Panorama on Mount Loki hike in West Kootenays
Panorama on Mount Loki hike in West Kootenays

Mount Loki hike

West Kootenays
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View from Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysFalse peak on Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysMount Loki hike in West Kootenays takes you through the false peakScrambly part of Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysScrambly trail of Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysMount Loki hike in West Kootenays has scrambly part of the trailHiker on top of Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysMount Loki hike in West Kootenays has beautiful scenery from the topAmazing views from the top of Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysSummit view on Mount Loki hike in West KootenaysMount Loki hike in West Kootenays has beautiful summit view

Mount Loki hike

Distance: 8.0mi
Elevation: 3,825ft
Time: 5.5-7.5h

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The Mount Loki hike is a classic West Kootenay Hike. Mount Loki is the highest peak seen from many points along the highway between Nelson and Kaslo, and it towers above its neighbouring mountain tops. Snow covered for most of the year, Mount Loki is conquered only in the height of summer and rewards hikers with unbelievable 360 degree views, far removed from the small towns you came from. From up here, Kootenay Lake is barely noticeable, it feels like you are on top of the world.

Mount Loki Hike Map

Getting there

From Kalso or Nelson head towards Balfour to take the ferry across Kootenay Lake. Once landed on the east side, head north through Riondel and onto the FSR that runs along the north side of Kootenay Lake. From this point you will drive approximately 9.3mi on a dirt road. Pass the parking area for Pebble Beach and continue straight. At around 6.2mi after the pavement ends, you will take a right onto Portman Creek Road. The trail head is badly sign posted and you park on the left side in a small bay. 4WD is usually essential for the last few km’s of the unkept road.

I’ve done this 66 people have done this
I want to do this 31 want to do this route

About

When to do

Late July to Early September

Backcountry Campsites

No

Pets allowed

No

Family friendly

No

Route Signage

Poor

Crowd Levels

Low

Route Type

Out and back


Mount Loki
Elevation Graph


Route Description for Mount Loki

Before attempting the Mount Loki hike, make sure you have the right vehicle to get to the trailhead. ​4WD is essential for the last part of the access road to Mt. Loki.

The Mount Loki hike is a challenging day hike, with steep elevation gains. There is significant amount of scrambling on this hike, and this scrambling comes with exposure and the potential for rockfall. In some areas this route can be very dangerous. While it is listed as a hike, it is technically a scramble.

It is not recommended to take small children on this hike and pets are not allowed as this is grizzly country.

Route finding up Mount Loki is mostly easy enough to follow, the hardest part is when you reach the scramble.

The hike begins through a beautiful forest and meadow in the valley, and the trail goes up with a steady incline. After passing through the meadow you will begin to hike upwards on rocks and dirt until Mt. Loki’s false peak is perfectly placed right in front of you. After this point, you hike along the ridge and forest toward the peak. There are lots of nice places to eat lunch here.

Once you finish hiking through the forest, you will see a huge, steep pile of rocks. There is no set trail up here, although there are some cairns. We recommend heading towards the right to find a route to the top of Mount Loki. The left can take you over very steep cliff drops and while it is possible to do, it feels a lot safer to head for the right.

You will pick your own route up Mount Loki from now on, occasionally coming across faint trails and cairns, as you scramble to the top. It can take around 2 hours to reach the summit of Mt. Loki and about 2/3rds of the way up you will reach the false summit only to see ahead of you another large pile of steep rocks!

Once on the summit of Mount Loki, the views are spectacular, and you’ll end up spending quite a while up here.

The Mount Loki hike is one of the most incredible hikes you can find in the West Kootenays. Remote and fairly untouched, you can experience the outstanding views of epic mountain ranges in every single direction, alpine lakes and spikey peaks almost all to yourself. It is a mountain commonly climbed by locals and you will rarely find tourists up here.

Return the way you came, the way down is usually more difficult than the way up. Poles definitely help with the descent.

Insider Hints

  • Garland Bay Campsite ($12) is one of the most beautiful campsites in British Columbia. Do not miss a chance to enjoy this area (South is for walk in camping and North for RV’s or cars). It is very close to the FSR that leads up to Loki and a perfect place to have a home base for the weekend.

  • Check weather carefully for this hike, it is always windy at the top regardless of the forecast and can be extremely cold. Scrambling can become dangerous and it is absolutely not advised to complete this hike when it is snowy, wet or has rained over night.

  • A hiking pole or two is a nice help for the rocks on the way down.

Comments

AnnSue 2 years ago

We had so much fun doing this hike. It was extremely windy when we visited.

10.0 Overall Rating
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8h 15m Time Taken
Eric Parats 2 years ago

It was a tough hike to do but I made it to the top in Crocs LOL! and once we got there the views were incredible! I highly recommend doing it at least once! Such a fun hike with my baby!

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Meighan 2 years ago

Loki is extremely intimidating when viewed from a distance. It pierces the sky, as sharp and serrated as a shark’s tooth. But don’t let that stop you – as you near the base, Loki unfolds to reveal its false summit and the slopes begin to angle into an approachable ascent.

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hoshiuemura 2 years ago

This hike is really impressive with all the magnificent views that goes with the high elevation.

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Brandon Houston 2 years ago

Mount Loki challenges hikers to make it to the summit. The reward is top-of-the-world views of the Purcell Mountains and distant Kootenay Lake.

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metamorphiks 2 years ago

Climbing up was a real challenge. My legs were burning because of the steep inclines.

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bigheartwanders 3 years ago

Phenomenal views once you make it to the summit! Take extra caution though and be aware of rockfall.

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Slavik W. 3 years ago

Unbelievable hike!Make sure to have preparation and be in good shape before doing this trail. It's not easy.

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David L. 3 years ago

love the extensive scenery at the top! conquering this mountain gives me a great sense of satisfaction and accomplishment!

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9 Comments

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