People warned me about November.
“It’s the worst month,” they said. “Nelson gets completely socked in.”
And yes, November was a dark, cold month of endless rain and low clouds. We went weeks without feeling the sun and the snow line shifted teasingly up and down the mountains. The fall colours were gone and the time change brought the sunset creeping earlier into the afternoon. Bleh.
The trail circling Gibson Lake is short and splendid, wrapping along the lakeshore and crossing tributary streams. Most folks will want to venture onwards and upwards into Kokanee Glacier Park, but if you’re looking for an easy hike or something to pair with the Old Growth Trail, then Gibson Lake is worth the drive!
Trailhead: Kokanee Glacier Road
Map: Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Distance, Round Trip: 2.1km
We returned to the bike trails at Svoboda Road today to do some more fall hiking. It was a cool, damp day, but the clouds slowly lifted off the mountains and patches of blue sky appeared when we reached the clearing at the top. Lots of golden larches, and shrieking Stellar and Grey Jays darting along the trail.
After a week of rain, the clouds lifted to reveal snow-capped peaks and golden larches. We spend a day hiking at Morning Mountain and enjoyed the interplay of sunlight and fall colours.
Well, it’s mid-October and the snow level is at 1500 meters. We’ve had cold, rainy days with low grey clouds, and that means it’s back to shoulder-season hiking. I’ve returned to many of our spring hikes to see how the trails look in fall colours.
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
Backpacking meals are a tricky business. You want to bring food that is nutritious, tasty, easy to prepare, easy to clean-up, and lightweight all at the same time! Also, you probably don’t want to eat the same thing every day.
Our recent 5-night backpacking trip into Mt. Assiniboine had us puzzling through meals, as we sorted and prepared food for the trip. Here’s what we ended up bringing and what we thought!
All aboard the Great Northern Rail Trail! It’s not the most exciting hike, but the rail-grade is easy, gentle walking. The destination of this hike is white sandy Troop Beach at Five Mile Point – a great picnic spot with shallow water, sandbars, and solitude.
Trailhead: Svoboda Road
Distance, Round Trip: 12.5km
Cornice Ridge is a great off-trail hike exploring ridges and peaks in Stagleap Park. The area has good landmarks and easy access. And once you get up to the ridge, the alpine wandering is spectacular!
Trailhead: Bridal Lake, Stagleap Provincial Park
Distance, round trip: 10.5km
Every year in late summer, the mature kokanee salmon begin the struggle of their lives. They face a literal uphill battle- fighting their way upstream to their original spawning grounds to find mates and lay eggs. It’s exhausting work and once their eggs are fertilized and buried, the kokanee die and wash away to feed forests and bears.