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British Columbia Highway 6

Highway 6 marker

Highway 6

Nelson-Nelway Highway
Vernon-Slocan Highway
Route information
Maintained by British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure
Length406 km (252 mi)
Part of the International Selkirk Loop
Major junctions
South end SR 31 at Canada–US border in Nelway
Major intersections Hwy 3 at Salmo
Hwy 3A in Nelson
Hwy 3A near South Slocan
Hwy 31A near New Denver
Hwy 23 in Nakusp
Needles Ferry
West end Hwy 97 in Vernon
ProvinceBritish Columbia
Major citiesNelson, Vernon
Highway system
Hwy 5A Hwy 7

Highway 6 is a two-lane highway passing between the Kootenay and Okanagan regions in the province of British Columbia, Canada. It is divided into two parts—the Nelson-Nelway Highway between the Canada–United States border and Nelson, and the Vernon-Slocan Highway between South Slocan and Vernon.[2][3] Highway 6 is a north–south highway between Nelway and the Needles Ferry and an east–west highway between the Needles Ferry and Vernon;[4] it has a total length of 407 km (253 mi).[1] It first opened in 1941, and its very winding path through the western Kootenays has not changed since.

Route description

Nelson-Nelway Highway

Highway 6 looking north towards Nelson in the Selkirk mountains.

Highway 6 begins at the Canada–United States border crossing at Nelway, where it connects with Washington State Route 31. The highway parallels the Salmo River for the rivers entire length from Nelson to the border and many views of the river can be seen from the highway. From the Canada–United States border, it travels north through the Selkirk Mountains for 10 km (6 mi) to the Burnt Flat Junction, where the Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) merges onto it from the east. Highway 3 and Highway 6 share a concurrency north for 14 km (9 mi) to the town of Salmo, where Highway 3 diverges west.

From Salmo, Highway 6 goes north for 10 km (6 mi), continuing to follow the Salmo River valley to the town of Ymir. Then it continues north for 34 km (21 mi) passing through the communities of Porto Rico and Hall Siding, to the city of Nelson, just south of which (10 km) access to the Whitewater Ski Resort is located. Highway 3A merges onto Highway 6 in Nelson, and the two highways travel west for 24 km (15 mi) along the Kootenay River, passing through the communities of Taghum, Bonnington Falls, Beasley and Corra Linn to where Highway 3A diverges southwest just west of South Slocan at Playmour Junction.[4] The highway then proceeds north west up the Slocan Valley.

Vernon-Slocan Highway

Highway 6 at the Monashee Summit

From South Slocan, Highway 6 follows the Slocan River north for 75 km (47 mi) passing through Winlaw, Slocan City and Silverton to the community of New Denver, where Highway 31A meets Highway 6. 46 km (29 mi) northwest of New Denver, Highway 6 reaches its junction with Highway 23 at the resort community of Nakusp. Highway 6 then turns southwest and proceeds to follow the east bank of the Columbia River (Lower Arrow Lake) for 60 km (37 mi) to Fauquier, on the east shore of Lower Arrow Lake, where the Needles Ferry is located.[4]

From Needles, Highway 6 takes a winding path northwest through the Monashee Mountain range, passing through the community of Cherryville on its exit from the mountains, until it reaches the community of Lumby, 110 km (68 mi) away. Highway 6 then proceeds west on its final 26 km (16 mi) through the district of Coldstream, and terminates at a junction with Highway 97 in Vernon.[4]


Some maps show Highway 6 originally continuing west from Vernon to Monte Creek, approximately 26 km (16 mi) east of Kamloops.[5] This section became part of Highway 97 in 1953.

Major intersections

From south to north:[4]

Regional DistrictLocationkm[1]miDestinationsNotes
Central KootenayNelway0.000.00
SR 31 south – Metaline Falls, Spokane
Continues into Washington
Canada–US border at Metaline Falls-Nelway Border Crossing
10.376.44 Hwy 3 east (Crowsnest Highway) – Creston, CranbrookSouth end of Hwy 3 concurrency
Salmo24.5315.24 Hwy 3 east (Crowsnest Highway) – Trail, CastlegarNorth end of Hwy 3 concurrency
Nelson64.6740.18Observatory StreetInterchange
64.9140.33 Hwy 3A east – Balfour, Kootenay Lake FerryCottonwood Creek Interchange
South end of Hwy 3A concurrency
71.7144.56Taghum Bridge across the Kootenay River
89.0555.33 Hwy 3A west – CastlegarNorth end of Hwy 3A concurrency
New Denver164.06101.94 Hwy 31A east – Kaslo
Nakusp210.29130.67 Hwy 23 north – Revelstoke
270.16167.87 Needles Ferry crosses Lower Arrow Lake
Kilometrage does not include ferry
North Okanagan338.36210.25Monashee Pass – 1,205 m (3,953 ft)
Lumby380.01236.13Shuswap Avenue – Mabel Lake
Vernon405.60252.03 Hwy 97 (32nd Street) – Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops
25th Avenue – Okanagan Landing
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi


  1. ^ a b c Landmark Kilometre Inventory (PDF). British Columbia Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (Report). Cypher Consulting. July 2016. pp. 109–112, 405–410, 414–418. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-03-11. Retrieved 2017-02-24.
  2. ^ "Orders In Council: 11867-1965". BC Laws: Orders in Council. Province of British Columbia. July 13, 1965. p. 2. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  3. ^ "Official Numbered Routes in British Columbia". Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure. Province of British Columbia. Archived from the original on 2017-01-05. Retrieved February 24, 2017.
  4. ^ a b c d e British Columbia Road Atlas (Map) (2007 ed.). Oshawa, ON: MapArt Publishing Corp. p. 41, 61-62, 74. ISBN 1-55368-018-9.
  5. ^ Department of Highways (1954). Alberta Official Road Map (Map). Department of Economic Affairs. §§ A-3, A-4.
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