Brenda Haley shares photos of her recent hike to Kokanee Glacier Park.
Haley and her hiking partners also explored Mount John Carter, and the Glory Basin to Kaslo.
Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park
Located north of Nelson, ruggedly beautiful Kokanee Glacier Park offers excellent backcountry adventure for the whole family.
Sitting mostly above 1,800 metres in elevation, the park has two glaciers – Kokanee and Woodbury – which feed over 30 lakes and are the headwaters of many creeks.
Kokanee Lake is 1,200 metres in length and 400 metres wide; surrounded by precipitous cliffs and rock slides, it is an alpine jewel.
Other scenic lakes in the park include the gem-coloured Sapphire Lakes, milky Joker Lakes and popular Gibson, Kaslo and Tanal Lakes, which offer good fishing for rainbow and cutthroat trout.
With 85 km of well-marked trails, this park is appropriate for campers, hikers and climbers with all levels of outdoor experience.
Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, set aside in 1922, is one of the oldest major parks in the provincial system.
It has a long history of well established recreational use and is perhaps the best known alpine park in the Kootenay area of British Columbia.
Its boundaries encompass 32,035 hectares of some of the most scenic mountain country found in the Selkirk Mountains of southern British Columbia, comprising a picturesque mosaic of high peaks, snowfields, cirques and colourful lake basins.
As the dominant feature and roughly in the park’s centre, Kokanee Glacier forms the culmination of mountain ridges and valleys leading in from Kootenay and Slocan Lake. Slowly regenerating burns, old growth spruce stands, open slide paths and meadowlands lend contrast and heighten the beauty of the Park’s mountain landscape.
Access to the park was developed from old mining and forestry roads.
Leading from these various road ends, trails dating to the early mining developments offer a variety of hiking opportunities ranging from short day trips to challenging cross-country routes; for the status of the main access routes, please check the most recent trail report.
Historical cabins and interesting old mine sites combine with many natural features including peaks, lakes and alpine basins to form a rich and diverse environment for back-country recreation.
The park straddles the crest of mountain ridges between Slocan Lake and Kootenay Lake. Located 30 kilometres to the northeast, the peaks of Kokanee Glacier are visible from the city of Nelson, and stand out as dominant skyline features from many points on Kootenay Lake.
Weather patterns in the park are typical of the Southern Interior Mountains, with the whole park area over 1,500 metres, elevation strongly influences weather conditions and while warm spells occur in July and August, park visitors should be aware of the highly changeable nature of mountain weather.
Snow and sleet are not uncommon in summer, and rainy weather, many times in the form of thunderstorms, can be expected in the spring, summer and autumn months.
The heavy snowfall accumulations in the Park can be counted upon to ensure excellent ski conditions from late autumn to early spring.
Snow can occur in October at all levels in the Park and the higher elevations are not likely to be snow-free until July.
Avalanches are prevalent on the open alpine slope, limiting ski touring possibilities to certain routes and to low risk periods.
- files from BCParks.ca