A scenic overlook trail above Salmo! The Delaurentiis Bluffs trail provides both exercise and inspiration as it climbs high to a series of viewpoints above the valley.[sgpx gpx=”/wp-content/uploads/gpx/Delaurentiis.gpx”]
Trailhead and Driving Directions
In Salmo, turn onto 4th Street and drive through town, crossing the Salmo River. On the other side of the bridge, where Airport Road begins, reach the junction where Delaurentiis Road branches off to the left. Look for the signed trailhead right across the road with a parking pullout.
This trail forms a figure eight, with a lower loop (called the Boulder Garden), a higher loop, and a lookout spur at the very top. Starting from the trailhead sign, you’ll hike counter-clockwise.
The Boulder Garden
The trail ascends through the forest on a series of rock-steps, then winds among the trees.
As the trail rounds to the left and flattens, look for views of the Salmo River below through the trees. At 0.5km, reach a junction with the higher loop heading up. Before you ascend, notice a lookout just ahead with a scenic bench and trail log book. Worth a stop!
Climbing the Upper Loop
The upper loop is rated more difficult as there are some chunky sections where the trail crosses rockslides. Continuing counter-clockwise, you’ll ascend a series of switchbacks that are full of wildflowers in the spring.
At 2.2km, reach the spur trail to the highest lookout. This adds 1.4km of distance out-and-back, but will get you to the highest viewpoint overlooking the valley. The top view gazes down two valleys, with the Seven Summits Range in the far distance to the West.
Retrace your steps back down the spur, then turn right on the Upper Loop to continue hiking counter-clockwise. The Upper Loop will lead to more beautiful viewpoints, as well as a few tricky patches where the trail crosses bedrock with careful footing required.
Reach the lower Boulder Garden Loop again at 5.0km and turn right to continue counter-clockwise. The trail will ramp down to an old road which dips back down to Delaurentiis Road and back to the trailhead.