K&S Railway ( Sandon )

Site Description:The K & S Railway Trail can be done in many ways. No matter how you do it, be sure to give yourself time to poke around the old mine sites, admire the rock work and pause to take in the views. From Sandon to Payne Bluff is an easy stroll. To make it easier, drive the first 2.3 km and then it is only 3.8 km to Payne Bluff. If you have a way back from Three Forks, you can take the old pack trail, down to the highway from Payne Siding. If you want a bit of a workout, start at Three Forks. The first section of trail takes you to the old CPR grade. Follow this for 300 metres, then look for a sign that directs you to the left and up, onto the old pack trail. After a steep 1.4 km you are at Payne Siding. Turn left to Payne Bluff, which is 300 metres along the railway grade. Biking? The first 2.5 km from Sandon is a pleasant family bike ride. After this, the trail becomes single track and somewhat technical.

Driving Directions:Access to the Sandon end of the K & S: At the junction of Hwy 6 and 31A in New Denver, turn east onto Hwy 31A. Proceed for 8.3 km to the turn off to Sandon. This junction is known as Three Forks. Proceed 5.5 km to Sandon. Rather than going over the bridge, continue straight ahead on Reco Street for 500 metres to the “K & S Historic Railway Trail” interpretive sign and trail head. If you would like an easy family bike route, the next 2.3 km along the railway grade to the Altoona Mine, has a gentle grade and is wide. This section of the trail is also suitable for 2 wheel drive vehicles or a pleasant walk. Access from Three Forks to the K S: At the junction of Hwy 6 and 31A in New Denver, turn east onto Hwy 31A. Proceed for 8.3 km to the turn off to Sandon. Park at the trail head sign on Hwy 31A, 100 metres north of this junction.

( rec sites and trails ) NORTH SLOCAN TRAILS SOCIETY

Wragge Beach

Popular Drive to Campsite on Slocan Lake

Wragge Beach is one of the prettiest beaches on Slocan Lake. The spacious campsites along the lake shore are shaded by trees. A wide beach curves gently for several hundred meters in both directions, inviting beach walking. A rocky outcrop extends out into the lake, making a scenic shoreline. This site is a popular destination campsite for vacationing families. The lake offers good fishing, boating, swimming and board sailing. The wide sandy beach, sloping gently down to the water, is safe for youngsters and provides a perfect volleyball court or frisbee field. If one tires of lazy beach days, a hike into Shannon Lake or Wragge Lake should satisfy the urge to stretch the legs.

Driving Directions:From the junction of Highway 6 and 31A in New Denver, travel north on Highway 6 for 15.2 km to Hills. Turn left onto “Bonanza Road”. Follow the asphalt over the bridge, onto gravel at the beginning of the “Shannon Creek Forest Service Road”. Turn right onto this road, and zero your odometer here. Follow the main line for 2.9 KM and go left here at the fork, turning onto Wragge Creek Road. At 4.2 KM on the odometer, go left at the junction. At 5.4 on the odometer, go left at the junction. At 7.5 KM proceed straight on the main line. At 9.4 KM find Wragge Beach. (note your vehicle odometer reading will not be the same as the Forest Service Road KM markings)

Dennis Ck

Trail 1-1.5 hr up to the Pass into Dennis Ck. Allow plenty of time to further explore ridges and flowers. Very much like a trip to Idaho Peak with more flowers, less people, more wilderness.

The trail to Dennis Basin begins where the 4X4 road ends. It is a steady climb with lots of excuses to stop and admire the views and the flowers. Climbing up a skid trail through an old cut block rampant with flowers, the trail soon narrows as it enters a sub-alpine forest. It continues to climb, following a small stream, emerging from the forest into a basin below the pass where frequent bear diggings warn you to be alert. You will see your destination, a low pass, up and to the left. Follow the stream to the base of the talus slope. The trail is to the left. Cairns mark the route. Early in the season, the trail may be snow covered requiring some route finding skills. As you climb steadily upward, the views unfold, and the sight of the pass ahead urges you on. The pass, which an hour and a half ago was your objective, now is a minor victory as your eyes take in the panoramic view. This is a good place to stop and have a bit of lunch while you decide which ridge to walk … which flowered slopes to explore. One of the best flower shows is usually to your left, on the ridge between Marten and Dennis Creek. From this ridge, one has spectacular views of Mt. Dolly Varden, Marten Mountain, Inverness Mountain, Mt. Dryden, Whitewater Mountain, London Ridge, Kokanee Glacier and the New Denver Glacier. A perfect place to sit and plan your next hike.

Driving Directions:Turn off Highway 6, at Rosebery, onto the “East Wilson Creek Road”. This road soon turns into the “Wilson Creek Forest Service Road”. Follow this good, 2 wheel drive, gravel road for 2.6 km. Turn right onto the “Hicks Creek Road”. From here on the road steepens and gets rougher. A high clearance vehicle with good tires is advised. 2.7 km up the “Hicks Creek Road” there is a fork in the road, stay left. The road continues to climb steadily for another 7.6 km. Look for a 4×4 post on your right, painted brown with white lettering, signed “Dennis Creek Trail 1 km “. This last bit of road is steep and rough, climbing 122 m (400 feet) in 1 kilometre. It is best suited to a 4 wheel drive, so you may want to leave your vehicle at the beginning of this last kilometre of road. Another 4×4 post, signed “Dennis Creek Trail” marks the trail head.

