The Columbia Valley was a huge but pleasant surprise. I’m not sure what we expected, but what we found was a gorgeous, sun-filled valley dotted with lakes, wetlands and rivers.
One of the best places to view this bounty is on the Old Coach Trail, which runs between Radium Hot Springs and Dry Gulch, a small community about halfway to Invermere. Originally used in the early 1900s by horse carriages and early automobiles, the trail is nine kilometres long and winds on the bench lands above the Columbia River. Today it’s popular with both mountain bikers and walkers and it’s not hard to see why.
We visited twice — once because we were curious and the second time because we loved it and realized it would be a great place to watch the sunset. And it really was. The warm sun filled the valley with golden light, contrasted against the absolute stillness of the Columbia River. The calm was broken only by the occasional train passing below or chatty mountain bikers ripping by on the trail beside us.
We stayed until the sun was fully down, loathe to miss a moment of the amazing scene before us. When we left we realized we had forgotten to eat the picnic we had packed.