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Thompson Rim Trail

If you’ve ever gazed at the Skimmerhorn Mountains above Creston and wondered if the distant ridge would be a good place to hike, your wish has been granted! Not only is there a network of trails up there, you can even drive to the top! The Thompson Rim Trail traces the top of the ridge with big views of the Creston Valley below!

Trailhead: Mount Thompson FSR
Distance, round trip: 7km
Elevation: +300m
Season: July to September
Difficulty: Moderate 

Trailhead & Driving Directions

Drive East out of Creston on Hwy 3 and turn right onto Canyon-Lister Rd.  Go 1.1 km and turn left on Whimster Rd, go 750 m and continue on Mt Thompson Forestry Rd for 12km, staying on the main road. This road is well maintained, but has steep grades on the switchbacks so 4WD is recommended.

Parking at the top of Mount Thompson

The road ends at the radio towers where there is plenty of parking and lots of panoramic views! Look down into the Creston Valley with distant Kootenay Lake to the north-west. Looking down the ridge, you can see the true summit of Mount Thompson in the distance. The actual summit is only 38m higher than where you start, but with the ups and downs of the ridge, you’ll gain 300m round trip!

There is no water on the trail and plan on 4-5 hours return trip at a moderate pace.

Views down towards Creston with the Selkirk Mountains beyond.

Heading down the ridge

The trail is signed and quickly descends down the ridge. This is one of the steepest, loosest sections of trail, so don’t be discouraged – it gets better. Take your time as you hike down.

Hiking down the trail

Grassy Ridgeline

After the big descent, the trail levels out to pleasant hiking through meadows full of bear grass. At 1.5km, stay right to continue on the Mount Thomson Trail at a faint marked junction.

After 2km, the trail will ascend to highpoint with a 126m elevation gain. Then it’s a matter of hiking the final stretch to the another tower at trail’s end.

Looking ahead to the end of the trail
Scenery along the trail

The end

Reach the end of the trail after 3.5km. The final section crosses a short boulder field so pick your way up to the radio tower. You’ll find a bench on the other side to rest.

End of the trail

Now it’s a matter of retracing your steps – the effort continues with the ups and downs to return.

Return trip along the grassy ridge

Creston Valley Trails Society

The Creston Valley Trails Society maintains this trail. You can make a donation, become a member, or volunteer here.

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