east kootenays hikes
east kootenays hikes

hikes in East Kootenays

Region in British Columbia, Canada
East Kootenays Trail Map

Nestled in the southeast corner of British Columbia, the East Kootenays are a vast region that is characterized by rugged mountain ranges, lush river valleys, and beautifully scenic meadows. Dominated by the Rocky Mountain Trench, and flanked by both the Purcell and Rocky mountain ranges, this is a dramatic landscape that offers a wealth of opportunities for exploring the wilderness.

Located within relatively close proximity to a number of popular national, provincial, and regional parks; it is little wonder why the East Kootenays are such a great gateway for exploring this rugged corner of BC. Towns like Fernie, Cranbrook, Invermere, and Kimberley all provide easy access to great accommodations and countless outdoor activities, ensuring that your next trip to the East Kootenays will be an action-packed and memorable experience.

The 10 Greatest Hikes in the East Kootenays

While the terrain of the East Kootenays may seem a bit rough and daunting, the region as a whole offers a great selection of hiking trails that are suitable for all ages and skill levels. Whether you are looking to hike along the banks of the powerful Kootenay River, trek through the rugged mountains of Top of the World Provincial Park, or take a leisurely stroll to one of the relaxing hot springs in Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park, you will be sure to find countless trails that will perfectly suit your next adventure. If you aren’t sure where to get started, check out this list of some great East Kootenay hikes that we’ve put together below:

  • Lussier Hot Springs: This quick and easy trail isn’t really much of a hike, but it will take you to a relaxing set of hot springs along the Lussier River. Arrive early to beat the crowds and walk the short distance along the path to access the restorative waters of the thermal pools set in a picturesque woodland setting.
  • Ram Creek Hot Springs: This adventure to a different hot spring is longer and will require a bit more of an effort in the hiking department; however, the stunning views of nearby mountains makes for the perfect setting when you slip into the thermal pools to relax after a long hike.
  • Bee Line Trail: This quick hike in Cranbrook will take you through a charming forest to an awesome vantage point overlooking the town and nearby Rocky Mountains. The easy to navigate nature of the trail and favourable terrain make this great for a family adventure.
  • Fish Lake: The hike to Fish Lake is an amazing adventure that will allow you to take in the natural beauty of Top of the World Provincial Park. After hiking through the forest along the Lussier River, you will end up at the quiet shores of Fish Lake that are surrounded by rugged mountain peaks.
  • Dewar Creek Hot Springs: This lengthy out-and-back journey will take you through the rugged backcountry of the Purcell Mountains to reach a beautiful setting with hot springs. The trail might be a bit on the overgrown side, but the amazing views and relaxing thermal pools at the end are more than enough of a reward.
  • Lake of the Hanging Glacier: Hiking this trail is a technical adventure that will lead you uphill through challenging terrain to reach a stunning glacial lake with gorgeous views of nearby mountain peaks. You will need a 4x4 vehicle to access this route.
  • Moe's Canyon Loop: This quick hiking route near Kimberley is a bit overgrown, but the charming forest setting and rocky terrain of the surrounding area make for a fun day out on a network of trails that can be enjoyed by all.
  • Mount Stevens and Teepee Mountain: Although this relentless trail east of Wasa will see you work your way uphill through some gruelling terrain, the views of the surrounding alpine landscape will be an ample reward for your efforts. This is another route that is set in the backcountry, making a 4x4 vehicle necessary to reach the trailhead.
  • Chief Isadore Trail: Running parallel to the winding banks of the Kootenay River, the Chief Isadore trail is a fantastic hiking route that will provide breathtaking views of the mountains across the valley. This is a one-way adventure, so be sure to plan a pick up ahead of time.
  • Chisel Peak: This 8.6mi out-and-back is a rugged climb through some rocky terrain that will take you up to the summit of the peak. Here, you will experience amazingly scenic views overlooking nearby mountains and the Columbia Valley.

When is the Best Time to Hike in East Kootenays?

As with most areas in and around the Canadian Rockies, the best time to hike in the East Kootenays is during the summer months. During the early June to end of September window, most of the higher-elevation trails in the region will be free of snow and the hot conditions will be sure to keep trail conditions safe and dry. This also means that the hiking routes will be busiest at this time, so if you don’t mind taking a chance on the weather, you could always aim for the late spring/early fall. At these times, temperatures will be a bit cooler and weather will be more of a factor; however, the opportunities for viewing wildlife and other natural phenomena like waterfalls will bring a whole other level of excitement to your hiking adventure.

