Kokanee Glacier Cabin hike
The Kokanee Glacier Cabin hike is a stunning hike in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park. Starting at Gibson Lake, the hike to Kokanee Glacier Cabin is a beautiful way to explore the wilderness, not too far from the towns of Nelson or Kaslo.
From Nelson, drive west on highway 3A, passing through Kokanee Creek Provincial Park. Just after Kokanee Creek Campsite, go left on the Kokanee Glacier Road. The FSR road up to Kokanee Park is signed, and you follow the road for 9.9mi until you reach the main parking lot at Gibson Lake.
|When to do|
Early July to Late September
Yes, Kaslo Lake (just before the cabin, bring cash)
Older Children only
Out and back
Kokanee Glacier Cabin
Route Description for Kokanee Glacier Cabin
Remember to bring chicken wire to protect your vehicle from porcupines if staying over night on this hike.
While we show this as a day trip, this is also a spectacular overnight trip, and staying at the ACC’s Kokanee Cabin is quite a special experience.
The hike to Kokanee Glacier Cabin is also known as the Kokanee Lake Trail. This hike starts at the back of the Slocan Chief Cabin & Kokanee Lake Trailhead. This is a large parking lot. From the parking lot, this hike climbs steeply upwards on switch backs until you reach Kokanee Lake. There are plenty of Marmots here waiting to eat your lunch crumbs, as well as a pit toilet and lots of places along the lakeside to stop and eat lunch.
If you choose to continue onwards from Kokanee Lake, you will walk along the west side of Kokanee Lake over the boulders before reaching the grassy meadows filled with flowers and streams. The trail is easy to follow as it winds up the valley. You will catch a glimpse of Keen Lake on your left as you continue on the path. Soon afterwards you pass by the edge of Garland Lake.
Before you know it, you’ll come to a junction, with the left path going down to the ACC’s Kokanee Cabin and the pretty Kaslo Lake, while the right path goes towards and Slocan Chief Cabin. If you stay overnight, the path to Slocan Chief Cabin and beyond is a good day hike.
Kaslo Lake has a lot of nice places to stop and rest and enjoy the day before heading back down, or you can camp or book a night in the new and luxurious Kokanee Cabin. Be warned – it books out almost a year in advance for summer nights so be sure to make a booking well in advance if this is where you’d like to be.
To head back, retrace your steps back to your car.
This is a popular trail, so do not expect the peace and quiet some other more remote hikes in the Kootenays offer.
The hike to Kokanee Lake or beyond to Kaslo Lake and the Kokanee Glacier Cabin is wonderful in July and August when the wildflowers are out.
If it’s a hot day, take a swim in the cool Kokanee Lake and enjoy the views down the valley and wide open meadows filled with marmots.
If you are staying overnight bring chicken wire to wrap around the bottom of your vehicle. This is essential. Porcupines frequent the park and will chew anything they can.
There are optional extensions from the cabin to Sapphire Lakes, Keyhole, and Kokanee Glacier.
At certain times in the summer, there can be a lot of bugs once you reach the cabin, bring bug spray!
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