Spent a great day wandering with the Kootenay Mountaineering Club last weekend on a hike from Cedar Creek to Loon Lake. Our route took us high above Ainsworth Hot Springs, following old mining roads and ATV trails.
Back in the day, Ainsworth was a booming mining town rather than a hot springs resort. Several prominent mines dotted the slopes above Ainsworth and it was a hub of activity. Today, the remnants of old mining equipment and aerial tramway cables can be found along the Cedar Creek Trail which retraces an older mining road.
At the top of the Cedar Creek Trail, we passed by the Ainsworth Cemetery. This was a strange and beautiful place, perched high above the town and overlooking the lake.
Leaving the cemetery, we followed a series of ATV roads that were either running with water or buried under snow. We bypassed a collapsed mining tunnel near the old Highlander Mine.
Loon Lake was covered in ice and surrounded by flood water. We stopped for a quick lunch before carrying onwards to a power station that overlooked rainy Kootenay Lake:
We walked down from the power station, following a road that came out near Coffee Creek.