Other Outdoor Activities in the East Kootenays

The East Kootenay region covers a massive area in southeastern BC and as a result there will be no shortage of amazing outdoor activities that you can take part in. Summer here will provide access to countless hiking and mountain bike trails, canoe/kayak excursions, mountaineering treks, and fishing expeditions. If you are more interested in winter sports, you will no doubt be happy with the amazing selection of ski slopes, snowshoeing trails, and ice climbing opportunities on offer here. No matter the season, you will always be able to relax after a long day of exploring in the East Kootenays with a soak in one of the region’s many hot springs.

Frequently Asked Questions About the East Kootenays

What is considered the East Kootenays?

The East Kootenay region in southeastern British Columbia is generally accepted to include the valley of the Kootenay and Columbia Rivers, stretching from Golden to the Canada-United States border. On its east and west sides, the region is flanked by the Rocky and Purcell mountain ranges respectively.

What are the Kootenay Mountains?

The Kootenay Rockies aren’t a single range of mountains in themselves, rather, they are comprised of the Rocky, Purcell, Selkirk, and Monashee mountain ranges.

Find other amazing hiking regions in British Columbia

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The best hikes in East Kootenays

Lussier Hot Springs

01. Lussier Hot Springs
Difficulty

0.3mi 52ft 0.5h

The trail to the Lussier Hot Springs is a short 0.3mi hiking route… Read More

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Ram Creek Hot Springs-Map

02. Ram Creek Hot Springs
Difficulty

6.9mi 1,148ft 3-4h

Hiking to the Ram Creek Hot Springs will take you on an 6.9miRead More

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Bee Line Trail Map

03. Bee Line Trail
Difficulty

2.8mi 896ft 1.5-2h

The Bee Line Trail is a 2.8mi lollipop hiking route in Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Fish Lake Map

04. Fish Lake
Difficulty

7.8mi 1,624ft 3.5-5h

The trek to Fish Lake follows a 7.8mi out-and-back hiking route that will… Read More

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Dewar Creek Hot Springs

05. Dewar Creek Hot Springs
Difficulty

11.9mi 1,877ft 5-7h

The trek to the Dewar Creek Hot Springs follows a 11.9mi out-and-back hiking… Read More

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Lake of the hanging glacier

06. Lake of the Hanging Glacier
Difficulty

9.9mi 3,107ft 5.5-7.5h

The trail leading to the Lake of the Hanging Glacier is a 9.9miRead More

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Moe’s Canyon Loop Map

07. Moe’s Canyon Loop
Difficulty

2.9mi 541ft 1.5-2h

Moe’s Canyon Loop is a 2.9mi lollipop hiking route just west of Kimberley… Read More

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Mount Stevens and Teepee Mountain-Map

08. Mount Stevens and Teepee Mountain
Difficulty

8.4mi 5,230ft 7-9.5h

The trek to Mount Stevens and Teepee Mountain is a steep 8.4mi out-and-back… Read More

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Chief Isadore Trail Map

09. Chief Isadore Trail
Difficulty

6.4mi 479ft 2-3h

The Chief Isadore Trail is a 6.4mi point-to-point hiking route that will take… Read More

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Chisel Peak Map

10. Chisel Peak
Difficulty

8.6mi 4,521ft 6-8.5h

Chisel Peak is a 8.6mi out-and-back hiking route near Invermere, BC, that will… Read More

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Yes, there are more than 10

East Kootenays is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in East Kootenays that you should take a look at as well

Moyie Lake Area Trail Map

11. Moyie Lake Area Trail
Difficulty

1.4mi 184ft 0.5-1h

The Moyie Lake Area trail is a 1.4mi lollipop hiking route south of… Read More

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Silver Springs Map

12. Silver Springs Trail
Difficulty

1.1mi 335ft 0.5-1h

The Silver Springs trail is a 1.1mi out-and-back hiking route near Elko, BC,… Read More

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Magic Line Trail Map

13. Magic Line Trail
Difficulty

4.5mi 912ft 2-3h

The Magic Line Trail is a 4.5mi lollipop hiking route in Kimberley, BC,… Read More

