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 Home > Travel BC > BC Cities and Towns > Kootenay Rockies > Ymir

Ymir is located 12 km (7.5 miles) north of Salmo and 28 km (17.5 miles) south of Nelson on Hwy 6. Ymir (pronounced "why-mur") is named after mythology regarding a leader named Ymir who founded a race of frost giants who dealt with the heaven and earth relationships in Norse cosmology.

Salmo River Valley
Ymir is a small community between 200-300 inhabitants and lies at the base of Mount Dundee next to the Salmo River. Ymir, with the Selkirk and Purcell Mountains aligning themselves in the east and west directions, was originally known as Quartz Creek and has numerous outcrops of rock exposing minerals on the bedrock.

Gold and Silver
The community is very rich in history dating back to when very rich gold and silver deposits were first discovered here by the Hall brothers who made their way here from Colville, Washington.

Largest Stamp Mine in the British Empire
Names of such mines as Porto Rico, Yankee Girl, Ymir, Dundee and New York Central helped create the largest stamp mill in the British Empire at the time in Ymir. Tales of betrayal between the 'hard rock' miners, wild nights and brawls in the taverns, red-light districts and fortunes being lost and made - the poker tables are part of Ymir's folklore from 1890 to the 1920's.

Later in the 1800's, with word of the rich ore deposits, various mines and prospecting operations were situated throughout the Salmo River Valley. With the influx of people and a need for transportation, a town was surveyed by businessman and railway magnate, D.C. Corbin, President of the Spokane International Railroad in 1897. Eventually, a rail line was put in giving access to markets in the Pacific Northwest.

Hotel Ymir
You can discover part of this history at one of the famous and oldest hotels in the Kootenays, Hotel Ymir, which is located right on 1st Avenue as you enter Ymir from the south off Hwy 6. The Hotel Ymir was originally built in 1896, then completely restored in 2006 to its proud past and is now a country resort. The new Hotel Ymir Resort offers a great place to spend some time when visiting here, featuring a pub, restaurant and accommodation, if required.

Ymir Palace Inn
Also situated in Ymir is the firehall, a general store which has a good selection of everything, a baseball field, the Ymir Arts and Museum Society (YAMS) plus another heritage landmark in Ymir, the Ymir Palace Inn. The Ymir Palace Inn, which was built in 1896, is located right behind the Hotel Ymir and offers bed and breakfast accommodation.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Trail
This route, which is undeveloped so you have to enter at your own risk, has not been officially upgraded for recreational use but is in good shape and travels right across from the Hotel Ymir. The 50 km (30 miles) long Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Trail uses right-of-way from the Nelson and Fort Sheppard Company who built a transportation route in 1893 through Ymir to the USA in 1893.

Rustic Camping
If you would prefer, there is a recreational-use facility set up on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway rail right next to the Salmo River and across from the Hotel Ymir. The site has some covered picnic tables, a day-use area and fire-pit next to the river plus some rustic camping available there.

Ymir Disc Golf
Other recreational activities in Ymir include hunting, fishing, hiking, hang-gliding, para-gliding, snowmobiling and other outdoor adventures plus visiting the Ymir Disc Golf course. The Whitewater Ski Resort is also very close to Ymir, about 20 minutes by car on Hwy 6 towards Nelson.

Bill Barlee
Probably the best talk about the history of Ymir is described in the 20-minute video by a local folklore himself, Bill Barlee, on the Ymir British Columbia website. Joined by Mike Roberts from the award-winning series, 'Gold Trails & Ghost Towns,' Bill Barlee gives excellent details on the daily lives of some of the locals living in this part of the Salmo Valley.

Future Gold Discoveries
For future prospectors there are lots of buzz in the local circles with new gold mines that have not yet been discovered by prospectors. Today there is still much action between Ymir and Salmo where you can see lots of new gold discoveries taking place such as the new development called the Yankee-Dundee Project, developed by Group Ten Metals Inc.

Information on Ymir



Map of Ymir
click map for larger image




Salmo River at Ymir
Salmo River at Ymir


Hotel Ymir
Hotel Ymir


Ymir Palace Inn
Ymir Palace Inn


Great Northern Rail Trail
Great Northern Rail Trail


Ymir Campground
Ymir Campground


Ymir Firehall
Ymir Firehall


Gold Mines of the Past in Ymir
Gold Mines of the Past

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