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Ripple Ridge/Lightning Strike

Stagleap Provincial Park is renowned for backcountry skiing, but there is also a summer trail that rises along Ripple Ridge. Ridgeline hiking is always a good choice, and this trail doesn’t disappoint with panoramic views of the mountains around Kootenay Pass. Lightning Strike and Ripple Ridge are used interchangeably to refer to this ridgeline which is confusing. The proper Ripple Mountain looms far in the distance and isn’t connected at all to the ridge.

Trailhead: Bridal Lake, Stagleap Provincial Park
Distance, round trip: 9.4km
Elevation: +393m
Season: early July to early October
Difficulty:   Moderate

Trailhead & Driving Directions

Drive up Highway 3 to the top of Kootenay Pass, between Salmo and Creston. Park beside Bridal Lake at the summit. Once you’ve parked beside Bridal Lake, you must (carefully) cross the highway and begin following the old gravel road leading south.

Follow the road, hiking around a yellow gate and concrete blocks. This road switchbacks for 2.3km through the forest, and levels out as it crosses the ridge with another set of concrete blocks. To the right (West), the signed Lightning Strike/Ripple Ridge trail takes off.

Signed trail leading off to the right

Walking Ripple Ridge

The trail lifts you out of the forest and onto an alpine ridge, smothered in dry meadow and pale bedrock. The views open up to low mountains on all sides.

Trail along the ridge

Cornice Ridge becomes visible to the North with the highway winding far below. A big feature of this ridge is the number of “tree sculptures” – artfully scattered like an open air museum, backgrounded by the big, blue, beyond.

Ridge End

After about 4.7km, Lightning Strike ridge comes to an end and the trail fizzles out above large bluffs. This is a great spot for a break and a nice turnaround point on a moderate hike. Experienced hikers may chose to route-find and scramble to the Monk Peaks beyond.

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Chris Cowan
Chris Cowan
6 years ago

nice pics, good detail.

4 years ago
Trail Rating :

Another great hike. The trail is in fantastic shape, bushwhacking was easy and the views were stellar.
I was debating whether or not to go up Little Monk but I’m really glad I did. Ripple Mountain looked great from that little peak.

Trip Date
Trail Conditions
The trail is in great shape. I opted to add both Monks to the hike. The bushwhacking required is really minimal, mostly bear and some patches of light brush.
Access Road Conditions
No waterbars on a paved highway, hurray!
Access Road Vehicle
2WD Low Clearance

[…] hiking is just as worthwhile. Besides Cornice Ridge, you’ll also find the excellent trail to Ripple Ridge/Lightning Strike across the […]

Peter Oostlander
Peter Oostlander
1 year ago

I organized this trip for the KMC on Aug 18, 2017.