Lost Mountain

Welcome to the West Kootenay’s latest and greatest hike! The Lost Mountain trail offers  highway access and a steady workout. Most of this hike is done in the forest, but the final ridge and summit are worth the effort!

Trailhead: Highway 3 (Crowsnest), Kootenay Pass
Distance, round trip: 10.6km
Elevation: +1109m
Difficulty:  Difficult


The Lost Mountain trail was restored in 2017 through a partnership between the Salmo Valley Trails Society  and the Kootenay Mountaineering Club. The first 2km are fresh trail, rerouted to keep the trailhead away from the highway chain-up area. The route then picks up sections of the old trail, merging and diverging in a series of new switchbacks.


The new trailhead is located in a massive pullout just after the avalanche gates of Kootenay Pass (coming from the Salmo side).

There is a kiosk at the parking area. Look for the trail across the highway, angling up along the slope above. Cross with care!

Lost Mountain Trail, skirting up above the highway

Up through the forest

The trail starts off climbing steadily and evenly and uneventfully through the forest. The sounds of the highway fade, but the forest continues. We kicked up plenty of dirt and startled plenty of grouse, but the scenery didn’t start to get interesting until about 2.3km when we came to the scenic mid-point:

Scenic rest point on the trail

The trail leads to a rock outcropping and we could suddenly look down towards the highway and Kootenay Pass. Looking ahead, the summit of Lost Mountain was visible in the far distance:

Lost Mountain’s summit in the distance

More forest!

Leaving the rest point, the trail continues onwards and upwards through the forest. The trees thin very slowly, until suddenly you’re hiking high on a ridge – at last! Scenery!

Trees thinning on the ridge

Above the trees

As the trees fade away, so does the trail disappear into a line of cairns and reflective blazes. But at this point, the route ahead is easy to see:

Looking ahead to Lost Mountain

Aim for the ridge, approaching the summit from the left.

Approaching the summit

Summit Time


We reached the summit within 3 hours. Although it was a sunny day, cool wind was blowing at high elevation. The view towards Kootenay Pass was relatively clear, but wildfire smoke was hazing the other directions.

Heading down

We were flying on the hike down – only 2 hours! Lost Mountain has similar distance and elevation to the Mount Loki trail, but I kept marvelling at how much easier it is. The trail crew did an excellent job at managing the grade!

Download GPS file for Lost Mountain

Lost MountainIMG_3696

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Chris Cowan
Chris Cowan
2 years ago

Trail crew did about 5 km. Several sections were rerouted.

2 years ago
Reply to  Chris Cowan

Hey, I believe someone in Ymir found your cell phone or keys Chris Cowan. Posting at Ymir store.

Chris Cowan
Chris Cowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jess

Not mine..

Jesse Scharf
Jesse Scharf
1 year ago

Lots of deadfall out there today! Did in a bit less than 3 hours, 1:50 ascent, 1:07 descent

Trip Date
Trail Conditions
Lots of deadfall, hard to go up around but easier going down to go around/over. still a bit of snow in the last 0.5km but nothing unmanageable
Abby Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Scharf

Wow, that is impressive hiking time!

Chris Cowan
Chris Cowan
1 year ago
Reply to  Jesse Scharf

Mostly all cleared up now xcp a few really large chunks you have to go around.

1 year ago

Any chance this would be doable now or do you think still too much snow?

Abby Wilson
1 year ago
Reply to  Leah

There will be snow on the upper half of the trail, but it should be compact and hardened to walk on top okay. There is usually a lot of dead fall on this trail – the KMC is doing a clearing hike in June to clean it up. 🙂

1 year ago
Trail Rating :

It’s definitely a bit of a slog up those switchbacks. Not terribly interesting until you get above the trees. Summit was nice though, there’s a little register tucked into the cairn.

Trip Date
Trail Conditions
The trail was in good shape. A few larger trees down in a few spots. There's already some workarounds being booted in.
Access Road Conditions
Can't beat a highway.
Access Road Vehicle
2WD Low Clearance
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