The old growth trail up Kokanee Creek is a short and spectacular hike. The cedars are ancient and massive, reaching up towards the sky and back across the centuries.

Summary
Trailhead: Kokanee Glacier Road
Distance, round trip: 2.4km
Elevation: +100m
Difficulty:  Easy

Total distance: 2542 m
Max elevation: 1191 m
Min elevation: 1089 m
Total climbing: 145 m
Total descent: -161 m
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Trailhead & Driving Directions

Drive 11.7km up Kokanee Glacier Road. The road is suitable for a 2WD low-clearance vehicle with several pullouts to meet oncoming traffic. As you near the trailhead, watch for a sign on the left where the road widens to allow for parking.

This trail is typically open June to November, based on snow levels.

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Down to Kokanee Creek

The trail quickly descends to the creek in a series of steps and switchbacks. It’s an easy trek, suitable for all levels of hikers.

The path is peppered with interpretive signs and view points. The forest is considered old growth because it has reached a stage of ecological equilibrium – not because it has never been logged. There are many old stumps that bear the century-old mark of springboards where loggers once stood and swung axes.

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The Cedar Grove

These trees are big. Huge! Their bark twists up in papery layers and disappears into the distant canopy. It is impossible to take a picture that shows the magnitude of each tree – you’ve just got to go there!

Walking into an old growth cedar forest invokes the same quiet reverence as walking into a medieval cathedral. There is a history and timelessness in the grove that is palpable. Some of these cedars are estimated to be over 800 years old.

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Ancient cedar on the Old Growth trail
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Big hug!

Looping Back Up

After winding through the cedar grove, the trail loops back along the creek to rejoin the main section.

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Back up the canyon

All in all, this is a neat little spot if you’re spending some time in the area and looking for a family-friendly hike. If you’re looking for more adventure, drive another 10 minutes up Kokanee Glacier Road and you’ll come to the trailhead for the short Gibson Lake Trail as well as the bigger Kokanee Lake Trail.

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[…] Kokanee Old Growth Trail is always great for a rainy day! Many mushrooms were sprouting along the wet path and the fall […]

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[…] 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 […]