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Dove Hill Loop

A short hike with panoramic views over Castlegar! This is a great shoulder-season trail as the main climb is snow-free in early April. You can also extend your hike to reach the Brilliant Overlook Trail higher above.

Trailhead: Aaron Road
Distance, round trip: 5.7km
Elevation: +182m
Season: late March to late November
Difficulty:  Easy

Trailhead & Driving Directions

Follow the signs for the Castlegar Golf Club. You will park right outside the gate.

From Highway 3A in Castlegar, turn onto Ootischenia Road and drive up 1km. Turn left onto Corrigan Road and then take the next left onto Aaron Road. Follow Aaron Road as it climbs and winds all the way up to the Castlegar Golf Club.

Park outside the Golf Club Gate. The trail starts from the inside of the club, and if the gates are locked early in the season you’ll need to follow the path to the left of the gate to be led around the fence to the trailhead.

Trailhead inside the Golf Club

Up Dove Hill

Behind the trailhead kiosk, look for the dirt road that leads to the Dove Hill Trail. This road winds pleasantly through the woods.

Dirt road winding through woods

After 0.75km, reach a signed junction and turn right to ascend Dove Hill. The trail breaks out of the forest to climb a series of switchbacks on an open south-facing slope.

Hiking up the switchbacks

It’s about a 130m climb to the top, but the switchbacks are nicely graded. Make sure you stick to the trail! Short-cutting on the switchbacks creates erosion damage.

View looking South towards Red Mountain

As you hike higher, the views will open up below.

Dove Hill Views

Dove Hill has two viewpoints with benches to enjoy the panoramic scenery. The West Viewpoint has wide vistas of Castlegar and the confluence of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers.

View on the West Lookout over the Kootenay-Columbia Confluence

The South Viewpoint is found a little further up the trail and looks down over the airport. On a clear day, you’ll see Red and Granite Mountains in the distance.

Bench on the South Viewpoint

Down the Elk Cut-Off

If you’re making a loop, continue up the trail for one short and steep climb to crest over Dove Hill. The trail then dips down the forest on the north-facing side. This section may still be snowy in the early season.

Hiking down on the North side of the hill – snowy in early April

At 2.7km, reach another signed junction where right continues on towards the Brilliant Overlook Trail. Left will loop back on the Elk Cut Off Trail to the Golf Club.

The Elk Cut Off Trail steadily descends through the forest until it reaches the dirt road at a series of radio towers. Turn left at the towers to head back down the road and rejoin the trail where you started.

Castlegar Parks & Trails Society

The Castlegar Parks & Trails Society maintains the Dove Hill Trail. If you’ve enjoyed the hike, consider becoming a member, making a donation, or volunteering with them.

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