Our area is the borderland between Ktunaxa and Blackfoot ancestral lands, also overlapped by traditional territories of the Tsuut’ina, Îyârhe Nakoda, and Métis, and at times used by the Secwepemc, Cree, and others. This long history of social diversity and activity is a reflection of a rich and interwoven ecological diversity, all of which continue to shape the area today.
Cross River Education & Retreat Centre is set in mixed montane and subalpine forests along the Yearling Creek near the confluence of the Kootenay and Cross Rivers.
We are just off the Cross River Forest Service Road, about 14.5 kilometres down Settlers Road from Highway 93 South. Our working area also includes trails, learning spaces, and outpost camps around the Yearling Creek headwaters under a BC land tenure agreement.
Like a hidden gem, we are surrounded by spectacular and storied ecologies offering rich and rewarding hiking possibilities.
Banff National Park and Peter Lougheed Provincial Park are to our east. Height of the Rockies, Whiteswan Lake, and Top of the World Provincial Parks are east and south. Kootenay National Park and the Columbia Valley wetlands are to our west. And Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park is to our north.
Some other popular day outings include: guided rafting trips on the Kootenay River; the Akisqnuk or Tsuut’ina Nation powwows; the Siksika Nation Sundance; and driving visits to nearby townsites and attractions like Banff, Lake Louise, Invermere, Panorama, or Radium or Lussier Hot Springs.
A little further afield, some visitors have even enjoyed day trips to Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, the Piikani Nation culture camp, and the Columbia Icefield.
Plant specialists, herbalists, birdwatchers, naturalists, geologists, wildlife photographers, artists, and nature lovers alike have all found a piece of paradise here.
While the seasons offer different opportunities, some common possibilities and their ecosystems include: bears, elk, deer, wolves, cougars, bighorn sheep, owls, hawks, hummingbirds, wild raspberries, huckleberries, wood lilies, wild onion, birch, larch, sweet pine, red willow, kinnickinnick, and wild rose.