Mt Brennan – Lyle Ck

Popular in the Summer and Winter for ski touring and heli-skiing.

Summer Full Day: Plan on about 2-3 hours up to the lakes and 5 hrs to summit.

Lyle Creek Trail is a moderate hike to the summit of Mt. Brennan. Small glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls and scenic views are the main attractions of the area. There are also signs of old mining activities in the area. Round trip to Mt. Brennan is 15 KM, Reach the lakes in about half that.

Summer Driving Directions: From the 4 way stop in Kaslo drive highway 3A until you reach approximately 23.3 KM on your odometer and turn north onto Rossiter Creek FSR. Zero Odometer here. Stay on the Rossiter Creek FSR mainline until you reach 2.4 KM and take the left fork. At 7.0 find the trailhead. There are trail markers from the beginning of the Rossiter Creek FSR to the trailhead.

( source: Recreation Sites and Trails BC )

Winter: A very popular ski touring destination. Trail starts at bottom left of photo and traverses into drainage on right to summit on left. Follow directions for summer access and ski tour or snowmobile to start of summer trail and then continue up bench on left which is subject to danger from avalanches sluffing from upper cliffs.  At Lakes climb gully on left which is also subject to avalanche danger from above and then continue traversing right to gain upper bench system. Final short headwall has some more avalanche exposure, get the picture – don’t come here when stability is questionable. Incredible 7,000 ft day with good visibility, often wind affected and typically ascended in the spring.  More photos.

The Ride – S03E02: Giant Peaks, Tiny People from Showtime Films on Vimeo.

New Denver Accommodation Options:

Kaslo Accommodation: 

    New Denver Alpine Hikes: 

    Kaslo Alpine Hikes: 

    Ski Touring around New Denver and Kaslo:


      Mt Whitewater canyon trail

      Summer Hike: 1 hour to Whitewater Canyon for bear viewing, another hour to campsites and a further hour to end of Trail at Mine, Moraine and Glacier. 2 hours out from end of trail. Moderate elevation gain.

      Description: This trail provides access to Whitewater Glacier which is surrounded by an open glaciated landscape of small streams and small puddle-like lakes. It is a very scenic area and provides excellent recreational opportunities. Remains from past mining activities, and an old flume used to divert water, are located near the pass. Watch for mountain goats along the ridges, and be alert for grizzly bears feeding on open alpine slopes. Primary activities are hiking, viewing, camping and mountaineering. High grizzly use area, stay alert.

      Driving Directions:Head west from Kaslo on highway #31A for 28.6 km (measured from downtown Kaslo) to the old settlement of Rettallack. Turn right at the old townsite (keeping left for the first 100 m or so) and then turn right again at 0.3 km. Stay on the well-travelled portion of this road for 1.1 km to the Lyle Creek junction. Follow the left fork of the road for 2.2 km to a road on the right and take this for 0.5 km to a small parking area. This last section of the road is very narrow. You may wish to leave your vehicle at the wide area near the last junction. The trail starts 25 m past the parking area up an old road. Suitable for 2wd high clearance vehicles, although 4wd recommended.

      Also somewhat popular in the winter for ski touring, particularly in the early season when the slopes above the summer parking area are great tree skiing. Lots of options for more adventure in the upper basin. Snowmobile to access logging road helpful.

      Accommodation Options:

      More New Denver Alpine Hikes: 

      More Ski Touring in the area:


        Bannock Point

        Two Options: Bannock Point and Bannock Lookout.

        Bannock Point, on the shores of Slocan Lake has special appeal. Walk-in camping is accessed via a 700 meter (1/2 mile), moderately steep trail. A small day-use area and 20 campsites are spread out along the treed and rocky lakeshore. There are also a few campsites located at the parking lot. Early in the morning expect to see eagles and osprey fishing. A small pebble beach catches the afternoon sun. A summer day can easily be whiled away diving in the clear water of Slocan Lake or sun bathing on the huge boulders. A favorite campsite for younger groups from Nelson and Castlegar with relatively short access.

        Bannock Lookout Trail, is accessed from the same parking lot but instead of dropping down the lake follows a beautiful forest ledge system out to a series of incredible viewpoints. This is one of my favorite hikes in the Slocan Valley. The trail is about 45 minutes each way with always something different along the trail ending at a 300 ft rock cliff looking south down the Slocan Lake.  From the parking lot head straight south. There is a good map board at the parking lot. There are no signs to the trail from anywhere before you get to the parking lot (2015).

