The incredibly scenic Highway 31 A between Kaslo and New Denver takes you through the ghost town remains of Retallack, Zincton, Three Forks and Sandon. Retallack is on the North Kootenay Lake – Silvery Slocan Super Side Trip of the International Selkirk Loop.

The area, a 47 km (28 miles) drive, is now known as the Valley of the Ghosts. You can see the remains of these once thriving silver mining communities from the road.

Retallack, right on the side of the highway 31A, is probably the most accessible of these ghost towns. Remnants of its former mine buildings and homes, drenched in high mountain sunlight takes you back to the mining heydays of this area.

Originally known as Bell’s Camp, it was a shipping centre for the area’s mines. Before the turn of the century it had a population of about 300 with 3 hotels, several stores, a post office, a barber shop and a school. In 1910 the saw and planning mill burned and was never rebuilt.

The few industrious modern-day inhabitants of this ghost town area have created a resort and backcountry ski and hiking lodge amidst these historic remnants. Just at the entrance to the Retallack resort, immediately adjacent to the highway is a wonderful 1 km hike on the Retallack Cedars Recreation Trail – A nice break from driving for the whole family.