About the area

Areal view of Nakusp looking south, Photo: Nakusp Greenscapes Ltd.

Fauquier Golf Course, photo: Beth McLeod

Needles Ferry, photo: Don Weixl

Brouse, Photo: Barb MacPherson

Canada Day parade float, Photo: Crystal Volanski

Boletus Mushroom, Photo: Craig Pulsifer Photography

Kuskanax Bridge from downstream, Photo: Craig Pulsifer Photography

Spicer's Garden, Nakusp Waterfront, Photo: Michael Beauchamp

Mist in the Kuskanax valley, Photo: Craig Pulsifer Photography

Arrow & Slocan Lakes Community Services and WorkBC. Photo: Tana Wethal

Northern Lights seen from Lake View Guest House, Photo: Holger Steffen

Willow on Nakusp waterfront, Photo: Michael Beauchamp

MV Columbia at Shelter Bay, Photo: Hilda Schroeder

Wheelhouse of MV Columbia, Photo: Hilda Schroeder

view from MV Columbia, Photo: HIlda Schroeder

tree frog, Photo: Cedra Eichenauer

VantageOne Credit Union, Edgewood, Photo: Digital Dean

Nakusp public beach, Photo: Martin Gibbons

Jennifer Chocolates, Photo: Jennifer Cross

Upper Arrow Lakes, Photo: Veronica Sargeant

Halcyon Hot Springs, Photo: Don Weixl

Halcyon Hot Springs, seasonal pool, Photo: Don Weixl

Boating on Upper Arrow Lake, Photo: Beth McLeod


Several communities are situated along the shores of Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes, and other nearby lakes:

These communities were started by settlers who relied on the waterways as their main travel routes, aboard stern-wheelers which plied up and down the lakes carrying passengers and cargo.

The largest community in our region today is Nakusp, which prides itself on its waterfront walkway overlooking Upper Arrow Lake, its beaches and the nearby natural hot springs: Nakusp Hot Springs located north of Nakusp on Hot Springs Road, and Halcyon Hot Springs located 32 km north of Nakusp on Highway 23.

South of Nakusp, on the eastern shore of Lower Arrow Lake, are Burton and Fauquier. Burton is located on the beautiful alluvial fan formed by Caribou Creek, and is well-known for its excellent agricultural and timber values. The town of Fauquier greets those arriving from the Okanagan via Highway 6 and the Needles Ferry. Also a farming community, the town has a popular lakeside golf course.

Arrow Park is situated between Nakusp and Burton, and the cable ferry located here provides access to the extensive backcountry road network on the western side of the lake.

Edgewood is on the west shore of Lower Arrow Lake, 15 kilometres south of Highway 6. The beautiful farming land of the Inonoaklin Valley greets you as you make your way to Edgewood.

The community of Trout Lake is located on the shores of a lake of the same name, near the north-eastern end of Upper Arrow Lake. While driving to Trout Lake along Highway 31 from Galena Bay, other smaller lakes, Armstrong and Staubert, are passed. The Trout Lake region is rich in mining history, and provides access to excellent backcountry recreation.


The Sinixt First Nation lived along the Arrow Lakes for thousands of years, using the waterways as their transportation routes. The first European explorers also followed the water. It seems the lakes got their name from the many arrows found along the river.

David Thompson and his men reached the Columbia River between 1807 and 1811. Fur trading, mining, agriculture, and later logging where the main economic activities.

Further historical details can be found on the pages for each community.

River Systems

The Arrow Lakes is part of the Columbia River System, with water flowing from north to south.

Since the construction of the Hugh Keenlyside Dam, a narrow channel, “The Narrows”, at Arrow Park south of Nakusp represents the division between Upper and Lower Arrow Lakes.


The Selkirk Mountains lie on the east side of the Arrow Lakes, with the Monashee Range on the west.

These mountain ranges hold many smaller lakes, some of which are accessible by backcountry road and some are more remote. Many mountain peaks and ridges offer spectacular views of the valleys and lakes below, and the mountains as far as the eye can see.