British Columbia Highway 6

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Highway 6 shield

Highway 6
Nelson-Nelway Highway
Vernon-Slocan Highway
Route information
Length: 406 km (252 mi)
Existed: 1941 – present
Part of the International Selkirk Loop
Major junctions
South end: SR 31 at Canada–US border
  BC 3 east in Burnt Flat
BC 3 west in Salmo
BC 3A in Nelson
BC 3A near South Slocan
BC 31A near New Denver
BC 23 in Nakusp
Needles Ferry
West end: BC 97 in Vernon
Major cities: Nelson, Vernon
Highway system

British Columbia provincial highways

BC 5A BC 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–US 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[edit]

Nelson-Nelway Highway[edit]

Highway 6 begins at the Canada–US border crossing at Nelway, where it connects with Washington State Route 31. It travels north 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 41 km (25 mi), mostly following the Salmo River, to the city of Nelson, where access to the Whitewater Ski Resort is located. Highway 3A merges onto Highway 6 at Nelson, and the two highways travel west for 24 km (15 mi) along the Kootenay River, passing through the communities of Taghum and Bonnington Falls, to where Highway 3A diverges southwest just west of South Slocan at Playmour Junction.[4]

Vernon-Slocan Highway[edit]

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]

Major intersections[edit]

From south to north:[4]

Regional district Location km[1] mi Destinations Notes
Central Kootenay Nelway 0.00 0.00 Canada – United States border at Metaline Falls-Nelway Border Crossing
Continues as SR 31 south – Metaline Falls, Spokane
10.37 6.44 BC 3 east (Crowsnest Highway) – Creston, Cranbrook BC 6 branches north; south end of BC 3 concurrency
Salmo 24.53 15.24 BC 3 east (Crowsnest Highway) – Trail, Castlegar BC 6 branches north; north end of BC 3 concurrency
Nelson 64.67 40.18 Observatory Street Interchange
64.91 40.33 BC 3A east – Balfour, Kootenay Lake Ferry Cottonwood Creek Interchange
BC 6 branches west; south end of BC 3A concurrency
71.71 44.56 Taghum Bridge across the Kootenay River
South Slocan 89.05 55.33 BC 3A west – Castlegar BC 6 branches north; north end of BC 3A concurrency
Winlaw 113.19 70.33 Winlaw Bridge Road, Paradise Valley Road
Slocan 132.49 82.33 Giffen Avenue
Silverton 159.30 98.98 4th Street
New Denver 164.06 101.94 BC 31A east (6th Avenue) – Kaslo
Nakusp 210.29 130.67 BC 23 north – Revelstoke BC 6 branches south
270.16 167.87 Needles Ferry crosses Lower Arrow Lake
Kilometrage does not include ferry
North Okanagan 338.36 210.25 Monashee Pass – 1,205 m (3,953 ft)
Cherryville 353.13 219.42 Sugar Lake Road
Lumby 380.01 236.13 Shuswap Avenue – Mabel Lake
Coldstream 398.42 247.57 Kalamalka Road
Vernon 405.36 251.88 25th Avenue, 30th Street BC 6 turns onto 25th Avenue
405.60 252.03 BC 97 (32nd Street) – Penticton, Kelowna, Kamloops
25th Avenue continues west
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. 
  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. 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.