Ready for a backcountry adventure in some of the most scenic mountain country of southern BC? Open year-round and situated in the stunning Selkirk Mountains is Kokanee Glacier Park, one of the oldest parks in the province. Nestled between Slocan and Kootenay Lakes, the park includes two glaciers (Kokanee and Woodbury), which feed over 30 lakes and creeks.
The park was created to conserve the early alpine mining history of the West Kootenays as well as grizzly bear and mountain goat habitats.
Visitors can dip into the 1,200-metre-long Kokanee Lake, or venture to the picturesque Sapphire, Joker, Gibson, Kaslo, and Tanal Lakes via one of the 85 km of well-marked trails.
BC Parks notes that campers, hikers, and climbers of all skill levels can enjoy Kokanee Glacier Park. The trails leading off of the old mining and forestry roads range from short day trips to challenging cross-country routes.
This includes the hike from Lemon Creek to Sapphire Lakes, which is ranked “moderate” by BC Parks. Here, visitors will hike through old-growth forest past stunning waterfalls and remnants of an old mine cabin.
Below are all of the hikes you can take at Kokanee Glacier Park:
- Gibson Lake Trailhead loop trail (2.5 km)
- Kokanee Lake to Kaslo Lake (3 km)
- Woodbury Creek to Sunset Lake (3 km)
- Gibson Lake to Kokanee Glacier Cabin/ Slocan Chief Cabin (8 km)
- Gibson Lake to Kokanee Lake (4.5 km)
- Kaslo Lake (north end) to the Slocan Chief Cabin (1.3 km)
- Enterprise Creek to Slocan Chief Cabin (10.2 km)
- Enterprise Creek to Tanal Lake (6.4 km)
- Tanal Lake to Kaslo Lake (2.5 km)
- Enterprise Creek to Blue Grouse Basin (6.4 km)
- Woodbury Creek To Woodbury Cabin (8 km)
- Lemon Creek To The Slocan Chief (14.3 km)
- Lemon Creek to Sapphire Lakes (9.8 km)
- Sapphire Lakes, Lemon Pass, Kaslo Lake to Slocan Chief Cabin (4.5 km)
- Woodbury Creek Trailhead to Silver Spray Cabin Trail (7 km)
Visitors can stay at one of three winter cabins, all of which are maintained by the Alpine Club of Canada, and are available through a lottery system (no walk-ins).
Note that dogs and campfires are not permitted at the park, and backcountry permits ($10 per adult) are required for overnight stays.
So there you have it, BC! Another beautiful park to visit if you want to soak in the fall colours.
Where: Kokanee Glacier Road, Balfour, BC
Information on Kokanee Glacier Park is from BC Parks and is accurate as of publication date.