Following the course of the Elk River in the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains, the Elk Valley region is made up of the communities of Elkford, Sparwood, Hosmer, Fernie and Elko, as well as the Tobacco Plains Indian Band.
This valley is an economic engine for the province of BC. Home to five metallurgical coal mines and two junior mines on the uptick, the resource based economy is healthy. Teck has recently announced that the coal supplies will keep operations running for the next 45 years.
The largest community in the Elk Valley is Fernie, which is home to 5,200 residents year round. Fernie is an outdoor recreation enthusiast’s dream. With 700 km of biking and hiking trails, there is always something new to explore. Tourism is becoming a year round event in Fernie with the summer season extending into October, ski season December to April, and summer trails opening again in June.
A mining community full of hard-working, fun-loving people, Sparwood is the fastest growing community in the East Kootenay. The city of 4,200 is conveniently central to Teck Coal’s five metallurgical coal mines, while also offering a myriad of outdoor recreational opportunities, stunning vistas, and all the fresh elements naturally afforded in a spectacular mountain setting.
Wild at Heart, Elkford is home to about 2,500 residents. Elkford’s natural wilderness is highlighted by its proximity to Elk Lakes Provincial Park, Height of the Rockies Wilderness area along the continental divide, world class fly-fishing on the Elk River, a local ski hill, and a full range of community recreational amenities. As one of the last portions of the southern Canadian Rocky Mountains to witness an influx of outside entrepreneurial investment, Elkford is positioned to benefit from the activities of visionary entrepreneurs.
The Tobacco Plains Indian Band is located in Grasmere near the Roosville Border Crossing. They are part of the Ktunaxa Nation which has lived on the lands adjacent to the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers and the Arrow Lakes of British Columbia for more than 10,000 years. With a population of about 200, the Tobacco Plains Indian Band is a self-governing community with the responsibility to steward their traditional lands and preserve their language and culture.