Argenta is located at the north-east end of Kootenay Lake, approximately
40 km (25 miles) north of Kaslo and 79 km
(49 miles) south of Trout Lake.
Argenta was named by the Argenta Mining Company in the late 1800's
from the Latin noun for silver argentums. The area around
Argenta was thought by prospectors to have a vast amount of mineral
deposits in the various creeks that flowed throughout. Several old
mining roads can still be found near Johnsons
Landing called Kootenay Joe Ridge Road Trail.
To get to Argenta, you have to travel on Hwy 31 to the north side
of Kootenay Lake just south of the small community of Cooper Creek.
From here you then go east across the Duncan River on the gravel
road towards Duncan Dam 1.4 km (1 mile) to the turnoff for Argenta.
From this junction you then travel south on the curvy Argenta Road
by around 5 km (3 miles).
Today Argenta is a very small community made up of a few farms and
people looking for a less hectic way of living mainly in utilizing
the land as an economic base. The community sits on the west side
of the Purcell Mountains which provides a relaxed way of life with
small-scale logging and agricultural use prevalent.
Society of Friends (Quakers)
The community was chosen as a site for the Religious Society of
Friends by a small group of American Quakers in the early 1950's
who later established the Delta Co-operative Association in 1954.
Today the local Quakers make up a large percentage of the population
of Argenta and are very involved in the day-to-day operation of
the community and, at one time, ran the Argenta Friends School from
1959 to 1982.
There is no commercial activity or businesses in Argenta. Besides
the Argenta Water Power Co-op Building, there is a small postal
station, the community association building and a playing field.
To get to the Argenta Community building, travel off the Argenta
Road onto Wolfe Road.
Water Power Co-op
The Argenta Water Power Co-op is located along Argenta Road near
the mouth of the Duncan River. You can find a small beach area here
where small boats can be launched. The Duncan River Delta with the
Argenta Marsh Wildlife Reserve is well-noted for bird and wildlife
watching throughout the various seasons of the year.
Grey Pass Trail
For access into the Purcell Wilderness Conservatory, there is a
very historic crossing in Argenta called the Earl Grey Pass Trail.
The 62 km (39 miles) long trail is for a multi-day excursion hike
or horseback ride and only the experienced people should attempt
it. The trail follows Hamill Creek with a number of cable car crossings
up to Earl Grey Pass and features a number of wilderness campgrounds
along the way.
The Earl Grey Pass Trail then continues past 3,243-metre (10,640-feet)
high Mount Hamill and 3,212-metre (10,538-feet) high Mount Toby,
down Toby Creek and past 2,273-metres (7,457-feet) high Pharaoh
Peaks to the east trailhead 32 km (20 miles) west of Invermere
near Jumbo Creek.
There are also two other trails allowing access into the Purcell
Wilderness Conservatory in nearby Johnson's Landing. One trail follows
Fry Creek Canyon and the other one, Kootenay Joe Ridge Road Trail,
follows an old mining route from the late 1800's.
Creek Regional Park
If you would like to explore more of the Argenta Cooper Creek and
Johnsons Landing countryside and would like to stay awhile there
is a water accessible campground at Glacier Creek Regional Park.
You can find this excellent recreational facility on the east side
on Duncan Lake north of Argenta on the Duncan River Road.