Panorama on Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier hike in West Kootenays
Scenery of hiking trail in West Kootenays, BC

hikes in West Kootenays

Region in British Columbia, Canada
West Kootenay trail map.

The best hikes in the West Kootenays take you to some pretty epic scenery, and this pretty region of the B.C. interior is sure to grow in popularity in the coming years. The West Kootenays include places like Nelson, Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park and more great places to hike.

THE TOP WEST KOOTENAY HIKES

The top hikes in the West Kootenays offer great variety, from remote backcountry wilderness to family-friendly routes right from Nelson. The stunning country in the West Kootenays provides a backdrop of forest, flower filled meadows, and stunning peaks, not to mention a large amount of wildlife (particularly bears!)

  1. Macbeth Glacier/Icefield (8.6mi, 4406ft, 7-9h): This is the best challenging hike in the West Kootenays. Hike through an enormous variety of terrains until you reach the epic Macbeth Glacier towering above you. Rarely visited by tourists, this is as beautiful a hike as you will find in the West Kootenays.
  2. Mount Loki (6.9mi, 3825ft, 6.5-8h): Mount Loki is another exceptional hike in the West Kootenays. Mount Loki is best attempted in the height of summer, when it is snow-free. From the summit it feels like you are on top of the world, with the West Kootenays stretching out below you.
  3. Jumbo Pass (7.5mi, 3091ft, 5-7h): The hike to Jumbo Pass is stunning. This is a pretty famous hike thanks to Patagonia’s Jumbo Valley documentary and the indigenous history of the Northern Purcell Range. Here is one of the last remaining wild mountain ranges in B.C. This hike takes you through a stunning valley full of glaciers, meadows and mountain peaks. It is an extremely beautiful place for a hike.
  4. Whitewater Canyon (7.5mi, 2743ft, 5-6.5h): Another classic West Kootenay hike is situated along the inside of Whitewater Canyon. Here you walk through a deep Selkirk valley, up through the meadows and finally reaching alpine lakes. This is a beautiful hike to do during wildflower season in July, or in fall (mid September).
  5. Gwillim Lakes (7.0mi, 2274ft, 5-6.5h): This is a beautiful West Kootenay alpine hike, and is popular thanks to the backcountry campsite located here. Passing by many impressive lakes cradled by mountain peaks the whole way up, this is one of the most beautiful hikes in the Valhallas.
  6. Gimli Ridge (4.5mi, 2277ft, 4-5.5h): Gimli Peak and Ridge is one of the shorter hikes in the Valhallas and has beautiful views throughout. This hike has stunning views of Mulvey Basin, a chance to explore the old forest, enjoy the view of Gimli Peak and bump into a Mountain Goat (or two!).
  7. Kokanee Glacier (10.4mi, 2014ft, 4.5-6h): Hiking to Kokanee Glacier is another classic hike in the West Kootenays. This hike is a beautiful way to explore the wilderness, not too far from the towns of Nelson or Kaslo. Enjoy a swim in the cool Kokanee Lake, the pretty views down valley and wide open meadows filled with marmots.
  8. Idaho Peak (2.1mi, 906ft, 2-3h): Idaho Peak is a popular West Kootenay hike to do with kids. Enjoy this relatively easy walk along the ridgeline to an old fire lookout. From the top you are rewarded with exceptional views of Slocan Lake and panoramic mountain ranges – you can see as far as Kokanee Glacier just outside of Nelson.
  9. Fry Creek Canyon (5.2mi, 1358ft, 3-5h): Fry Creek Canyon is a great shoulder season hike in the West Kootenays. This trail goes through the forest, ending where Fry Creek pours into Kootenay Lake. The canyon itself is impressive and can be followed for as long as you like.
  10. Pulpit Rock and Flagpole (3.4mi, 2126ft, 1-3h): Pulpit Rock and Flagpole is an easy hike when staying in Nelson. This is a popular hike for a workout or family trip.
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The best hikes in West Kootenays

