Following the CBC Tower trail takes you to the very summit of Mount Nelson (or Elephant Mountain as some locals affectionately call it). It’s a difficult hike with significant elevation, but it’s scenic and close to home! At each milestone, the City of Nelson shrinks further below and more and more peaks enfold from the distant valleys.
Map: Pulpit Rock Trail Network
Trailhead: Pulpit Rock Trailhead, Johnstone Road, Nelson
Distance, Round Trip: 14.1km
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
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
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)
Just starting to venture off trail? Mt. Giegerich is a gentle giant with two easy ridge-lines, inviting you to walk on up! This loop follows the official Sapphire Lakes Trail, summits Giegerich, dips down to the Sapphire Lakes, and then returns to Kaslo Lake via the unofficial Commission Creek route. It’s a wonderful circuit for folks staying in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park – offering a day hike that’s moderate yet adventurous.
Trailhead: Kalso Lake, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Map: Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Distance, Round Trip: 8.6km
Do you think driving to the top of mountains is overrated? Do you really want to earn it? The Wakefield Trail gets you up to Idaho Peak using your own two feet. It’s a hard, steady climb that traces old mining routes to the top of Silver Ridge.
Trailhead: 4.6km up Silverton Creek FSR, then left and 3.9km up an unnamed dirt road
Map: Recreation Sites and Trails BC
Distance, Round Trip: 14.2km (from trailhead)
Elevation: +1000m (from trailhead)
Legend has it that Toad Mountain got its name when a prospector was staking his land claim, looked down, saw a toad, and… that was that. Nevertheless, Toad is a legendary ridge-line hike just outside of Nelson. And the view from the summit? Toad-ally awesome.
Trailhead: Unnamed road, off of Gold Creek Road
Distance, Round Trip: 8km