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.

Summary
Trailhead: Whitewater Ski Hill Road
Distance, round trip: 8.32km
Elevation: +691m
Difficulty:  Moderate
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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!

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

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Mount Grohman

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!

Summary
Trailhead: Baldface Lodge, Grohman FSR
Distance, round trip: 8km
Elevation: +617m
Difficulty:  Difficult

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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

Return to Gimli Ridge

I spent a summery September day hiking Gimli Ridge! We hiked this trail last year under ominous active weather, but today the Valhallas were sunny and warm and cheerful.

Some other improvements over last year’s excursion:

  • More goats! We met a large, male mountain goat gallomping down the trail to Mulvey Basin.
  • Bannock Road is freshly graded, accessible by 2WD low clearance,  thanks to a new logging operation near the trailhead. The car-sized boulder has been removed from the road.
  • BC Parks has installed a new and exciting toilet at the campsite on the saddle. Nice to see some upgrades, worrisome to see a conveyor-belt used in such a manner.

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Ymir Mountain

Ymir Mountain is renown for its powder, but it’s also a perfectly hike-able summer excursion. Achieving the summit involves getting off trail to traverse the boulders and scree in the Ymir Bowl, but the reward is ridge-line hiking with spectacular views!

Summary
Trailhead: Whitewater Ski Hill Road
Distance, round trip: 6.7km
Elevation: +760m
Difficulty:  Difficult

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Lyle Lakes & Mount Brennan

Cradled beneath Mount Brennan’s flanks are three subalpine lakes, glowing mineral-blue and suspended between braided waterfalls. The Lyle Lakes are a beautiful destination! And the trail beyond to Mount Brennan’s 2900m summit offers a challenging hike with staggering views.

Summary
Trailhead: Rossiter Creek FSR
Distance, round trip: 10km (Lyle Lakes), 17km (Mt Brennan)
Elevation: +710m (Lyle Lakes), +1574m (Mt Brennan)
Difficulty:  Difficult (Lyle Lakes),  Challenging (Mt Brennan)

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Mount Crawford & Plaid Lake Trail

Shimmering with colourful quartzite, Mount Crawford dazzles hikers along the Plaid Lake Trail. With scenic alpine ridges, flowering meadows, a quick summit, and the eventual dip down to Plaid Lake, this is an amazing trail with something for everyone!

Summary
Trailhead: Plaid Lake Road
Distance, round trip: 9.7km
Elevation: +890m
Difficulty:  Difficult

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Mt. Giegerich / Sapphire Lakes Loop

Just starting to venture off trail? Mt. Giegerich is a gentle giant with two easy ridge-lines, inviting you to walk on up! This loop follows the official Sapphire Lakes Trail, summits Giegerich, dips down to the Sapphire Lakes, and then returns to Kaslo Lake via the unofficial Commission Creek route. It’s a wonderful circuit for folks staying in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park – offering a day hike that’s moderate yet adventurous.

Summary
Trailhead: Kalso Lake, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Distance, round trip: 8.6km
Elevation: +490m
Difficulty:  Moderate

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