One of the key features of the Mountain Trek experience is nature, pure and simple. Our beautiful lodge in Ainsworth, British Columbia, is surrounded by the the majestic, snow-capped peaks of the Purcell and Selkirk Mountain ranges replete with ghost towns, mossy trails and clear-flowing streams that feed the stunning, 100-kilometre-long Kootenay Lake.
When it comes to healthy living, our philosophies are rooted in nature as well – from our locally sourced, organic meals that nourish your body to the core content of our inspiring lectures, to the many stunning, butt-toning hikes we go on everyday.
So, as homage to the abundant nature that surrounds, inspires and feeds us, we offer up the favourite hikes that our expert, certified guides love taking you on. These hikes are meant to challenge and motivate you, get your heart rate up and set your spirit soaring.
There are fewer trails in the world that offer such relatively easy access for such a great pay off. Monica Meadows, located in the Purcell Mountain Range, is one of the most stunning locations in southern British Columbia with its vast meadows, shallow lakes, vibrant larches, gorgeous alpine flowers and views of the surrounding peaks and ridges. It’s a haven of calm beauty encircled by rocky mountains and an eight-kilometre hike from the trailhead, through cool forests and along boulder-strewn pathways gets you there in no time so we can rest, enjoy the views and even go swimming before our return.
This is a moderate hike that takes you to some of the best views and most abundant wildflowers in southern British Columbia. We begin our hike at the old mining ghost town of Sandon, then wind our way up old mining trails and logging paths, before reaching the viewpoint. Once there you’ll enjoy gazing down at the town of New Denver on Slocan Lake below, as well as breathtaking views of the New Denver Glacier and the entire Valhalla Mountain range to the west, Kokanee Glacier to the southeast, and Mt. Cooper to the northeast.
From the trailhead at Slocan City (population 300) you’ll hike on the undulating, moss-lined trail along the shoreline of Slocan Lake, treating yourself to spectacular rocky vantage points, special pockets of flora, and prime swimming spots along the way. Round trip, the Evans hike is approximately 15 km (18 if we make it to Evans Lake) and includes a lot of Ponderosa pine, juniper, white cedar and fir trees befitting the drier climate zone. There are some fun rock ledges to clamber out onto and beautiful views up and down the lake. Knowing that the surrounding Valhalla Park and it’s majestic peaks were named after Norse Gods makes the Evans Creek hike that much more mythic.
This is one of the most popular hikes in the Slocan Valley. Dating back to the glory days of the Silvery Slocan, the Galena Trail follows the route of a railway line that once connected the silver mines of Sandon with sternwheeler service from Nakusp to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) mainline at Revelstoke. The rail beds were abandoned over 100 years ago and Mother Nature has reclaimed much of the existing corridors. This historic trail takes us along this old railway line, past the ruins of abandoned mines and ghost towns like Alamo and, occasionally, we’ll take the two-person cable car crossing over Carpenter Creek along the way.
Located just west of the Mountain Trek Lodge, the beautiful Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park offers an incredible alpine experience with very little effort. The park is one of the oldest in the province and boasts no less than three glaciers, including Kokanee, Caribou, and Woodbury, which feed over 30 lakes and are the headwaters of many creeks. On one of our typical hikes we’ll visit two of those lakes, Gibson and Kaslo, with water so clear you’ll be able to watch Rainbow and Cutthrout trout swimming by. The trail is, round trip, about 14 kilometres and guests will enjoy views of the surrounding peaks and glaciers, sub-alpine flower meadows and, depending on the season, we’ll see eagles, ptarmigan, pikas, marmots, mountain goats and feast on wild huckleberries.
Pilot Peninsula Provincial Park is the safest harbour on Kootenay Lake and is perfect for swimming and hiking. The 12-kilometre trail we typically take skirts the shoreline of Kootenay Lake and offers multiple pebble beaches for relaxing and enjoying the views. In fact, Pilot Peninsula is a great start to our week as it’s very flat, with hardly any elevation gain or loss, and the woodland tracks are in excellent shape. We won’t bag any peaks on this trail but it’s still an incredible foray into some stunning BC wilderness that includes tall stands of aspen, colourful wildflowers, calm coves and, around every corner, views of the surrounding peaks.