Less than ten minutes from Nelson, the network of trails at Morning Mountain is fantastic hiking! The trails wind at a comfortable climb and will take you through dark cedar forests, across wildflower meadows, and up to spectacular views of Kokanee and the Valhalla Mountains.
Trailhead: Blewett Ski Hill Road
Distance, Round Trip: 9km
Morning Mountain operated as a ski hill until 1999 when the lodge burned down. Now it is an Authorized Trail Area under the BC government and the mountain biking trails are being upgraded and developed. The old ski runs are now meadows and recovering forest, which makes Morning Mountain a great wildflower spot.
Up Blewett Ski Hill Road, just 10 minutes from Nelson after taking Granite Road. While a 4WD vehicle isn’t required, Blewett Ski Hill Road had a few water bars and was a bit rough drive up.
Bottoms Up / Upper Bottoms
You have a choice of trails to ascend, but Bottoms Up and Upper Bottoms are the easy trails with a gradual incline. We started up by taking an older road so we could keep out of the way of bikers, and then connected to Upper Bottoms to continue up the ridge.
Upper Bottoms is a new trail, opened in 2015, and runs along the edge of a forested valley before breaking open into meadows at the top. It was a really pleasant, easy walk and I kept questioning why everyone hikes Pulpit Rock when the quiet beauty of Morning Mountain is nearby.
Reaching the Top
The top is reached in about two hours, and it is so worth it! Suddenly – boom! – there are the Valhalla peaks edging the skyline. And over there? Boom! Kokanee! The views are inspiring! The hills are alive!
And of course, there is a scenic bench where we sat, munched and enjoyed view.
Finding and Winding Back Down
We took one of the intermediate bike trails back down and that was a bit hard the the knees. The nice thing about a network of trails is that you can pick your level. The bad thing is that you can get lost. I highly recommend getting a trail map or app when hiking bike trails. We use the Trail Forks app and consulted it at every intersection.
All in all, we were back at the car after 4 hours of hiking and feeling very fulfilled.