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: 5.8km
Elevation: +480m
Difficulty:  Moderate 


Stagleap Provincial Park has great access – parking is at the summit of Kootenay Pass by Bridal Lake. This is popular backcountry skiing area in winter, but the summer hiking is just as worthwhile.

Up Cornice Ridge

A trail begins to the left of the ski hut. Follow it and begin to climb up to Cornice Ridge. It’s about 2.1km and +329m to the top of the first peak and you’ll pass an avalanche control station on the way up.

At the top of the peak, the views open up all around! Looking ahead, you can see Cornice Ridge stretching away into the distance. It’s easy to follow the ridge line and there is even a faint trail leading the way.

Looking ahead on Cornice Ridge

Walking the Line

Following Cornice Ridge involves a bit of elevation gain/loss, but it’s worthwhile. There are panoramic views all around!

Panorama from Cornice Ridge
Panorama from Cornice Ridge

As you near the end of the ridge at 3.5km, the rocks grow to massive white boulders popping with trees. Very scenic.


Onwards to Wolf Peak? Or… not

The original plan was to descend Cornice Ridge and follow a lower ridge over to Wolf Peak. After a steep decent, we crossed a hydro line and began to edge closer to Wolf. However, looking ahead at the route, we noticed movement on the slopes. A bear! And then not long after… a second bear! A grizzly wandering across our intended path.

Ridge towards Wolf Peak, there were bears on that slope!

A decision was made to turn back, rather than cross paths with a foraging grizz. We took a different route back to Cornice, following the hydro road and then turning up towards a middle peak. This was a harder climb, with some scrambling involved, but very fulfilling.

Pines on top of Cornice Ridge

Our wandering route is below, with the bears marked too!


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[…] into scratchy stalks, but it was a great time of year for huckleberry picking. As we walked along, Cornice Ridge became visible to the north with the highway winding far […]

Leah Jackson
Leah Jackson

Looks awesome! Do you think this is a do-able snowshoe?

Abby Wilson

Hi Leah, it is a popular ski-touring route and I believe you could snowshoe, but there is some very complex avalanche terrain in the area so you’d need to do some research on the risks before you go. A bit of info online here: