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Idaho Peak Recreation Site

Idaho Peak Road, Electoral Area H North, Central Kootenay RD, British Columbia, Canada

Formally Recognized: 2020/04/16

Idaho Peak; Central Kootenay RD
Idaho Peak; Central Kootenay RD
Historic Photo, circa 1948
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Links and documents

Construction Date(s)


Listed on the Canadian Register: 2020/12/09

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

Idaho Peak Recreation Site is a subalpine meadow with hiking trails located southeast of New Denver in the Selkirk Mountain Range in BC. Key features of this site include a blanket of summer-blooming subalpine flowers, and a fire lookout station.

Heritage Value

This historic place is valued as a significant local recreation site. Local residents and tourists alike flock to this place each summer to take in the natural beauty and unique outdoor experience it offers. With its vibrant display of summer-blooming subalpine flowers, Idaho Peak Recreation Site presents a unique ecological vista to visitors who come for a day hike, or a camping experience. For decades this place has been an icon of the West Kootenay, with images of it used in promotional materials and artistic works promoting the vast natural beauty of the area.

This historic place also has an important connection to the British Columbia Forest Service in the fire lookout present at the apex of Idaho Peak. Situated on the land and designed to maximize the fire lookout's 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape, this building is important because it demonstrates how wildfire control was facilitated prior to the introduction of today's modern technologies. It also reflects the way of life for fire lookouts who were stationed at these sites during the summer months, tasked with monitoring the landscape for any sign of fire. The Idaho Peak Lookout is a good representation of the fire lookouts of the 1940s-60s, with a concrete block foundation, square massing, and a flat roof. Idaho Peak Lookout illustrates the evolution of design and materials of fire lookouts at this time period.

Idaho Peak is also valued as a remnant industrial landscape, left over from the mining boom days of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. At one time a central location to mines such as the Idaho, the Alamo, and the Queen Bess, this place holds evidence of the rich geology and natural-resource based economy that drove the boom of villages, towns, and cities in the West Kootenay.

Character-Defining Elements

The elements that define the character of the heritage site include its:
- Location on Idaho Peak, with commanding 360 degree views from the fire lookout.
- Unimpeded views of Slocan Lake, New Denver, and the surrounding mountainous landscape all the way to the horizon.
- Unique geology of the land, which contributed to the development of the site as a mining landscape.
- Subalpine meadow filled with a wide range of summer-blooming flowers.
- Evidence of the remnant mining landscape, including tailings piles, adits, and trails.
- Relationship to nearby past and present townsites such as New Denver, Sandon, and Three Forks.
- Routes of the two access trails that converge into one trail to access the fire lookout.
- Accessibility by car on the fire service road.
- Relationship of the site to the Idaho Peak Forest Service Road.
- Presence of the Idaho Fire Lookout tower on the highest point of land, with its square, vertical massing, wood and concrete construction materials, flat roof, and 360-degree views from inside. The wrap-around balcony, exterior staircase, and basement access door are also features relevant to its historical use.



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

Local Governments (BC)

Recognition Statute

Local Government Act, s.954

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)

1890/01/01 to 1920/01/01

Theme - Category and Type

Governing Canada
Government and Institutions
Developing Economies
Extraction and Production
Expressing Intellectual and Cultural Life
Sports and Leisure

Function - Category and Type




Fire Station
Natural Resource Extraction Facility or Site

Architect / Designer




Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

Regional District of Central Kootenay

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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