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.
Skycastle (aka Lemon Lookout) is an old fire tower offering panoramic views of the Valhallas and Slocan Valley. This ain’t no Idaho Peak – you’ll have to march yourself up the long climb to the summit – but the scenery is nearly as spectacular!
Trailhead: Ponderosa FSR
Distance, Round Trip: 10km
Mt. Gimli is a striking pillar of rock, towering high in the Valhalla range. This hike is tough, but rewarding. The trail leads up to the base of Gimli where it wraps around to a final ledge. Here, hikers can look down into the Mulvey Basin lakes, or just spin and spin and take in the panoramas of jagged peaks and sky.
Trailhead: Bannock Burn Road
Map: Valhalla Provincial Park
Distance, Round Trip: 9.5km
Turquoise lakes, mirrored pools, and circles of peaks all around! The hike to Gwillim Lakes goes from ‘impressive’ to ‘fantastically incredible’ and doesn’t stop there!
Trailhead: Hoder Creek Road
Map:Valhalla Provincial Park
Distance, Round Trip: 12km
Today we hiked up to the hidden gem known as Sky Castle. Sky Castle is a look-out tower perched upon a small mountain with panoramic views of Slocan Valley, Lemon Creek drainage, and the mighty Valhalla mountains.