        Driving Directions: Road Access: From the bridge on Highway 6, in Silverton, travel south along the highway for 4.5 km. Turn right off the highway at the “Bannock Point Trail” sign ( no sign present 2015 ). It is about 3/4 km from the highway to the parking. Access the parking via the lane on the west side of the gravel pit. If you are driving a vehicle with a long wheel base, or towing a trailer, park at the gravel pit and walk down the road to the trail head. Otherwise, you can drive past the gravel pit to the trail head. Park only in designated parking areas to avoid erosion, compaction, and damage to vegetation. Boat Access: From Silverton’s public boat ramp, travel south along the east shore of Slocan Lake for about 4 km. Look for a sheltered bay and the “Bannock Point Recreation Site” sign on the beach.

        ( Recreation Sites and Trails BC )

        Accommodation Options:

          More low elevation hikes: 

          Alps Alturas

          Location: New Denver Area
          Time: Plan a full day. Long drive (25km) on rough 2wd road. Lots of scrambling options at the end of the trail. Drive 1hr from New Denver. Hike 3-4 hr return.

          The Alps Alturas trail is a hikers paradise. Alpine flowers, mountain goats, wild rocky vistas, glacial lakes, water falls… it all awaits the hiker with perseverance. Climbing from the trail head through an old cut block, the trail soon picks up an old mining access road. Near the end of the road, the trail takes off to the left, climbing up through the sub-alpine forest to meadows. Frequent bear diggings warn you to be alert, as you are in bear habitat. Between 2.5 km and 3 km on the trail, a short side trip to your right, between rocky knobs, will take you to the old fallen down mine cabin of the Alps Alturas Mine. From here there is a beautiful view of the ridges of Dennis Basin. Now, the slope becomes steeper as the trail angles upward across talus slopes. The first turquoise lake you see will be at your feet, 396 meters (1300 feet) below you, connected to the lakes above by a thread of falling water. Marten Mountain and Inverness Mountain loom ahead. The “beep” of pikas and the shrill whistle of marmots warn other wild life of your presence. Rounding a corner, a raw and rugged landscape comes into view. As you pick your way across the talus, mountain goats scramble along the rock ledges below a remnant glacier. Four glacial lakes rest between Mt. Dolly Varden and Marten Mountain in a landscape of rock and ice.

          Driving Directions: Turn off Highway 6, at Rosebery, onto the “East Wilson Creek Road”. This road soon turns into the “Wilson Creek Forest Service Road”. Follow this good, 2 wheel drive, gravel road for 2.6 km. Turn right onto the “Hicks Creek Road”. Reset your odometer, as there are very few kilometre signs on the “Hicks Creek Road”. From here on the road steepens and gets rougher. A high clearance vehicle with good tires is advised. 2.7 km up the “Hicks Creek Road” there is a fork in the road, stay left. At 10.3 km on your odometer you will pass the Dennis Creek Trail turn off. From here the road is narrow. At 19.7 km stay to the left. At 22.3 km on your odometer, continue straight ahead to the upper cut block. In 300 meters stay left and down, crossing over a culvert. At 23.4 km a brown 4×4 post with white lettering, signed “Alps Alturas Tr”, will direct you to the left. Continue for another 2 km, back across the cut block. Park at 25.4 km, at the 4×4 post marking the trail head.

          ( recreation sites and trails bc )

          Accommodation in New Denver: 

          Other Alpine Hikes:

          Request further information:

          Idaho Peak

          Idaho Peak offers one of the most spectacular flower shows in the Kootenays. The diversity and quantity of flowers is matched only by the diversity and quantity of visitors who come to admire the flowers and take in the 360 degree view from the lookout. This is not the place to come if you are seeking solitude. There are 2 trails to Idaho Lookout. Both meet on the ridge for the last leg of the hike up to the summit. If you would like to take the less travelled trail to the lookout, park at the Alamo parking area. The flowers along this section of the trail are every bit as showy as the ones near the ridge parking lot.  Please, keep to the marked trails to avoid destroying the fragile alpine vegetation that you have come to admire. Hike is 30 min – 1 hour return trip 2 hours.

          Driving Directions: At the junction of Hwy 6 and 31A in New Denver, turn east onto Hwy 31A and follow the signs to Sandon.  The first 2 km of the road is wide, not too steep and well maintained by the mining companies. After this, the road narrows considerably, as it switch backs up the mountain. As you enter Wild Goose Basin, you will find a pleasant picnic site on the edge of the meadow. From here, the rest of the road is clearly visible, as it switch backs up to the 2 parking areas. The most heavily used parking area is on the ridge between Idaho Peak and Selkirk Peak. The Alamo parking area is less crowded. Perfect! Park here to avoid the crowds around the ridge parking lot. 2WD ( 30 minutes to 1 hour )

          ( recreation sites and trails bc )

          Plan on 4-6 hours for the return journey from New Denver. In order to properly appreciate the history of this area a visit to the Sandon Museum ( open 10-5 ) before going up Idaho Peak is well worth an hour.

          Popular destination for mountain biking, hiking, paragliding, wildflowers, and photography,

          Accommodation Options:

          More New Denver Alpine Hikes: 

          Mountain Biking: