Sentinel Overlook

The trail up Mount Sentinel is a scenic choice for strong hikers. Edging between rock bluffs, ponderosa pine, and wildflowers, the steep trail leads to a series of stunning viewpoints over the Columbia River Valley.

Summary
Trailhead: Terrance Road
Distance, round trip: 9.3km
Elevation: +863m
Difficulty: Difficult
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Skattebo Reach Trail (Glade to McPhee Creek)

The Skattebo Reach Trail connects from Glade to Castlegar, contouring above the Kootenay River. It’s a pleasant forested route with the blue-green river peeking through the woods. McPhee Creek makes a good turnaround point if you don’t want to head all the way to the Brilliant Substation near Castlegar.

Summary
Trailhead: Glade Road
Distance, round trip: 8.2km
Elevation: +184m
Difficulty:  Easy
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The CBC Tower

Following the CBC Tower trail takes you to the very summit of Mount Nelson (or Elephant Mountain as some locals affectionately call it). It’s a difficult hike with significant elevation, but it’s scenic and close to home! At each milestone, the City of Nelson shrinks further below and more and more peaks enfold from the distant valleys.

Summary
Trailhead: Pulpit Rock Trailhead, Johnstone Road, Nelson
Distance, round trip: 14.1km
Elevation: +1120m
Difficulty:  Difficult

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Fall Colours at the Flagpole

It was a beautiful day to hike up to the flagpole above Pulpit Rock. The fall leaves are at their peak right now and Nelson is full of colour!

The flagpole trail has had a number of improvements this season, including the development of new switchbacks to ease the moderate route. I took the difficult route up just to change things up. The grade is much steeper, and there are sections that involve scrambling up rocky bluffs! Nevertheless, the views up the difficult trail are very good with a constant panorama of Nelson below.

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Looking down the Kootenay River Valley towards the Playmor Junction

Slocan – Kootenay Lookout

Let’s be honest. There are many hikes that end in climatic viewpoints all up and down the Kootenay River valley. This is yet another one, and although the lookout offers a big view of Crescent Valley and Playmor Junction, the trail itself is underdeveloped and underwhelming.

Summary
Trailhead: Pass Creek Road
Distance, round trip: 6.4km
Elevation: +330m
Difficulty:  Moderate

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Brilliant Overlook

An incredibly scenic hike just outside Castlegar! It’s hard work stomping up that trail, but the panoramic views overlooking the Columbia River Valley are well worth it.

Summary
Trailhead: McPhee Forest Service Road
Distance, round trip: 6.5km
Elevation: +350m
Difficulty:  Moderate

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