Gibraltar Lookout Trail (Fairmont Hot Springs)


  • Rec Site #:REC5290
  • Type:User Maintained
  • Fees:None
  • Campsites:0
  • Access:Unknown
  • Facilities:None
  • Site Description: HIKING DISTANCE: 5 km (one-way) ELEVATION GAIN: 775 m A steep trail to an inactive BC Fire lookout station with superb views of the Kootenay and White River Valleys. Trail not actively maintained. This is a great trail to an old fire lookout station. Shortly after the start of your hike, look for a fork to the right which leads to a view of your destination, high up on an open ridge. Back on the trail, get ready for a bit of a slog. The next 1.5 km switchbacks up a steep slope through thick forest cover. As you leave the forest the slope becomes more gradual. The trail traverses a steep hillside below a towering cliff. About 2.5 km into the hike you arrive at a small col. From the col, the trail continues to traverse the open slope below the fire lookout tower. Resist the urge to head straight up as the terrain is more suited to goats than two-legged hikers. The trail crosses several avalanche slopes and eventually intersects the ridge south of the lookout. Another 500m of climbing along a gentle ridge and you have arrived. To the west, there�s Mount Assiniboine, the Royal Group, and Mount Dorman. To the north, the Kootenay River Valley stretches out to the horizon.

  • Driving Directions: Driving time: 1 hour from Canal Flats. Highway and gravel road. No need for a high clearance vehicle, but the final 8 km is narrow and steep. Watch for logging truck traffic. Please note that getting to and from the trailhead involves travel on one-way roads. It requires careful navigation. Set your odometer to zero at the traffic lights on highway 93/95 at the Invermere junction. Travel south past Canal Flats. At 53 km turn left at the Whiteswan Provincial Park sign. At 64 km turn left on the Kootenay Bypass Road. At 70 km turn right on Kootenay-Eastside Forest Service Road. Shortly after the turn you will go through a recently (2012) logged area with many offshoot roads. Stay on the main road. At 76 km take left fork (right fork is marked Kootenay Glen FSR). At 78 km, take a left at the Y-junction (right is marked Nine Mile Main FSR). At 86 km, the next Y-junction, turn left again (right is marked Kootenay Mia North FSR - deactivated). At 87 km bypass an unmarked junction to left, follow Kootenay Mia Main to the right. Immediately look for a faint road through the grass to the left (within 20 m). There is an green hiker sign on a tree to the left marking the start of the Kootenay-Gibraltar FSR. This faint road becomes more defined shortly. Follow this road for 7 km to the top parking lot at 94 km. There is a turnaround area 2.5 km up but no place to turn if you meet a vehicle elsewhere. For the return trip, follow the above directions in reverse until you get to the Kootenay Bypass Junction. Turn right here onto a one-way gravel road, the Kootenay Bypass Road. After 2.5 km you will drop down and cross the Kootenay River on a one-way bridge. At a T-junction just after the bridge, turn left onto the Kootenay River FSR and follow it 9 km to Canal Flats. Travel through Canal Flats and back onto Highway 93/95. Turn right to return to Invermere.

  • Fire Bans and Restrictions:Link

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