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Trail Bluffs Loop

A scenic loop with some urban hiking! You’ll never be far from the industrial sounds of the City of Trail, but this loop ascends to wide views of the Columbia River Valley along the bluffs.

Trailhead: Gryo Park, Trail
Distance, round trip: 9.95km
Elevation: +350m
Season: early April to early November
Difficulty: Easy

Trailhead & Driving Directions

Drive to Gryo Park in Trail and park in the main lot. Since this is a loop, you can hike in either direction, but the description below is for hiking clockwise. There is no map of the trail at Gyro Park, but this route follows a mountain biking network maintained by the Kootenay Columbia Trails Society. You can view a map of the area on Trail Forks.

View of the Columbia River

Columbia River to Sunningdale

From Gyro Park, follow the signs for the Trans Canada Trail, walking along the sidewalk in the upstream direction of the Columbia River. You’ll pass Gyro Park Beach and then soon be walking into the suburb of Sunningdale. The sidewalk will end and you’ll continue walking along Hazelwood Drive, spotting the occasional Trans Canada Trail sign.

As you walk along, look up at the bluffs high above – that is where you’ll soon be!

Hazelwood Drive will curve to the right away from the river and the sidewalk will appear again. Watch for the signed “Sunningdale” trail appearing on the left and heading into the forest. Take it. It will dip down to cross Sandpit Road and then begin to ascend through the forest.

Watch for downhill traffic while hiking on this trail – those bikes go fast!

Up to the Bluffs

The trail ascends through the forest on a series of switchbacks, and then comes out on a long ridge leading up to the bluffs. The forest will fall away, and you’ll be able to look ahead to see a distant flagpole on top of the bluffs.

First view heading up the bluffs

The trail will lead back above the suburb of Sunningdale, so you can look down on where you were walking earlier. As you near the Flagpole, you’ll reach a series of junctions. Stay right to keep to the edge of the bluffs.

Reach the Flagpole and the highest point of the loop after hiking about 5km. There is no bench here, but enjoy the panorama below! On a clear day, you’ll see the peaks from the Seven Summits Range to the West.

Panorama at the Flagpole

Along the top of the bluffs

Continue along the trail. It will start to gradually descend through patches of forest, leaving the views behind.

Beautiful birch forest

You’ll soon reach more junctions, stay right again and consult Trail Forks if you’re not sure about a turn – these junctions are unsigned and can be confusing along the twisting trails.

Miral Heights & Raven’s Rock

At last, reach a signed junction with Raven’s Rock on the left and Miral Heights to the right. The Miral Heights trail here will lead you to a scenic lookout over the hospital, with a bench! It’s worth the quick detour.

Scenic bench at Miral Heights

Return to the junction and take Raven’s Rock to descend into town. The ravens were making a riot as we hiked through this area- quorking and squawking in the trees!

Hiking down the Raven’s Rock Trail

Arrive back in Trail near the hospital, and take Goepel St down to Second Avenue to head back to Gyro Park.

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