My Red Mountain: Get to know the resort with local Mika Hakkola

As the father of three boys, you might think that Mika Hakkola, marketing and communications manager for British Columbia’s Red Mountain Resort, might be a hair too busy to get out and enjoy the region’s endless outdoor recreation opportunities on his own. That’s far from the case, as he spends quality time outdoors with his family, including his wife, Colleen, as well as finds the time to feed his own rat, which, in summer, means trail running, mountain bike riding, and occasionally dipping a paddle. “I love flowing and fast mountain bike trails, fly fishing, and canoeing,” says Hakkola, who has been skiing since age 3–just slightly older than when his own kids started. “And I like to trail run to let off steam.”

Here are a few of his favorite things about Red Mountain:

Place to mountain bike: The Maldie Creek Forestry Service Road, as well as Super Mega Death. It’s a great downhill/freeride trail we have.

Place to road ride: The Trail-Rossland-Castlegar road ride. It’s a great tour.

Place to ride with the family: Rossland to Warfield. There’s nothing better. You take Milky Way, Green Door, Rail Grade and Wagon Road–and it’s all downhill the entire way, from Rossland to Warfield.

Place to paddle (flatwater): Lower Arrow Lake in Syringa Provincial Park, as well as Champion Lakes Provincial Park and Nancy Greene Provincial Park. They’re beautiful and uncrowded.

Place to paddle (whitewater): There are tons of great rivers and creeks for all abilities. The Slocan River is a great intermediate run rated Class II-II+ most of the way, with one Class III called S-bend. The Upper Slocan, from Passmore to Crescent Beach, is a good Class I-II beginner run. Those wanting to take it up a notch can head to the Salmo River from April through June, which is Class III-IV; Wilson Creek which is Class IV+ at higher flows; and Koch Creek, a Class IV-V for advanced and expert paddlers. The Little Slocan River is also great, rated Class III, and runs through July.

Place to paddle with the family: Champion Lakes Provincial Park and Nancy Greene Provincial Park. They’re both great places to break out the canoe.

Place to re-fuel: The Alpine Grind, Clancy’s, and Sunshine Cafe in Rossland.

Place for a beer afterwards: Head to the Flying Steam Shovel in Rossland. It’s usually pretty hopping.

Photos courtesy Red Mountain