Lyon’s Bluff is a brand new trail climbing up Nelson’s north shore to a big view of town. It’s a great alternative to the busy Pulpit Rock Trail, but offers just as much of a workout and final viewpoint!
Trailhead & Driving Directions
Leaving Nelson on Highway 3A towards Balfour, drive 2.3km from the far end of the Big Orange Bridge and look for a gravel road ascending up to a parking area on the left. There is a “No camping or Overnight Parking” sign at the beginning of the parking area. The turn-off is just after the green highway Kalso / Creston sign as you leave town.
Up the Trail
Head up the stone steps and begin the climb! The trail-builders laid out many stone steps which wind in a steady ascent. You’ll quickly leave the highway behind and begin shedding layers. Hike through ponderosa forest and catch glimpses of the lake below.
Under the Hydro Line
After 0.7km, the trail climbs out below a hydro line and offers a view of Nelson below. Keep ascending as the trail switchbacks higher.
Unlike Pulpit Rock, the Lyon’s Bluff trail climbs through more open-forest. This means it’s snow-free earlier in the season, but also there is less shade on hot sunny days. Bring plenty of water – you’ll find none on the trail.
Around 1.5km, ascend another long staircase of stones as the trail crosses a rockslide. You’re almost there!
Reach the top of the bluff after 1.9km and about an hour of hiking at a moderate pace. There is a wide area with plenty of rocks to rest on. Spot the Big Orange Bridge (BOB) far below with distant Toad Mountain above Nelson.
The Friends of Pulpit Rock Society built this new trail in 2020 and are still finishing some work in 2021. Their plan is to eventually extend the trail higher to the CBC Tower and then back down to connect to Pulpit Rock Trail on the other side of Elephant Mountain.