West Kootenay Hiking – Winter Updates

March is here and it doesn’t feel like winter will be over for a while! But despite the cold, the days are lengthening and the sun is brightening and hiking season is just around the corner.

My goal over the winter was to edit and re-format all of the 60+ hikes on this site. And while I made some progress, I also got caught up in some other community initiatives (hello, Cottonwood Lake Preservation Society!) and still have more work to do!

Work Completed – Winter 2018/2019

Snowshoe Trips

Winter backcountry travel can have much higher risks with avalanche terrain, route-finding, cold temperatures and short days. I’ve had a few requests to post snowshoe routes on this site, but I’m reluctant to post trips that could lead inexperienced snowshoers into trouble.

The snowshoe trips I’ve shared all stay in simple avalanche terrain. I’ve added yellow safety boxes to highlight some of the additional hazards on these routes (see White Queen – Snowshoe Route). I welcome feedback about how to handle snowshoe routes and the trips I’ve posted so far! Please contact me if you have any suggestions!

Snowshoeing up White Queen

2018 Financials

West Kootenay Hiking made a bit of money in 2018 through merchandise sales on Redbubble – thanks for supporting the project! You can review the 2018 Financial Statement on Google Sheets.

The $112.30 of profit from 2018 will be donated to the Friends of Pulpit Rock Society. Pulpit Rock is one of the most popular hikes in the region and was the first trail that I explored when I moved to Nelson in 2016.

Next Steps

Hiking season is around the corner! What’s next for the project?

  • Continue editing and re-formatting older hikes.
  • Expanding and re-organizing Resources section.
  • Improving site navigation and search functionality.
  • Lots of trip planning! Continue expanding the site with new trails in 2019, especially focusing on exploring West Kootenay places that are a little further afield!

Happy hiking!


White Queen – Snowshoe Route

White Queen is an incredible snowshoe destination in the Whitewater backcountry. Starting near Hummingbird Pass, the route winds up the western ridge to White Queen with stunning views and snow-sculpted trees all along the way.

Trailhead: Whitewater Ski Hill Road
Distance, round trip: 8.32km
Elevation: +691m
Difficulty:  Moderate
Continue reading “White Queen – Snowshoe Route”

Mount Crowe Cabin Loop

A scenic tour of 4 cabins in the Rossland Range, circling beneath the slopes of Mount Crowe. This is a perfect snowshoe excursion or early-winter hike with cozy cabins and impressive distant views.

Trailhead: Highway 3B
Distance, round trip: 13.3km
Elevation: +299m
Difficulty:  Easy

Continue reading “Mount Crowe Cabin Loop”

Mel DeAnna Trail

The Mel DeAnna trail is a forested loop around the tranquil Champion Ponds. It’s a great shoulder-season hike with fall colours, Columbia Valley views, and plenty of birdwatching on the ponds.

Trailhead: Highway 3
Distance, round trip: 5.8km
Elevation: +122m
Difficulty:  Easy

Continue reading “Mel DeAnna Trail”

Merry Go Round

The Merry Go Round trail winds high through the forest to a clearcut view of the Columbia River Valley. The trail builders created some impressive bridges and boardwalks, making this easy trail feel like a proper adventure! This trailhead is right beside the Merry Creek Trails, giving you two great hikes for one day!

Trailhead: Merry Creek FSR
Distance, round trip: 4.7km
Elevation: +232m
Difficulty:  Easy

Continue reading “Merry Go Round”

Merry Creek Trails

The Merry Creek Trails are easy, scenic hiking just outside of Castlegar. The trails meander over soft forest floor and explore interesting landmarks, with a big view of the Columbia River Valley at the far end!

Trailhead: Merry Creek FSR
Distance, round trip: 5.1km
Elevation: +82m
Difficulty:  Easy

Continue reading “Merry Creek Trails”

West Kootenay Hiking – Fall Updates

Well, the 2018 hiking season is over and it’s time to get down to work!

On July 1st, I launched and posted my vision and plan for the site: Introducing…

Since then, I’ve had so much positive feedback from the local hiking community and the site has had over 23,000 views. There has been an incredible response to this project, and I’m so grateful to everyone who’s offered feedback and support. Nelson Kootenay Lake Tourism reached out over the summer and re-designed their hiking page with links and content from this site. They’ve made a donation to Nelson Search & Rescue on my behalf – thank you!

Summer 2018 was a record wildfire season. We had several trail closures and weeks of heavy fire smoke. My goal was to really use this last summer to explore more trails and expand the hikes on this site, but the fires limited where we could go and what we could see (summited Mount Reco twice but never saw the view!). Nevertheless, trails did get hiked and things are moving along on schedule…

Work completed Summer 2018

  • 12 new hikes added
  • Redesigned trail review pages: added interactive GPS maps, driving directions, and trip rating system
  • Added trip report form so visitors can rate hikes
  • Expanded the Resources page with info about hiking safety, access roads, and more!
  • Updated site to HTTPS (secure)
  • 9 graphic designs added to Redbubble to support

Next steps

So what is happening over the winter? Here is my to-do list over the next few months:

  • Improve post categorization and search functionality.
  • A few tweaks to the site design and layout. I find the font a bit small – anyone else?
  • Reformat old hikes with the new trail review template – post new photos and GPS files.
  • Add ‘Guest Post’ option for locals to contribute hikes and tips.

Revenue Model

I’d like this site to make some money! My hope is to cover the monthly webhosting costs and then contribute in a meaningful way to local trail initiatives and Search & Rescue chapters.

Over the last few months, I’ve created a collection of Kootenay hiking designs that can be ordered as prints, t-shirts, tote bags, mugs, and more through Redbubble. Redbubble is a print-on-demand site and a share of each purchase will go back to support this project! Check out the Shop & Support link for more info.

I’m also thinking of putting up a bit of online advertising on the site to help boost revenue. Right now the web traffic is too low to be worth the effort, but long term it could be a good option to help support the project. What do you think?

Trail Review Pages

The “Trail Review” pages have been redesigned to include interactive maps. I’ve also started adding detailed driving directions based on your comments. Check out Mount Jardine for a sample of the new layout and please send me any feedback any time!

Happy hiking!


Toad Mountain via Giveout Creek

Hiking Toad Mountain via Giveout Creek FSR leads you along a forested trail to access the summit from the northern ridge. The ridge line ascent is a little less scenic than the standard trail from the Silverking mine, but much easier for hikers and vehicles alike! The summit of Toad offers epic views of the Nelson and surrounding peaks!

Trailhead: Giveout Creek FSR
Distance, round trip: 6.7km
Elevation: +370m
Difficulty:  Easy

Continue reading “Toad Mountain via Giveout Creek”