A road trip to the Kootenays is always a great idea. You are surrounded by rugged, stunning mountain views and the drive itself is part of the adventure. Taking a BC Tesla road trip to the Kootenays takes some planning but not as much as you would expect.
When I first started planning our road trip from Kamloops to Cranbrook, BC in our Tesla Model X, there was very little information available regarding where to charge between Golden and Cranbrook. That section of road along Highway 93 is a two-lane highway and was one of my favorite parts of the road trip.
I was driving our Tesla Model X which has a range of 455 km and kept to the main highway system of Hwy 1 and Hwy 93.
BC Tesla Road Trip: First Stop Revelstoke
After departing Kamloops, BC (there is a Tesla Supercharger right off Hwy 1) we headed for Revelstoke which was our first stop to charge and have lunch while we waited. The drive was 2 hours and 20 minutes with some elevation changes so we used 228 km along the way.
There is a Tesla Supercharger at the Sandman Hotel in Revelstoke with 4 charging stations. It is a high-use charging station so be prepared for a potential wait. Both times we charged here (including our return trip) I managed to get the fourth charger as cars were quickly coming and going.
We arrived with 227 km and quickly charged to 367 km which took less than twenty minutes. It was possible that we could have made it all the way to Golden to charge there, but I was traveling on my own with my two boys so I didn’t want to deal with the range anxiety.
There are restrooms available for use inside of the Sandman Hotel.
There aren’t any places to eat nearby so we had to use the pedestrian crossing at the light to cross the highway where there is a row of restaurants along the frontage road. Revelstoke is a very busy stop along Hwy 1 so be prepared for congestion and long waits, especially during the summer months.
Related: Plan a Road Trip With Kids: 9 Tips To Get You Safely (And Successfully) On the Road
Next Stop: Golden, BC
The drive from Revelstoke to Golden is only a 1 hour and 39-minute drive but it is the last charging station along the Tesla Network before Cranbrook, BC. The charging station in Golden is located in the parking lot of the Travelodge and has four charging stations. It is another high-use charging station so be prepared to wait although we lucked out when we arrived.
We arrived with 192 km remaining and charged to 360 km which again took less than twenty minutes. There is one restroom in the Travelodge available for use and it is located along the frontage road so there are many restaurants and fast food options within a short walk.
The view behind the Tesla Charging Station in Golden is of Kicking Horse Mountain’s ski and bike runs. It is a beautiful sight to see!
Hwy 93 in the Kootenays
After leaving Golden we took the exit to Hwy 93 which would take us towards Cranbrook, BC. There are no Tesla Superchargers along this highway but it is mostly flat and we easily had enough range to make the drive all the way to Three Bars Ranch.
There is a time change to Mountain Standard Time so remember to include this into your travel plans!
This part of the road trip was hands down my favorite. The highway had much less traffic and it was calm and peaceful for the remainder of the drive.
Radium Hot Springs, BC
We made a quick detour through Radium Hot Springs to check out the town as we had never visited before and then continued on our way.
There are two EV charging stations available in Radium Hot Springs but they take much longer to charge than using a Tesla Supercharger and require an adaptor to use one.
Tesla Charger at Copper Point Resort in Invermere, BC
Even though we could easily make the drive all the way to Three Bars Ranch, we decided to stop for the night at Copper Point Resort in Invermere.
Copper Point Resort has one 60 Amp Tesla charger available for guests as well as one EV charger. It is located in the underground parking along the wall next to the door to the elevators. The two parking spots have yellow lines through the parking stalls to make it look like you cannot park there but electric vehicles are allowed while charging.
We checked into the hotel, went to our room to change into our swimsuits and immediately hit the pool to stretch our legs after driving and charging for 6.5 hours. It was a nice way to break up our road trip but if you don’t have the extra time, you can easily keep going all the way to Cranbrook.
Ozzie’s Go-Kart Garage in Windermere, BC
After checking out of Copper Point Resort we continued our BC Tesla road trip to our destination at Three Bars Ranch in Cranbrook, BC. We saw a go-kart track in Windermere so we decided to make a pit stop and give it a try. My boys have never been in a go-kart, and I remember as a kid how much fun they were so I thought it would be a fun start to our day.
