Hiking at the top of the world has never been easier! Idaho peak is a short ridge-line trail offering spectacular panoramas and endless wildflowers.July 2020 – the Idaho Peak access road suffered a massive washout and is closed indefinitely. Check the Sandon, BC page for updates.
Distance, round trip: 3.3km
Season: mid-July to late September
Head to the town of Sandon watch the Idaho Peak signs. The trailhead is 12km up from Sandon and the access road is easy to follow with many signs. The main complication is that the access road is long and narrow! Idaho Peak is a popular spot, and meeting oncoming vehicles on that road is stressful. Avoid the crowds and come early!
There are actually two trail heads: the access road forks near the top and you can either park up on the ridge (going left) or up to the less busy Alamo parking lot (going right).
Walking along the ridge
As soon as you step out of the car, you’ll wow. The parking lots are high and the view is already epic. The trail marches along the top of a ridge line and it’s hard to watch your feet and the views at the same time!
Early August is a great time to see wildflowers along the trail. They were everywhere! Red and pink indian paintbrush, yellow arnica, purple asters and hairbells!
Panoramas at the Peak
Once you climb to the peak, there are 360 degree epic views all around! Slocan Lake looks so small, far below. The Valhalla ranges are sharp towards the west, and you can see Mt. Gimli, Mt. Asgard, and the Wolf’s Ears as well as the New Denver Icefield. To the south-east, the Kokanee and Woodbury Glaciers are on display.
The trip back down is just as scenic! This is truly a wow of a hike and great for any age or hiking ability.
The main trick to this outing is that slow, narrow access road. It’s a long way for a short, spectacular hike! But why not make a day of it and visit Sandon too? The historic ghost town has a museum and a self-guided walking tour.
Psst – want more of a challenge? You can also hike up to Idaho Peak via the Wakefield Trail.
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Has anyone drove up to Idaho Peak since the road washed out in 2020?
Sadly the road is now closed indefinitely. The washout from 2020 hasn’t been repaired and it’s so big that it will require a lot of funding for repair.
Is there hope that the road to Idaho Peak will be fixed any time soon?
Sadly it is closed indefinitely. You can find more info here: http://www.sandoninthekootenays.ca/idaho-peak.html
Thank you, Abby.
We have guests from Venezuela and wanted to show them the best of BC.
There are lots of other good hikes.
Curious how far up the road is washed out? Reckon it’s possible to drive up -> carry bikes across -> ride bikes up -> hike the trail?
Best! And thank you for any info =)
The damage to the road is extensive – you can see some photos here: http://www.sandoninthekootenays.ca/idaho-peak.html
There are alternative routes to hike or bike out. For hiking, check out the Wakefield Trail: https://westkootenayhiking.ca/wakefield-trail-idaho-peak/
For biking, check out Trail Forks as there is a network of trails that link old roads: https://www.trailforks.com/map?activitytype=1&z=11.0&lat=49.97120&lon=-117.26239