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    Kokanee Lake

    This reflects the 10Adventures difficulty rating for each route. We aim to keep ratings consistent across regions.
    This reflects the estimated time the majority of users will take on this trail. If you are slower, add time to the top-end figure. If you are fast, then you may complete this route faster than this time range.
    This reflects the return distance of this route as measured by the GPS file.
    10.1 km
    This reflects the total elevation gained throughout this route as measured by the GPS file. This includes all ascents and descents, and is higher than what is quoted in most route guides, which simply measure the distance between the starting-point and high-point of the route.
    533 m
    User Ratings
    These ratings are completed by users who have completed this trail and not subject to reviews by 10Adventures.
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    Directions to Trailhead

    The hike to Kokanee Lake is a 10.1 km out-and-back route in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park that will take you from the shores of Gibson Lake into the backcountry to visit the pristine waters of Kokanee Lake. This trail features a good variation in terrain that is made up of beautiful forested trails and scenic subalpine landscape. This is a perfect moderate hike for those looking to begin exploring the natural beauty of the park.

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    Route Description for Kokanee Lake

    Hiking to Kokanee Lake is a great outdoor experience that isn’t overly difficult, but will provide a fun challenge and a good variation in terrain to keep you excited along the entirety of the route. The trail sets out from the shores of Gibson Lake near the entrance to the park, which means that you will need to arrive early enough to secure parking in this busy area. Once you get past the area around the Gibson Lake, you should have a bit more solitude along the trail as you work your way through the picturesque subalpine terrain. Make sure to wear proper hiking footwear and pack plenty of water if you are looking to complete this hike in the heat of the summer.

    Setting out from the northern end of the parking area, follow the trail into the forest to make your way around the eastern edge of Gibson Lake. From here, continue north along a series of sweeping switchbacks with several creek crossings. As you continue working your way uphill, you will have a beautiful view looking down onto Gibson Lake, with Kokanee Peak on your right and Mount John Carter across the valley to the west.

    Eventually, you will break out of the tree cover and into the beautifully scenic subalpine meadow, with breathtaking views looking down onto Kokanee Lake. Continue your hike towards the lake and follow the trail as it works along the western shore. Take in the extreme beauty of your surroundings, with the image of rugged mountain peaks reflecting off the calm water of the Lake. After taking some time to explore the area, head back along the same route to return to the parking area next to Gibson Lake.

    Getting to the Kokanee Lake Trailhead

    To reach the trailhead for Kokanee Lake from Nelson, make your way north for 19.6 km along BC-3A and turn left onto Kokanee Glacier Road. After travelling along it for 15.6 km, you will find the parking area on the left next to Gibson Lake.

    Route Information

    • When to do


    • Backcountry Campsites


    • Pets allowed


    • Family friendly

      Older Children only

    • Route Signage


    • Crowd Levels


    • Route Type

      Out and back

    Kokanee Lake Elevation Graph

    Weather Forecast

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    Kokanee Lake Reviews

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