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Cooper Lake Trail Map

14. Cooper Lake Trail
Difficulty

2.5mi 453ft 1-1.5h

The Cooper Lake Trail is a 2.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Silver Creek Cliffs Map

15. Silver Creek Cliffs
Difficulty

5.5mi 1,378ft 2.5-4h

The trek to the Silver Creek Cliffs is an 5.5mi out-and-back hiking route… Read More

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Pyramid Creek Loop Map

16. Pyramid Creek Loop
Difficulty

12.2mi 5,335ft 8-11h

The Pyramid Creek Loop is a challenging 12.2mi lollipop hiking route west of… Read More

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Whiteswan North Shore Trail Loop

17. Whiteswan North Shore Trail Loop
Difficulty

12.4mi 1,677ft 5-7h

The Whiteswan North Shore Trail Loop is a long but amazingly scenic hiking circuit that… Read More

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Marysville Falls

18. Marysville Falls
Difficulty

0.3mi 49ft 0.5h

Marysville Falls is a short 0.3mi out-and-back hiking route in Marysville, BC that… Read More

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Cave Creek Campground via North Shore Trail Map

19. Cave Creek Campground via North Shore Trail
Difficulty

1.8mi 217ft 0.5-1h

The Cave Creek Campground via North Shore Trail is a 1.8mi point-to-point hiking… Read More

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Kimberley Nordic Centre Trail Map

20. Kimberley Nordic Centre Trail
Difficulty

5.2mi 663ft 2-3h

The Kimberley Nordic Centre Trail is an 5.2mi hiking circuit in Kimberley, BC,… Read More

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Perry Creek Trail Map

21. Perry Creek Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 433ft 1h

The Perry Creek Trail is a 1.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Mount Wapiti Map

22. Mount Wapiti
Difficulty

6.0mi 3,681ft 5-6.5h

The Mount Wapiti Trail is a challenging 6.0mi out-and-back hiking route in Elkford,… Read More

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Saddleback Ridge Trail Map

23. Saddleback Ridge Trail
Difficulty

9.6mi 5,433ft 7.5-10h

The Saddleback Ridge Trail is a 9.6mi out-and-back hiking route in Premier Lake… Read More

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Findlay Falls Trail Map

24. Findlay Falls Trail
Difficulty

0.6mi 108ft 0.5h

The Findlay Falls Trail is a 0.6mi out-and-back hiking route near Canal Flats… Read More

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Boivin Creek Trail Map

25. Boivin Creek Trail
Difficulty

5.3mi 1,903ft 3-4.5h

The Boivin Creek Trail is an 5.3mi out-and-back hiking route in Elkford that… Read More

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Premier Lake to Canuck Lake Loop Map

26. Premier Lake to Canuck Lake Loop
Difficulty

4.8mi 863ft 2-3h

Hiking the Premier Lake to Canuck Lake Loop is a great experience that takes you… Read More

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Spirit Trail Loop-Map

27. Spirit Trail Loop
Difficulty

10.1mi 1,476ft 4-6h

The Spirit Trail Loop is a 10.1mi hiking circuit in the East Side… Read More

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Lakit Lookout

28. Lakit Lookout
Difficulty

2.1mi 1,191ft 1.5-2h

The Lakit Lookout trail is a 2.1mi out-and-back hiking route near Fort Steele,… Read More

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Wasa Lake Campground Loop Map

29. Wasa Lake Campground Loop
Difficulty

1.8mi 348ft 1h

The Wasa Lake Campground Loop is a 1.8mi lollipop hiking route in Wasa,… Read More

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Surveyors Lake Loop Map

30. Surveyors Lake Loop
Difficulty

1.7mi 174ft 0.5-1h

The Surveyors Lake Loop is a 1.7mi circuit hiking route in Kikomun Creek… Read More

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Cranbrook Mountain Trail Map

31. Cranbrook Mountain Trail
Difficulty

5.5mi 2,513ft 3.5-5h

The Cranbrook Mountain Trail is an 5.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Richmond Lake Trail Map

32. Richmond Lake Trail
Difficulty

1.9mi 604ft 1-1.5h

The Richmond Lake Trail is a 1.9mi out-and-back hiking route near Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Jimmy Russel to Sunflower Hill Loop Map

33. Jimmy Russel to Sunflower Hill Loop
Difficulty

2.4mi 459ft 1-1.5h

The Jimmy Russel to Sunflower Hill Loop is a 2.4mi lollipop hiking route… Read More

