We are located in southeastern British Columbia, Canada, about midway between Vancouver and Calgary, north of the State of Idaho. Our office hours are 8:30 am to 6:00 pm. Check-in times for guests are between 2:00 and 5:00 pm.
How to Get Here
The Ashram is situated at 527 Walker’s Landing Road, Kootenay Bay, BC, on the eastern shore of Kootenay Lake. We are about midway between Creston and Nelson. We are on Mountain Standard Time (Creston/Calgary) in winter, an hour ahead of Nelson/ Vancouver, which is on Pacific Standard Time. In summer, we are on Pacific Standard Time, the same time as Nelson/Vancouver.
Air travel to West Kootenay Regional Airport (Castlegar) in winter is very often delayed due to mountain weather. You can fly into this airport from Vancouver or Calgary but during this season we do not recommend it.
In spring, summer and fall, West Kootenay Regional Airport is our preferred airport because it is the closest airport to the Ashram, and there are daily flights from Calgary and Vancouver (Air Canada and Westjet) to Castlegar.
The Queen City airport shuttle will take you from Castlegar into Nelson. The shuttle stops in front of the Salvation Army Store in Nelson on Vernon Street (unless you specify you want to be dropped off at the Hume Hotel). You need to reserve shuttle service online – they do not take phone reservations. You can then either continue to the Balfour ferry by shuttle (needs to be pre-arranged), taxi (about $80) or city bus (at Baker and Ward Streets; not available on Sundays). The distance is approximately 34 kilometers.
Air travel to Kelowna in winter is much more reliable than flying to Castlegar. One can fly into this airport from Vancouver or Calgary. There are numerous flights from both directions.
Silver City Stage Lines will take you from Kelowna to Nelson. The bus departs from Kelowna at 1:00 pm. In order to catch the daily bus, book one of the first three flights out of Vancouver and the first flight out of Calgary. You need to reserve a seat on Silver City Stage Lines. It can be done online including selecting your seat. The bus arrives at 6:30 pm in Nelson. You will need to stay overnight in Nelson. The Dancing Bear Inn Hostel is an economic, friendly and clean option. There is quite a nice selection of hotels too. The Hume Hotel is the closest to the local bus stop.
From Nelson to the Balfour ferry terminal there are three choices available to you: the city bus ($2.25) (Route 10 North Shore at the SE Corner of Ward Street and Baker Street – not available on Sundays), a taxi (approximately $80) or The Queen City airport shuttle (needs to be pre-arranged and is approximately $75). The city bus takes 54 minutes, the taxi approximately 35 minutes.
Air travel to Spokane is reliable as well in the winter.
From December 15, 2018 – April 7, 2019, Queen City Shuttle drives to and from the Spokane Airport daily to Nelson. Advance booking online is required. Departure from the Spokane Airport is at 2:30 pm. The cost is $115. The trip to Nelson takes between 3.5 to 4.5 hours. You will need to stay overnight in Nelson. Refer to overnight accommodations in Kelowna section.
From April 8 until the middle of December there is no reliable transportation from Spokane to Nelson. You might consider renting a car or fly into Castlegar or Kelowna.
With the recent cancellation of Greyhound, there is no bus service from Calgary to Creston or Nelson. Your only option is to Ride Share. We encourage you to post your request on our Ride Share page. Other options are Kootenay Ride Share and Poparide. Post your requests early.
From Nelson, you have the option to continue on to Balfour by city bus or taxi By taxi it is approximately 30 minutes to the ferry landing, by city bus 54 minutes.
The city bus to Balfour is the #10 North Shore has two stops in Nelson; at the corner of Ward Street and Baker Street and at the North end of the Chahko Mika Mall (The Save-On-Foods’ end of the mall). City buses to Balfour run Monday to Saturday. See transit BC website for more information.
We are just off Highway 3A on the road to Riondel. We are 40 km northeast of Nelson by way of the Kootenay Lake ferry and 80 km north of Creston. Driving times are about 10-11 hours from Vancouver, BC (the ferry is an additional 35 minutes), 8 hours from Calgary, Alberta, and 5 hours from Spokane, Washington.
Coming by car from the west (e.g. Vancouver) to the Ashram, the trip is 10-11 hours. Coming by car from Vancouver travel east on Highway 3 – Hope to Nelson – then north to the Balfour ferry.
Driving from Spokane, count on 5 hours travel time. The border crossing most used by Ashram travellers is at Porthill, ID. You will need a valid passport and your immigration letter (we will send you) to cross the border.
Since Greyhound stopped operating in Western Canada, it has become more challenging for some people to travel to the Ashram. We encourage everybody who is travelling to the Ashram by car and has spare seats in their car to post a ride offer on the Ashram website at http://www.yasodhara.org/rideshareboard/
We are happy to help you plan your journey to the Ashram. Please call the Ashram (1.800.661.8711) with any questions or use the contacts above to make arrangements.