Vallelujah

Vallelujah is a mountain biking trail that wanders high on a ridge between the Slocan and Kootenay River valleys. Hiking the trail takes you winding through an old clearcut with stellar views of the Valhallas and Bonnington Range peaks. The hike is short and sweet and friendly to new hikers.

Summary
Trailhead: Smallwood FSR
Distance, round trip: 6.4km
Elevation: +150m
Difficulty:  Easy

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Beatrice Lake Trail

The Beatrice Lake Trail offers steady hiking through forests and wetlands as it traces an old mining road, following a chain of lakes through Valhalla Provincial Park. There are several backcountry campgrounds along the way at Emerald and Cahill Lakes until the trail finally ends at distant Beatrice Lake.

Summary
Trailhead: Evans Creek (accessible by boat or hike)
Distance, round trip: 12km to Cahill Lake (east shore), 18km to Beatrice Lake
Elevation: +715m to Cahill lake (east shore), +930m to Beatrice Lake
Difficulty:  Difficult

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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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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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Skycastle/Lemon Lookout

Skycastle (aka Lemon Lookout) is an old fire tower offering panoramic views of the Valhallas and Slocan Valley. This ain’t no Idaho Peak – you’ll have to march yourself up the long climb to the summit – but view of the Valhallas is spectacular!

Summary
Trailhead: Ponderosa FSR
Distance, round trip: 10km
Elevation: +750m
Difficulty:  Moderate

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Ward’s Ferry Trail

Ward’s Ferry Trail traces the Kootenay River and connects Blewett to Glade. A good chunk of it is scenic riverside hiking. A good chunk of it is also a long slog in the woods.

Summary
Trailhead: Rover Creek FSR (Blewett) or Glade Road (Glade)
Distance, round trip: 8km
Elevation: +240m
Difficulty:  Easy

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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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Gimli Ridge

Mt. Gimli is a striking pillar of rock, towering high in the Valhalla range. This hike is tough, but rewarding. The trail leads up to the base of Gimli where it wraps around to a final ledge. Here, hikers can look down into the Mulvey Basin lakes, or just spin and spin and take in the panoramas of jagged peaks and sky.

Summary
Trailhead: Bannock Burn Road
Distance, round trip: 9.5km
Elevation: +857m
Difficulty:  Difficult

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