Scenery on Macbeth Icefield hike in West Kootenays, Canada

01. Macbeth Icefield
Difficulty

8.6mi 4,406ft 6-8.5h

The Macbeth Icefield hike in the West Kootenays, is the best hike for those who… Read More

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9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Great scenery on Mount Loki hike in West Kootenays

02. Mount Loki
Difficulty

8.0mi 3,825ft 5.5-7.5h

The Mount Loki hike is a classic West Kootenay Hike. Mount Loki is the highest… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier hike in West Kootenays

03. Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier
Difficulty

8.1mi 3,091ft 5-7h

The Jumbo Pass hike is spectacular. Jumbo Pass, famous from Patagonia’s Jumbo Valley documentary and… Read More

User Rating

9.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Great scenery on Whitewater Canyon hike in West Kootenays

04. Whitewater Canyon
Difficulty

9.9mi 2,743ft 5-7h

The Whitewater Canyon hike take you along the inside of the canyon wall, through a… Read More

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9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery on Gwillim Lakes hike in West Kootenays

05. Gwillim Lakes
Difficulty

7.8mi 2,589ft 4.5-6h

The Gwillim Lakes Hike is a beautiful hike with a large backcountry campsite located at… Read More

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9.7Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery on Gimli Ridge hike in West Kootenays, the Canadian Rockies

06. Gimli Ridge
Difficulty

5.0mi 2,277ft 3.5-4.5h

The Gimli Ridge hike is one of the shorter hikes in the Valhallas, but has… Read More

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9.5Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery on Kokanee Glacier Cabin hike in West Kootenays, the Canadian Rockies

07. Kokanee Glacier Cabin
Difficulty

10.9mi 2,014ft 5-6.5h

The Kokanee Glacier Cabin hike is a stunning hike in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Starting… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery from Idaho Peak hike in West Kootenays, BC

08. Idaho Peak
Difficulty

2.1mi 906ft 1.5-2h

Important Notice: The road leading to Idaho Peak trailhead is currently washed out by a… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Fry Creek Canyon hike in West Kootenays

09. Fry Creek Canyon
Difficulty

5.2mi 1,358ft 2.5-3.5h

The Fry Creek Canyon hike is a great shoulder season hike through the impressive Fry… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Scenery of Pulpit Rock & the Flagpole hike in West Kootenays, the Canadian Rockies

10. Pulpit Rock & the Flagpole
Difficulty

3.7mi 2,126ft 3-4h

The Pulpit Rock hike, and the optional extension to the Flagpole, is a great hike… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty

Yes, there are more than 10

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

Plaid Lake and Mt Crawford

11. Plaid Lake and Mt Crawford
Difficulty

8.3mi 3,917ft 5.5-8h

Plaid Lake is a beautiful hike with an optional extension to summit Mount Crawford for… Read More

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Pilot Bay Peninsula Trail Map

12. Pilot Bay Peninsula Trail
Difficulty

5.6mi 1,765ft 3-4.5h

The Pilot Bay Peninsula Trail is a 9km out-and-back hiking route in Pilot Bay Provincial… Read More

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Nancy Greene Lake Loop Map

13. Nancy Greene Lake Loop
Difficulty

2.5mi 249ft 1-1.5h

The Nancy Greene Lake Loop is a 2.5mi circuit hiking route in Nancy… Read More

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Badger Trail Map

14. Badger Trail
Difficulty

5.0mi 968ft 2-3h

The Badger Trail is an 5.0mi lollipop hiking route that passes through a… Read More

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Ymir Mountain Hike Map

15. Ymir Mountain Hike
Difficulty

3.9mi 2,388ft 3-4.5h

The trail leading up Ymir Mountain is a 3.9mi out-and-back hiking route at… Read More

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Old Glory Trail Map

16. Old Glory Trail
Difficulty

11.8mi 3,678ft 6.5-9h

The Old Glory Trail is a 11.8mi out-and-back hiking route in the Rossland… Read More

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White Queen Hike Map

17. White Queen Hike
Difficulty

6.3mi 2,172ft 3.5-5h

The trail to the summit of the White Queen is a 6.3mi out-and-back… Read More

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Kuskanax Creek Nakusp Hot Springs Trail-Map

