237 mi)
Calgary 507 km (304 mi)
Vancouver 755 km (453 mi)



Nakusp is located 450m (1475ft.) above sea level overlooking the Upper Arrow Lake midway between Castlegar at the southern tip and Revelstoke at the northern tip. The Arrow Lakes are situated in a lush valley abundant in many forms of vegetation, between the Slocan and Okanagan valleys. The city of Nelson is the principal urban centre to the east/south and to the west is the Okanagan Valley with its bustling cities of Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton.

Economic Structure

Logging has been the economic mainstay of Nakusp since 1910 and will continue to be a source of employment in the area, but it has declined significantly in the last few years. The local economy has diversified in recent years, however, with development in tourism and other areas. This has brought increased employment and business opportunities to Nakusp and surrounding communities. There is potential for further development.

Real Estate and Development Sites

Upper Arrow Lake is one of the few lakes in the Southern Interior which still has available lakeshore property, as well as fully serviced lots in the village and rural acreage. Undeveloped industrial property within the village amounts to approximately 150 acres. Numerous houses, as well as a limited number of mobile homes, are available in a wide price range.


Nakusp was first established during the mining boom in the Slocan Valley at the turn of the century. It was expected that Nakusp would also become a mining boomtown, and the Nakusp Slocan railway was completed in 1893. With the building of the smelter in Trail, the plan for a smelter in Nakusp vanished. Ore from the Slocan Valley was loaded on steamers in Nakusp and shipped down the Columbia River.
Rich timberland in the Nakusp area gave growth to a local industry and provided employment for hundreds of people in logging and sawmill jobs. Many pioneers settled the fertile land along the Arrow Lakes and established prosperous fruit and vegetable farms.

Several paddle steamers came into service on the lakes, transporting settlers, produce, vacationers, and just about everything else. The boats were retired from active service in the early 1950’s and Nakusp ceased to be a distribution centre for the area. Another change came in the 1960’s, with the signing of the Columbia River Treaty for flood control and hydroelectric power generation. With the building of the Keenleyside dam, the face of the Arrow Lakes was changed to what it is today.

Recreation and Attractions

The mountainous geography of the Selkirk Mountains, coupled with the sparkling waters of Arrow Lake and the natural hot springs of the area, are an unbeatable combination. The variety of outdoor sports and recreation is unlimited. As well as canoeing, kayaking, mountain and rock climbing, cycling, running, snowshoeing and horseback riding, there are many other opportunities.

Hot Springs

Nakusp Hot Springs is a modern, attractive complex 14 km from Nakusp beside the roaring Kuskanax River. There are two soaking pools with temperatures of 38 & 41°C (100 & 106°F) along with lockers, showers, changing facilities and snack bar. The facility operates year round and there are accommodations and campgrounds available adjacent to the pool. Visitors can fish in the river (please check fishing regulations), hike along the numerous trails or just relax and enjoy the fresh mountain air. In the winter, you can bring your cross-country skis or your snowshoes.

Halcyon Hot Springs is located 32 km north of Nakusp on the shores of the Arrow Lakes. The three pools range in temperature from 15-41°C (60-105°F). There is also a swimming pool on the lower level which is open in the warmer months. The facility includes lockers, showers, changing facilities and the Kingfisher Restaurant and Lounge and a full service spa. Camping and accommodation are available on site, as well there are watersport rentals.


Nakusp Beach and McDonald Creek Provincial Park beach on the Arrow Lake, Box Lake and Summit Lake


145 miles of lake from Revelstoke to Castlegar, as well as numerous smaller lakes. Marina and boat launching facilities both in town, along the Upper and Lower Arrow Lake, as well as on several of the smaller lakes.


Excellent year round fishing for Rainbow, Eastern Brook, Ling Cod, Kokanee and Dolly Varden.


Deer, Mountain Goat, Caribou, Cougar, Black, Brown and Grizzly bears.


The Arrow Lakes boast many hiking trails through the spectacular wilderness areas and the trails range in degree from easy to difficult. Trail maps available at the Visitor Centre, or the Adventure Recreation page of www.nakusparrowlakes.com.

Sports Complex

Regulation-sized hockey surface and concrete base for summer use. Curling rink, squash court, tennis court, parkour, and ball diamonds within the complex, as well as a children’s playground and a gazebo.

Waterfront Park

A paved one kilometre walk on the waterfront features the Spicer Garden and a Japanese Garden. If you continue on past the beach you can access a trail that follows the Kuskanax River, this trail continues on to become the “old rail way bed.” The beginning of this trail has more difficult terrain, and is all gravel/rock.


Nakusp’s water is classified as medium hard. It is drawn from Brouse, Wensley and Halfway Creeks, with a backup system from Kuskanax Creek if needed during dry spells.

Sewer and Garbage

Sanitary sewer system with treatment facilities. Weekly garbage pick-up and service, and every other week recycling pick-up for residents, tri-weekly garbage pick-up for businesses.