My boys are ages six and eight and were not old enough to drive one by themselves so I drove with them one at a time. It was just as I remembered and a whole lot of fun!
Sandstone Cliffs in the Columbia Valley
Just south of Fairmont Hot Springs is a stunning landmark along Hwy 93 at Dutch Creek. These spectacular hoodoos are visible from the highway and there is an easy pull out to park and see them up close and in person right before the bridge over the river.
We took the opportunity to park and walk along the base of the cliffs and admired their beauty. This area of British Columbia is truly rugged and stunning and worth making quick pit stops throughout your drive.
There is a hike to the Fairmont Hoodoos Trail if you were feeling more adventurous and had time to fit it into your road trip itinerary. The round trip hike is 3 km and takes roughly an hour. If you are hiking with children, keep them close as there are many drop-offs throughout the hike.
Columbia River Viewpoint
A few minutes after leaving the hoodoos, we came across the rest area overlooking the Columbia River. There is also a viewpoint located directly south of the rest area but we chose to stop where there was a short trail we could hike to a beautiful spot with a 180-degree view.
There were restroom facilities there but they were closed when we visited.
Kootenay River in Canal Flats, BC
As we were driving through Canal Flats (which has an EV charger) we noticed a beautiful area to pull over and walk along the Kootenay River. The water was a pretty shade of blue-ish green and we spent some time skipping rocks and enjoying some snacks in the fresh air.
Stoke Juice and Java Bar in Kimberley, BC
Turning off Hwy 93 onto Hwy 95A we made a stop at Stoke Juice and Java Bar at the Centex Market in Kimberley, BC. I highly recommend driving through this cute town and stopping for some healthy snacks at this market.
There is an abundance of fresh produce, organic food options, and shelves stocked with natural food brands. We opted for their homemade pretzels, organic blueberries and blackberries, and some smart sweets for a treat.
Final Destination: Three Bars Ranch
In between Kimberely and Cranbrook sits the beautiful Three Bars Guest Ranch. On one side is St Mary’s River and Perry Creek on the other.
The ranch is surrounded by the Rocky Mountains as well as the Purcell Mountain Range. It is truly a stunning piece of property in the Kootenays of British Columbia and we were ecstatic about spending the next five days there.
We arrived at the ranch, checked in, and then arranged to plug our Tesla into a regular 110-volt outlet that was located right on a pole surrounding the parking lot.
We were not going to be driving our vehicle for the next five days, so we had plenty of time to fully charge the battery for our return trip at the end of our stay.
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Return Trip Home
After a glorious five days at the all-inclusive guest ranch, we started our journey home. We had a fully charged battery at 455 km and had planned to drive all the way from Three Bars Ranch to Kamloops, BC.
- Three Bars Ranch to the Tesla Supercharger in Golden was a 248 km drive.
- We arrived with 157 kms after a 3 hour drive
- 20 minute charge in Golden to get from 157 kms to 331 kms
- Golden to Tesla Supercharger in Revelstoke was a 148 km drive
- We arrived in Revelstoke with 180 kms left after 1 hour 42 mins drive
- Revelstoke to Kamloops was a 205 km drive
- We arrived home with 103 kms left after a 2 hour and 20 mins drive
Helpful EV Apps
If you find yourself in an area with no Tesla superchargers, you can download the following apps to find an EV charger nearest you:
- BC Hydro EV
I would also recommend ordering an RFID card for the BC Hydro EV app. Sometimes these EV charges are located in smaller communities where there is limited cell phone coverage and you will have trouble getting the charge to start. Using the RFID card means you do not have to rely on a cell phone signal. We keep our RFID card in the glove compartment of our Tesla.
This BC Tesla road trip to the Kootenays was a success and I had absolutely no range anxiety at all throughout the trip. I spent a total of $28.38 at the Tesla Supercharger stations for a total of 1246 km driven.
Casandra Karpiak is a travel writer and the co-owner of Savoteur. A Toronto native with Danish roots currently residing in British Columbia, her travel writing has been seen on The Associated Press wire, MSN, CBS, NBC, Entrepreneur, 24/7 Wall St, Times Daily, and many more.
You can follow her travel adventures on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.