Letter Of Introduction

mountainflowersHello travelers! You are about to embark on a journey to one of the few remaining uncrowded areas offering wild scenic beauty and small yet vibrant friendly towns. Experience a place that beckons you to slow down, relax and turn back the clock.

With mountains and lakes all around, the predominant natural feature is the Selkirk Mountain Range. The International Selkirk Loop‘s driving route takes you 280 miles around its lower flanks following glacially formed valleys. It is a staggering landscape of spectacular peaks, glacial formed valleys and dark coniferous forests. The highest peaks are in British Columbia at 11,500 feet. With over 13,000 square miles and one of the many ranges comprising the Rocky Mountains, the remote and rugged character of the Selkirks boasts the last wild place where no mammal species has gone extinct in the last 10,000 years.

The climate of the Selkirk Mountains is decidedly maritime, meaning the Pacific Ocean is the greatest influence on the weather. The northern latitude combined with oceanic moisture means heavy snowfall and plenty of rainfall. Yet as a rule, winters are mild and summers are warm and pleasant. With four distinct seasons, recreational opportunities can be year-round.

You may start your Loop drive from the U.S. or Canada, just pick the town closest to your geographical area of departure. The travel Guide is easiest to follow if you travel in a counter clockwise direction, although there is no wrong way. In addition, there are six unique, not-to-be-missed “Super Side Trips” that add up to 507 miles / 811 km. They depart from and return to the main Loop route at various places.

As you “do the Loop,” please take the time to patronize the many businesses in the Travel Guide who have generously given financial support to provide you with this unique two-state, two-country travel experience. Look for the Loop logo on signs and decals at supporting member businesses and be sure to mention that you are “doing the Loop.”

To get you started, here’s some trivia for the road. The Selkirk Mountains were named for the Fifth Earl of Selkirk, Thomas Douglas (1771-1820). Hailing from Selkirk County in southern Scotland, he worked for the North West Company in Montreal and was a peer of David Thompson, the Welsh fur trader and geographer who was the first white man to explore much of the region on his search to find a river route to the Pacific Ocean.

Happy traveling and see you out on the International Selkirk Loop!

Stephanie Sims
Executive Director