It was a good plan. We were going to hike Jumbo Pass and Monica Meadows over the Thanksgiving long weekend, ending the hiking season in a blaze of glorious, golden larches. Sadly, Air Canada had other ideas.
I spent a summery September day hiking Gimli Ridge! We hiked this trail last year under ominous active weather, but today the Valhallas were sunny and warm and cheerful.
Some other improvements over last year’s excursion:
- More goats! We met a large, male mountain goat gallomping down the trail to Mulvey Basin.
- Bannock Road is freshly graded, accessible by 2WD low clearance, thanks to a new logging operation near the trailhead. The car-sized boulder has been removed from the road.
- BC Parks has installed a new and exciting toilet at the campsite on the saddle. Nice to see some upgrades, worrisome to see a conveyor-belt used in such a manner.
Welcome to the West Kootenay’s latest and greatest hike! The Lost Mountain trail offers highway access and a steady workout. Most of this hike is done in the forest, but the final ridge and summit are worth the effort!
Trailhead: Highway 3 (Crowsnest), Kootenay Pass
Distance, Round Trip: 10.6km
Ymir Mountain is renown for its powder, but it’s also a perfectly hike-able summer excursion. Achieving the summit involves getting off trail to traverse the boulders and scree in the Ymir Bowl, but the reward is ridge-line hiking with spectacular views!
Trailhead: Whitewater Ski Hill Road
Distance, Round Trip: 6.7km
The Wilson Creek Falls plunge 63m down into a rocky canyon, ripping with noise and spray. It’s a quick and impressive destination!
Trailhead: East Wilson Creek FSR
Distance, Round Trip: 2.4km
Cradled beneath Mount Brennan’s flanks are three subalpine lakes, glowing mineral-blue and suspended between braided waterfalls. The Lyle Lakes are a beautiful destination! And the trail beyond to Mount Brennan’s 2900m summit offers a challenging hike with staggering views.
Trailhead: Rossiter Creek FSR
Distance, Round Trip: 10km (Lyle Lakes), 17km (Mt Brennan)
Elevation: +710m (Lyle Lakes), +1574m (Mt Brennan)
Shimmering with colourful quartzite, Mount Crawford dazzles hikers along the Plaid Lake Trail. With scenic alpine ridges, flowering meadows, a quick summit, and the eventual dip down to Plaid Lake, this is an amazing trail with something for everyone!
Trailhead: Plaid Lake Road
Distance, Round Trip: 9.7km
In Norse mythology, Loki is a deceptive trickster, causing trouble and strife among the realms of the gods. And Mount Loki is no different. With false summits, an intimidating profile, and a fierce ascent, Mount Loki challenges hikers to make it to the summit. The reward is top-of-the-world views of the Purcell Mountains and distant Kootenay Lake.
Trailhead: Portman Creek FSR
Distance, Round Trip: 11.6km
Looking for a challenging day hike? The Keyhole trail climbs way up high to bring you through a hidden notch at the edge of the Kokanee Glacier. It’s a scenic route, but it’s also a bit of a sufferfest with boulders and scree and an endless ascent.
Trailhead: Kokanee Glacier Road
Distance, Round Trip: 12.4km
Stagleap Provincial Park is renowned for backcountry skiing, but there is also a summer trail that dips along Lightning Strike. Ridgeline hiking is always a good choice, and this trail doesn’t disappoint with panoramic views of the mountains around Kootenay Pass.
Trailhead: Bridal Lake, Stagleap Provincial Park
Distance, Round Trip: 9.4km (Lightning Strike), 12km (including Monk Peak)
Elevation: +393m (Lightning Strike), +759m (including Monk Peak)