Mount Grohman is a stunning ridge-line hike near Nelson, BC. Most of this hike is done off-trail, but the access road starts you way up in the alpine and the route is surrounded by prominent peaks and landmarks. You’ll see Gray’s and Esmeralda Peaks in Kokanee Glacier Park, the Bonnington Range peaks, the Valhallas, Old Glory Mountain, distant Mount Loki, the West Arm of Kootenay Lake and more!
You need to drive and park up at Baldface Lodge, about a 1 hour drive up Grohman FSR. The elevation gain on the road is significant, so check your gas gauge before you start.
Leaving Nelson, turn on Marsden Road and reset the odometer. Immediately fork left. Ascend with views over the Kootenay River. Cross a bridge at 8.2km over Grohman Creek and turn left. At 9.9km, cross signed Grohman Creek again. At 11km, turn right at the sign for Baldface Lodge and ascend. At 15.2km, fork left and follow the Baldface sign (right fork leads to the CBC Tower on Elephant Mountain). Road edges high on the slope with Bonnington Range peaks appearing across the valley. It switchbacks high. At 21.7km, continue straight towards the lodge. Park at 22km by Baldface lodge.
The road is long and steep, but would likely be possible in a 2WD low-clearance vehicle as this is the access to Baldface Lodge and well maintained. There are a few switchbacks with nail-bitingly steep drops along the side, but overall it was a smooth ride.
By the time you park, you’ve already driven up over 1000m elevation with quite an impressive view:
Up the ridge
Hiking behind Baldface Lodge, there is a faint summer trail up to the ridge above. In mid-June, this trail was covered in snow, but we walked up a cat track to ascend to the ridge where we could see even more! From this initial ridge, Mt. Grohman is hidden behind a small peak to the north.
Following the wide ridge, we headed north to the small peak that had a radio tower and naked-lady sculpture at its top. Supposedly the faint summer trail that starts at the lodge ends up at the tower, but we were walking on snow the entire time.
From the top of the small peak, we could finally see Mt. Grohman in the distance:
As we descended the small peak, we started dipping up and down a long ridge-line to make our way north towards Mt. Grohman’s summit. There were some steep sections where we were sliding on snow and we were told that in the summer, some hand-holding along the rocks is necessary.
There were old cornices overhanging the ridge that we had to avoid walking on, and this made for some tricky stepping as we wove around trees and boulders to stay away from the snow.
At last, after about 2.5 hours and a lot of hiking up and down along the ridges, we reached the summit of Mount Grohman!
We could see so many familiar peaks from Mt. Grohman! The amazing thing about this hike is that it is right in the middle of our little mountain world! I recognized so many landmarks and favourite hiking spots.
After a nice long break in the sun, we packed up and started heading back the way we came. The KMC was planning to also summit nearby Mt. Kubin in the same day, but given the time and the amount of snow we all decided that Mt. Grohman was enough for one day!