Hiking in The Kootenays, British Columbia

Hiking in Kootenays BC, Canada

Hiking in the Kootenays Region of the BC Rockies

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  • Travel info for the Kootenays.   Trails in this area.

    The Kootenays, stretching from the Monashee Mountains in the west, and the Purcell Mountains in the east, consists of snow capped mountains, clear bubbling streams, forest covered valleys and large inland lakes. The climate in this region is shared by most of the interior of British Columbia. Winters are usually cold and dry, while summers tend to be hot, dry and low on humidity. Wildlife here thrives, so don't be surprised if you encounter deer, elk, moose, caribou, bighorn sheep, mountain goats, both grizzly and black bears. Overhead fly both bald eagles and golden eagles and in the lakes there's waterfowl galore. Take time out to visit the many heritage building, old mining ghost towns and abandoned railways. The Kootenays offers a diversity of both summer and winter recreation such as down hill skiing, fishing, canoeing, whitewater rafting, bird watching, horseback riding, mountain climbing and hiking. Life in the Kootenays is laid back where people can maintain an alternative lifestyle, so leave the rush behind and enjoy this particular corner of BC.

    Monashee Provincial Park:

    Monashee Provincial Park is a wilderness area covering 7513 ha (18,560 acres) in the Monashee Mountains and is used by advanced hikers and mountain climbers who wish to scale the higher peaks of this range. From Cherryville, take Sugar Lake Road that leads north to Spectrum Falls parking lot, which is 12 km (7.4 mi.) outside the park boundary. From here its a steep hike to the park and the 24 km (15 mi.) of hiking trails and wilderness camping. The hiking terrain is strenuous with steep switchbacks, the first camp site which is at Spectrum Lake is a long five hour hike. Your next camp spot is at Peters Lake, another extremely steep gruelling hike.

    Make this your base camp and enjoy day trips to other parts of the park, like Fawn Lakes and the Valley of the Moon. Watch for bears, bring your bells and noisemakers to keep them away and make sure your food is well protected and away from the sleeping area. Be safe, have fun!

    Valhalla Provincial Park:

    Valhalla Provincial Park is 49,200 hectares (121,150 acres) of wilderness, located on the west side of Slocan Lake in the Selkirk Mountains. Most of the eastern of the Valhalla Range lies within the park and accessible only by boat from Slocan Lake, or by four wheel drive from Slocan. Once your have reached the hiking sections, there are a number of trails, one is the Nemo Creek Trail another is the Drinnon Pass Trail. Before you go beyond these marked trails, contact BC Parks in Nelson for information and conditions. There are no services up here, so plan your trip, be well equipped and self sufficient. Be safe, have fun!

    Kokanee Glacier Park:

    Kokanee Glacier Park is one of BC's oldest and most scenic parks featuring glaciers including the Kokanee Glacier, alpine meadows, waterfalls, more than thirty lakes all intercepted by mountain peaks. Located in the Selkirk Mountains, northwest from Nelson, this park has easy access to backpacking during the summer months. The terrain here is rugged, but the lower sections are full of old mining trails, that are well maintained by the parks branch. You will also find old maintained hikers' cabins, outback campsites and nature trails. Make a base camp and take day hikes into the heart of the park. Stay off the glaciers, they are dangerous.

    Hike the Kootenay Pass, an easy reached alpine area, where a herd of woodland caribou make their home. Located 34 km (21 mi.) west of Creston, in the Selkirk Mountains, where the highest paved road runs through the pass. The terrain is almost treeless, making for great hiking along the tops of ridges. Take Highway 3 west from Salmo to Bridal Lake picnic area where you will find short walking trails, or head directly into the alpine area of the pass and choose your own routes. Always know where you are, where you want to go and keep an eye on the weather conditions, things can change quickly high in the mountains. Be prepared for the worst possible conditions when hiking, it's better and safer that way.

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    Hiking in The Kootenays, British Columbia