There are no shortage of hiking trails in Kimberley to choose from, whether you’re looking for a pre-breakfast stroll, a challenging day hike, or hoping to walk off dessert from one of Kimberley’s great restaurants!
No matter where you’re staying in Kimberley, you’ll likely be only minutes away from a great hiking trail. Enclosed by the Purcell Mountains and Canadian Rockies, Kimberley’s advantageous location makes it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. Kimberley’s diverse ecosystem and easy access to mountain terrain leaves nothing but stunning views and intriguing forested areas to be explored. To make the choice of where to go a little easier, we have made a list of our favourite hikes in the area.
KIMBERLEY NATURE PARK
LEVEL: HIKING AND BIKING FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Kimberley Nature Park is a great spot for locals and visitors alike to enjoy a nature break.
The Park covers 1800 acres of pristine wilderness and is one of Canada’s largest municipal parks. We love this expansive and easily-accessed forested trail system, which is dotted with quiet ponds and scenic viewpoints. The park is located within city boundaries and accessible from a few points in town. The trails within the park are ideal for every ability level, including families with young children. Mountain bikers also use these trails, so hikers should be on the look out for bikers, and vice versa.
A diverse ecosystem provides exciting wildlife viewing. Dogs are allowed, but keep in mind that the park is home to black bear and moose so please be cautious and keep your distance from wildlife.
Highlight trails in Kimberley Nature Park include:
Sunflower Hill Loop
Highlight: Fantastic view of the Rockies and St. Mary’s Valley
Length: 3.5km and 115m elevation gain
Located: Accessed from the campground or by Jimmy Russell Road
Eimer’s Lake Loop
Highlight: Great view of the lake
Length: 1.8km and 35m elevation gain
Located: Accessed from Eimer’s Road
Natural History Loop
Highlight: Awesome scenic viewpoint
Length: 5.5km and 280m elevation gain
Located: Accessed from the campground or Jimmy Russell Road entrance
West Side Highline
Highlight: Excellent views!
Length: 13km and 475m elevation gain
Located: Accessed from the Nordic Ski Area; this loop takes you through Horse Barn Valley and down Creek Trail
Kimberley Nature Park
You can enter the park by the Kimberley Nordic Ski Area or by the Kimberley Riverside Campground as well as by Swan Avenue and Higgins Street.
Hourglass Lake Hike
LEVEL: MODERATE DAY HIKE
This peaceful lake is about 1km long and is pinched in the middle by the surrounding rocky slopes, giving it the shape it was named for.
The hike to Hourglass Lake switchbacks up through dense forest of spruce and fir. On one side of the lake is a stunning waterfall that plunges down from Upper Hourglass Lake, which is about another hour of scrambling through big pieces of broken bedrock on a boulder field. However, the trek is worth it for the fantastic view of White Grouse Mountain.
- Level: Moderate hike
- Distance: 7km
- Time: 4 hours
- Elevation gain: 270 m (900 ft.) to Hourglass Lake at 1,860 m (6,100 ft) and from the lower lake, it is another 335m to Upper Hourglass Lake, which sits at 2,190 m (7,200 ft)
From Kimberley, drive south for 5 minutes to Marysville and turn west onto St Mary Lake road. At the junction of St. Mary Lake Road and St. Mary River Road, turn left (south) onto St. Mary River Road. Turn right at the second dirt road (south) on to St. Mary/Hellroaring Creek FS Road. Turn right onto St. Mary/Meachen Creek FS Road. The Hourglass Lake parking is at the 29km mark. The trailhead is the only pull out along this section of the road where you can spot the waterfall. Look high up on the right for a waterfall. If you can see the waterfall, you’re in the right spot! (There are several pull outs in this section of the road). Walk from the trailhead through a logged area to a bridge that crosses Meachen Creek.
We recommend picking up one of Kimberley’s inexpensive Trail Guides at the Kimberley Visitor Centre and chatting with the staff there about current trail conditions.
ST. MARY’S ALPINE PARK
LEVEL: TRAILS RANGE FROM MODERATE – EXPERT
St. Mary’s Alpine Park is one of the largest intact ecosystems remaining in southeastern BC. Emerald jewel lakes and backcountry exploration await adventurers here. The terrain is rugged, and often-times hikers find themselves having to exercise their bushwhacking skills or scale rocks and peaks. This is why St. Mary’s isn’t necessarily recommended for those looking for a nature walk, but instead better suited to more advanced hikers and backcountry explorers. Don’t be put off by this, as many of the views of towering waterfalls and alpine lakes seen along the trails are jaw-dropping. Those looking to embark on an overnighter can set up camp over at Price Lake.
Take Dewars Creek Forest Service Road for Mortar Lake and the St. Mary’s West Fork road for Jurak Lake. For those taking the Dewars Creek Forest Service Road should be sure to have a 4×4 vehicle as the area was impacted by a flood in 2013. But those with a vehicle that has 4×4 will be fine.
Ready to hike in Kimberley?
If you’re looking to explore the vast network of hiking trails in Kimberley and enjoy the beautiful Bavarian-style town, we have a fantastic array of vacation rentals with stunning mountain views. Check out our list of excellent Kimberley accommodations here or give our Destination Experts a call on 1.877.902.1616 – we’re available 7 days a week and can easily assist you with finding the perfect property.