Ride: Nelson to Slocan, Silverton and New Denver - Hwy 3A/6 and Hwy 6
From Nelson BC heading west on Hwy 3A/6, then north to New Denver on Hwy 6. A few good curves and some interesting scenery along the Hwy 3A/6 stretch, but the traffic can be somewhat steady. The riding on Hwy 6 gets better, generally, the closer you get to New Denver. The riding is excellent north of Slocan. Some nice scenery along the way. Traffic is light on Hwy 6.Last Ridden: 2014
Route Type: secondary highway
Riding Surface: pavement (100%)
Most Suitable For: street bike
Highway 3A/6 heading west out of Nelson starts off fairly straight or slightly curving in the beginning, but there are some nice corners further on (not tight corners, and you generally don’t need to slow down for them, but enjoyable none-the-less). Traffic was steady when I rode this route in the summer of 2014. This may not be the best motorcycle road in the Kootenays, but it’s pleasant enough with some interesting scenery, especially of the Kootenay River and the surrounding hillsides. On the west end of the bridge that crosses Kootenay River there is a dirt side road on the right called Marsden Road. This is a very scenic little country backroad offering nice views of the river and the bridges over it. I only road a short distance down it (looking at Google Maps, it’s less than 3 km long); it was worth the detour. Highway 3A/6 intersects with Highway 6 about 25 km west of Nelson.
Hwy 6 heads north to Slocan, Silverton and New Denver. It's about 79 km between the 3A and New Denver. I clocked about 86 km along this stretch of road including short side trips into Slocan and Silverton. Traffic was light.
At about 2 km or so down Hwy 6 from 3A there is a pretty little spot on the left along the Slocan River. This is Crescent Valley Beach Park. It looks like a great spot for a swim on a hot summer day.
This section of Hwy 6 starts off with some long straight sections running through the valley with some views of the Slocan River. The straights are broken up with a few twisty bits. Generally, the road gets twistier the further north you travel.
Lemon Creek Rest Stop is located at about 41 km from Hwy 3A. There is a lot of straight road up to this point, but there are some good corners along the way. The road surface was bumpy in places. The scenery is interesting enough to make the ride enjoyable. It helps that there is very little traffic.
At about 51 km you arrive at the Slocan Public Waterfront, if you decide to detour off the highway into Slocan, which is a very small town located on the south end of Slocan Lake. The last stretch of road near the waterfront is rough, so be careful if you’re on a big, heavy bike. The site isn’t as developed as in the larger communities, but the lake is pretty and there are some nice views.
Slocan marks the start of the more fun riding. The section from Silverton to New Denver is fantastic – it’s smooth and very curvy and very entertaining! Take the time to explore Silverton (an old mining town) and New Denver. Both towns have a rich history and are located along the edge of Slocan Lake and have public lake access. New Denver is home to the Nikkei Internment Memorial Centre and Japanese gardens and was one of the locations of the World War II Japanese internment camps. You’ll also find a full range of services here. It’s a nice little town, and I have enjoyed spending time there.