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Idlewild Lake Loop Map

34. Idlewild Lake Loop
Difficulty

0.7mi 79ft 0.5h

The Idlewild Lake Loop is a 0.7mi lollipop hiking route in Cranbrook, BC… Read More

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Jimmy Russel to Hoodoo View Loop Map

35. Jimmy Russel to Hoodoo View Loop
Difficulty

2.4mi 587ft 1-1.5h

The Jimmy Russel to Hoodoo View Loop is an awesome 2.4mi lollipop trail… Read More

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Ptarmigan Lake Trail Map

36. Ptarmigan Lake Trail
Difficulty

7.1mi 1,877ft 3.5-5h

The Ptarmigan Lake Trail is an 7.1mi out-and-back hiking route near Whiteswan Lake… Read More

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Cranbrook Roller Coaster Map

37. Cranbrook Roller Coaster
Difficulty

9.0mi 1,969ft 4-6h

The Cranbrook Roller Coaster is a 9.0mi lollipop hiking route that traverses the… Read More

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Mary’s Lunch Room Map

38. Mary’s Lunch Room
Difficulty

7.1mi 1,148ft 3-4h

The Mary’s Lunch Room trail is an 7.1mi hiking circuit just outside of… Read More

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Mount Sabine Lookout Trail Map

39. Mount Sabine Lookout Trail
Difficulty

3.1mi 686ft 1.5-2h

The Mount Sabine Lookout Trail is a 3.1mi out-and-back hiking route in Canal… Read More

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Sylvan Trail Loop Map

40. Sylvan Trail Loop
Difficulty

3.0mi 482ft 1.5-2h

The Sylvan Trail Loop is a 3.0mi lollipop hiking route in Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Lois Creek Trail Map

41. Lois Creek Trail
Difficulty

7.9mi 1,332ft 3.5-4.5h

The Lois Creek Trail is a 7.9mi hiking circuit on the northeastern edge… Read More

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Columbia Lake Lookout Map

42. Columbia Lake Lookout
Difficulty

8.5mi 935ft 3-4.5h

The Columbia Lake Lookout is a 8.5mi point-to-point hiking route northwest of Canal… Read More

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Chewbacca Rocka to Eager Hills Lookout Map

43. Chewbacca Rocka to Eager Hills Lookout
Difficulty

6.9mi 1,302ft 3-4.5h

The Chewbacca Rocka to Eager Hills Lookout is a fantastic hiking circuit in Cranbrook, BC,… Read More

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Apache Loop Map

44. Apache Loop
Difficulty

4.0mi 581ft 1.5-2.5h

The Apache Loop is a 4.0mi lollipop hiking route in Kimberley, BC that… Read More

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Eager Hill via Waterpark Trail Map

45. Eager Hill via Waterpark Trail
Difficulty

2.1mi 610ft 1-1.5h

The Eager Hill via Waterpark Trail is a scenic lollipop hiking route that winds 2.1mi Read More

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Baldy Lake Trail Map

46. Baldy Lake Trail
Difficulty

6.1mi 1,791ft 3-4.5h

The Baldy Lake Trail is a 6.1mi out-and-back hiking route in British Columbia… Read More

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Isadore Canyon Loop Map

47. Isadore Canyon Loop
Difficulty

3.6mi 436ft 1.5-2h

The Isadore Canyon Loop is a 3.6mi hiking circuit to the east of… Read More

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Round the Mountain Trail Map

48. Round the Mountain Trail
Difficulty

12.1mi 2,339ft 5.5-7.5h

The Round the Mountain Trail is a 12.1mi lollipop hiking route that will… Read More

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Moose Creek Loop Map

49. Moose Creek Loop
Difficulty

5.5mi 774ft 2-3h

The Moose Creek Loop is an 8.9km lollipop hiking route through the forests south of… Read More

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Moyie Falls Map

50. Moyie Falls
Difficulty

1.4mi 351ft 0.5-1h

Making the trek to Moyie Falls will see hikers utilize a 1.4mi out-and-back… Read More

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Musser’s Plateau Loop Map

51. Musser’s Plateau Loop
Difficulty

6.2mi 1,739ft 3-4.5h

Musser’s Plateau Loop is a 6.2mi lollipop hiking route in Kimberley, BC, that… Read More

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