18. Kuskanax Creek Nakusp Hot Springs Trail
Difficulty

10.3mi 2,516ft 5-7h

The Kuskanax Creek Nakusp Hot Springs Trail is a 10.3mi out-and-back hiking route… Read More

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Old Growth Recreation Trail Map

19. Old Growth Recreation Trail
Difficulty

1.6mi 292ft 0.5-1h

The Old Growth Recreation Trail is a 1.6mi out-and-back hiking route near the… Read More

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Great Northern Trail Map

20. Great Northern Trail
Difficulty

6.9mi 1,207ft 3-4h

The Great Northern Trail is an 6.9mi out-and-back hiking route that will take… Read More

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Ripple Ridge Trail Map

21. Ripple Ridge Trail
Difficulty

6.3mi 1,509ft 3-4.5h

The Ripple Ridge Trail is a 6.3mi out-and-back hiking route in Stagleap Provincial… Read More

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Mel DeAnna Trail Loop Map

22. Mel DeAnna Trail Loop
Difficulty

3.3mi 367ft 1-1.5h

The Mel DeAnna Trail Loop is a 3.3mi hiking route near Castlegar, BC,… Read More

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Slocan-Evans Trail Map

23. Slocan-Evans Trail
Difficulty

5.1mi 768ft 2-3h

The Slocan-Evans Trail is an 5.1mi out-and-back hiking route that sets out from… Read More

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McPhee Waterfalls Hike Map

24. McPhee Waterfalls Hike
Difficulty

3.5mi 558ft 1.5-2h

The McPhee Waterfalls Hike is a 3.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Castlegar, BC,… Read More

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Gibson Lake Loop Hike Map

25. Gibson Lake Loop Hike
Difficulty

1.2mi 148ft 0.5h

The Gibson Lake Loop Hike is a short 1.2mi hiking route in Kokanee… Read More

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Wilson Creek Falls Trail-Map

26. Wilson Creek Falls Trail
Difficulty

1.8mi 384ft 1h

The Wilson Creek Falls Trail is a 1.8mi out-and-back route in Goat Range… Read More

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Brilliant Overlook Hike Map

27. Brilliant Overlook Hike
Difficulty

3.7mi 1,414ft 2-3h

The hike to Brilliant Overlook is a 3.7mi out-and-back trail in Castlegar, BC,… Read More

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Halfway Hot Springs Hike Map

28. Halfway Hot Springs Hike
Difficulty

1.0mi 236ft 0.5h

The trail to the Halfway Hot Springs is a short 1.0mi hiking route… Read More

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Merry Loop Map

29. Merry Loop
Difficulty

8.7mi 2,343ft 4.5-6h

The Merry Loop Trail is a 8.7mi circuit hiking route that utilizes a… Read More

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Lockhart Trail Map

30. Lockhart Trail
Difficulty

14.4mi 5,299ft 8.5-12h

The Lockhart Trail is a 14.4mi out-and-back hiking route that will take you… Read More

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Pulpit Rock Hike Map

31. Pulpit Rock Hike
Difficulty

2.2mi 1,066ft 1.5-2h

Pulpit Rock is a 2.2mi out-and-back hiking route in Nelson, BC that climbs… Read More

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Merry Creek Trail Map

32. Merry Creek Trail
Difficulty

2.8mi 381ft 1-1.5h

The Merry Creek Trail is a 2.8mi lollipop hiking route in Castlegar, BC… Read More

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Kokanee Lake Map

33. Kokanee Lake
Difficulty

6.3mi 1,749ft 3.5-4.5h

The hike to Kokanee Lake is a 6.3mi out-and-back route in Kokanee Glacier… Read More

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Mount Roberts Trail Map

34. Mount Roberts Trail
Difficulty

4.6mi 2,789ft 3.5-5h

The hike up Mount Roberts follows a rugged 4.6mi out-and-back trail that will… Read More

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Big White Mountain Peak Trail Map

35. Big White Mountain Peak Trail
Difficulty

1.4mi 502ft 1h

The Big White Mountain Peak Trail is a 1.4mi out-and-back hiking route that… Read More

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Pilot Bay Lighthouse Trail Map

36. Pilot Bay Lighthouse Trail
Difficulty

0.4mi 207ft 0.5h

The Pilot Bay Lighthouse Trail is a 0.4mi out-and-back hiking route in Pilot… Read More

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Christina Lake Hike Map

37. Christina Lake Hike
Difficulty

14.1mi 3,114ft 6.5-9.5h

The Christina Lake Hike is a 14.1mi out-and-back route that sets out from… Read More

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Arrow Mountain Map

38. Arrow Mountain
Difficulty

8.3mi 2,802ft 4.5-6.5h

The Arrow Mountain trail is a 8.3mi out-and-back hiking route in Creston, BC,… Read More

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Thanksgiving Mountain Map

39. Thanksgiving Mountain
Difficulty

2.1mi 994ft 1.5-2h

Thanksgiving Mountain is a quick 2.1mi out-and-back hiking route that will take you… Read More

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Thompson Rim Trail Map

40. Thompson Rim Trail
Difficulty

4.6mi 1,145ft 2.5-3h

The Thompson Rim Trail is a 4.4mi out-and-back hiking route near Creston, BC,… Read More

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Sphinx Mountain Trail Map

41. Sphinx Mountain Trail
Difficulty

5.9mi 3,192ft 4.5-6h

The Sphinx Mountain Trail is a 5.9mi out-and-back hiking route that climbs steeply… Read More

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Balancing Rock Trail Map

42. Balancing Rock Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 673ft 1-1.5h

The Balancing Rock Trail is a quick 1.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Creston,… Read More

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Mill Lake Trail Map

43. Mill Lake Trail
Difficulty

5.5mi 1,709ft 3-4h

The Mill Lake Trail is an 5.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Nelson, BC,… Read More

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Mount Creston Trail Map

44. Mount Creston Trail
Difficulty

4.8mi 2,113ft 3-4.5h

The Mount Creston Trail is a 4.8mi out-and-back hiking route near Creston, BC,… Read More

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Panther Lake Trail Map

45. Panther Lake Trail
Difficulty

3.9mi 1,145ft 2-3h

The Panther Lake Trail is a 3.9mi out-and-back hiking route near Salmo, BC,… Read More

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Ka Papa Cedar Trail Map

46. Ka Papa Cedar Trail
Difficulty

1.3mi 262ft 0.5-1h

The Ka Papa Cedar Trail is a 1.3mi lollipop hiking route near Stagleap… Read More

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Emerald Lake Trail Map

47. Emerald Lake Trail
Difficulty

5.5mi 1,473ft 3-4h

The Emerald Lake Trail is an 5.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Kaslo, BC,… Read More

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Lost Mountain Hike Map

48. Lost Mountain Hike
Difficulty

5.7mi 3,445ft 4.5-6.5h

The trail up Lost Mountain is a 5.7mi out-and-back hiking route that climbs… Read More

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Cornice Ridge Trail Map

49. Cornice Ridge Trail
Difficulty

3.1mi 1,132ft 2-2.5h

The Cornice Ridge Trail is a 5km lollipop hiking route in Stagleap Provincial Park that… Read More

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Gibson Lake Trail to Keen Lake Map

50. Gibson Lake Trail to Keen Lake
Difficulty

11.6mi 2,415ft 5.5-7.5h

The Gibson Lake Trail to Keen Lake is an 11.6mi out-and-back hiking route… Read More

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Easter Rock Trail Map

51. Easter Rock Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 358ft 0.5-1h

The Easter Rock Trail is a 1.5mi out-and-back hiking route near Crawford Bay,… Read More

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Saddle Mountain Lookout Map

52. Saddle Mountain Lookout
Difficulty

5.3mi 2,648ft 3.5-5h

The Saddle Mountain Lookout trail is an 5.3mi out-and-back hiking route that will… Read More

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