One of the key features of the Mountain Trek experience is hiking in nature. Our beautiful lodge in Ainsworth, British Columbia, is surrounded by the majestic, snow-capped peaks of the Purcell and Selkirk Mountain ranges. The area is replete with ghost towns, mossy trails, and clear-flowing streams that feed the stunning, 100-kilometer long Kootenay Lake.
So as homage to the abundant nature that surrounds us, we share our favorite Kootenay hikes. 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 vast meadows, shallow lakes, vibrant larches, gorgeous alpine flowers, and views of the surrounding peaks and ridges. Monica Meadows is a haven of calm beauty encircled by rocky mountains. An 8-kilometer hike from the trailhead, through cool forests, and along boulder-strewn pathways will get 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 ghost town of Sandon, then wind our way up along 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 New Denver Glacier, the Valhalla Mountain range, Kokanee Glacier, and Mt. Cooper.
From the trailhead at Slocan City, you’ll hike on the undulating, moss-lined trail along the shoreline of Slocan Lake. On the way, you can expect spectacular rocky vantage points, special pockets of flora, and prime swimming spots. Round trip, the Evans hike is approximately 15 km (18 km 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 to take in the beautiful views up and down the lake. Knowing that the surrounding Valhalla 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. The Galena Trail follows the route of a railway line that dates back to the glory days of Silvery Slocan. It once connected the silver mines of Sandon via sternwheeler service from Nakusp to the Canadian Pacific Railway 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 follows the old railway line, passed the ruins of abandoned mines and ghost towns like Alamo. Occasionally, we’ll even take the two-person cable car crossing over Carpenter Creek along the way.
Kokanee Glacier Park
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. These glaciers feed over 30 lakes and are the headwaters of many creeks. On a typical hike, we’ll visit two of those lakes, Gibson and Kaslo, with water so clear you’ll be able to watch rainbow and cutthroat trout swimming by. The trail is about 14 kilometers round trip and guests will enjoy views of the surrounding peaks, glaciers, and sub-alpine flower meadows. Depending on the season, we’ll also see eagles, ptarmigan, pikas, marmots, mountain goats, and feast on wild huckleberries.
Pilot Peninsula Provincial Park is the safest harbor on Kootenay Lake and is perfect for swimming and hiking. The trail we typically take skirts the shoreline of Kootenay Lake and offers multiple pebble beaches. In fact, Pilot Peninsula is a great start to our week as it’s very flat, with hardly any elevation gain or loss. 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, colorful wildflowers, calm coves, and around every corner, views of the surrounding peaks.
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 every day. We hope you can join us on some of the best Kootenay hikes.
What is Mountain Trek?
Mountain Trek is the health reset you’ve been looking for. Our award-winning health retreat, immersed in the lush nature of British Columbia, will help you detox, unplug, recharge, and roll back years of stress and unhealthy habits. To learn more about the retreat, and how we can help you reset your health, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or reach out below: