Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier
- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The Jumbo Pass hike is spectacular. Jumbo Pass, famous from Patagonia’s Jumbo Valley documentary and the indigenous history of the Northern Purcell Range, is one of the last remaining wild mountain ranges in B.C. On the hike to Jumbo Pass you can expect to see a stunning valley full of glaciers, meadows and mountain peaks. It is an extremely beautiful place to hike.
View Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier on Map
- Map Data: ©OpenStreetMap
- Tiles: ©CyclOSM
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Route Description for Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier
The Jumbo Pass hike is accessed through the small communities at the northern end of Kootenay Lake. The drive itself is stunning, taking you through old growth forest and hemlock trees. The access road to the Jumbo Pass trailhead is very long. While possible in a 2WD, you will need high clearance due to water bars and rocks. 4WD is preferred.
The Jumbo Pass hike is a relatively “easy” day hike in the West Kootenays. Jumbo Pass is still a big day, but it doesn’t feel as hard as other nearby hikes. Perhaps this is because of the incredible views, which take in parts of the northern Purcell’s and Horseshoe Glacier.
The Jumbo Pass trail starts with a steep incline for approximately 1-1.5 hours, while you gain almost 700 m. You then enter subalpine meadows filled with larch trees, which offer some pretty views, especially looking back across the valley.
From these meadows, the hiking trail to Jumbo Pass is easy to follow and ascends much slower through meadows. There are a few steeper switchbacks, and then you pop out on the top of Jumbo Pass, where the trail splits.
If you go right from Jumbo Pass, the trail heads down to another access road coming from Invermere. There is a nice lake here to explore for an hour or so if you have the time.
If you go left when you come to Jumbo Pass, you’ll be on the way to the Jumbo Pass Cabin. You can make this an overnight hike and reserve Jumbo Pass Cabin, it sleeps 6 comfortably.
Once you reach the cabin, turn around and look back to Horseshoe Glacier! You can end your hike here with some lunch or continue up behind the cabin cross country and explore further into the pass. Horseshoe Glacier and the wild, wide open spaces of the Jumbo Valley are the reasons this hike is so worth the drive. It is one of the most beautiful areas in the West Kootenays and a place that all locals hope to keep preserved in its wild state.
To return to the car, retrace your steps from Jumbo Pass.
Insider Hints for Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier
- Book the Jumbo Pass Cabin for a stay up at Jumbo Pass and enjoy the incredible night skies and stars from up here.
- Combine this trip with a hike to Monica Meadows or Macbeth Icefield.
- It gets cold as early as the first week of September, so bring warm clothing and prepare for all kinds of weather.
Getting to the Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier Trailhead
Starting in Kalso, head north through Lardeau and turn right onto Argenta Road. It is well signed up until this point. After crossing the river, you want to go straight ahead at the next U-bend, 3-way (do not go to Argenta) onto an unpaved road heading north that follows the east side of Duncan Lake. Continue on this road for 12.0 km, then you will see on the left is Glacier Creek campground. Go right and ascend Glacier Creek Road for 10.0 km, where you will come to a fork. At the fork, go straight for Jumbo Pass and Monica Meadows (signed). After a further 14.0 km, turn right at the sign to Jumbo Pass. Parking area is small.
Jumbo Pass and Horseshoe Glacier Elevation Graph
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