Top Hiking and Biking Trails on the East Shore

Lake’s beautiful East Shore. From easy hikes to days-long adventures, the East Shore offers a multitude of front and back country trails you will love.

The landscape of Kootenay Lake’s East Shore primarily consists of mountain ranges, alpine peaks, lakes, majestic forests, rivers and wetlands. This makes it one of the best places for hiking and mountain biking in the Kootenays. Some of our local trails are short and can be enjoyed in an hour or two while others offer full and multi-day adventures. If you’re looking for a relaxed nature walk with friends, a heart pumping alpine climb, or something in between, Kootenay Lake’s East Shore will not disappoint.

Discover the best places to hike and mountain bike on Kootenay

Local trail map:


Easy Trails

Riondel Heritage Trail – Riondel

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Made up of a few different segments, this trail is a walking tour of Riondel’s beautiful green spaces, with old growth cedar forests, lake and mountain views, beaches, benches and heritage sites. Full trail 2hrs

Lighthouse Trail – Pilot Bay

Hiking only

Near Kootenay Bay. This short trail leads to an historic lighthouse, built in 1907. To get there, turn south on Pilot Bay Road from the Kootenay Bay ferry landing. At 4.5 km. There’s a small blue and white trail sign on the right, just before the road ends. It’s a short but somewhat steep 10-15 minute walk on a broad, well-maintained trail that meanders through a cool, mossy forest, leading to expansive views of the lake from the lighthouse. There is also a picnic table and outhouse for your convenience. You can also explore further south along the rocky peninsula. There are no fires allowed here and no water or other amenities. Maintained by Friends of West Kootenay Parks. (½ to 1 hour return)


Crawford Creek Regional Park Wetland and Beach Trail – Crawford Bay

Hiking and Mountain Biking

This newly designated regional park now provides public access to Crawford Bay Beach with its warm, shallow waters and sandy beach, as well as to the nearby Crawford Bay Wetlands and Trails. While the beach is now open to the public, note that there is not yet signage and the road access is extremely uneven and should be driven on slowly and with caution. (One to two hours loop or return)

Loops & Bridges Trail / Kokanee Springs Resort – Crawford Bay

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Surrounding the Kokanee Springs properties and golf course are 10 kilometers of maintained trails including the 1.5 km Little Big Bend Loop, the 3 km Big Bend Loop, and the 5.7 km Creeks and Bridges Loop. (30 min to two hours loop or return)

Duck Lake Dykes Trails – Sirdar

Hiking and Cycling

The dykes of the Creston Valley Wildlife Area at the south end of Kootenay Lake offer miles of almost level hiking or biking through some of the finest bird habitat in B.C. The northern access point to this trail is about 3 km south of the south end of Kootenay Lake, where Duck Lake first comes into view. There is a parking space off the highway there. Walk across the railway tracks to the dyke that divides Duck Lake from a branch of the Kootenay River. About 1 km along this Dyke you can view a Great Blue Heron rookery on the other side of the river. The south end of the trail, and connections with more dyke trails, can be reached via Lower Wynndel Road, nearer to Creston. (½ hour stroll to all-day hike)


Pebble Beach Trail – Riondel (north)

Hiking and Mountain Biking*

(2 to 3 hours return)

This moderately steep trail is located about 7 km north of Riondel on the Kootenay Lake East Forest Service Road. Watch carefully for the trail sign on your left. It leads to a pebbled beach which offers fine picnicking, fishing, swimming and, at low water, opportunities to hike and beachcomb further along the lake shore. *Remember, it is a steep climb back to the road.

Sawmill Bay Trail & Lakeshore Trail – Pilot Bay Provincial Park

Hiking only

Near Kootenay Bay. This popular trail offers land access to Pilot Bay Marine Park, with campsites, picnic tables, fire pits and toilets. Drive south on Pilot Bay Road from the Kootenay Bay Ferry Landing. At 3 km watch for the small Pilot Bay Park sign; turn left and park. The trail climbs in the first ten minutes by granite cliffs and huge scented pines, then descends through cool forests. Take the fork to the right about five minutes past the second wooden bridge to reach the campsite. Keep left to find a pebbled beach with a huge view south down the lake, and the Lakeshore Trail, if you wish to continue towards the end of the peninsula (a full day’s hike).

(from 1½ to 2 hours return, to all day)

Woodlot & Fraser Hill Viewpoint Trails – Crawford Bay

Hiking and Mountain Biking

One of the East Shores newest trail additions offers multiple viewpoints and a summit in under 90 minutes. This non-motorized multi-use trail can be hiked from the bottom at Peters Road. It is also accessed from the rest of the peninsula trail network from the top. The trail is an exciting option for mountain bikers who want to skip the hardest parts of the Woodlot Trail. Hike or ride up from the second corner of Peters Road where the Woodlot Trail begins. After ascending half an hour, the trail splits. Left will take you along the original Woodlot Trail. Right is the new VP Trail. Trails are well signed.


William Fraser and Height of Land Trails – Crawford Bay

Hiking and Mountain Biking

The recent extension of the historic William Fraser Trail allows access to the entire Peninsula Trail System from HWY 3A, just below the YRB yard. Hiking or biking south will connect you to the top of the Woodlot Trail. Descend here back to Crawford Bay or continue up to a lovely viewpoint and on to the Height of Land Trail. Alternatively, mountain bikers may want to drop a vehicle in Crawford Bay and take another up Peters Rd and Pilot Point FSR 3.5 km to the trail hub. From here is a short grind up the Height of Land Viewpoint and then north to connect with the William Fraser Trail and Woodlot/Fraser Hill VP Trail option. The trail travels through old growth forest, rock outcroppings and amazing viewpoints with panoramic views of Kootenay Lake and surrounding mountain ranges.

Trans Canada Trail “off HWY route” – Crawford Bay to Gray Creek

Hiking and Mountain Biking

From Kootenay Bay ferry landing the official trail follows Hwy 3A through Crawford Bay and south to Gray Creek. The first forest service road on the left is Weasel Creek FSR. The “off HWY” route begins under the powerlines just up from the highway. The trail travels south through cedar forests, 100 year old handbuilt roads and rock bluffs before it arrives in Gray Creek. Follow the signposts down to the hghway or continue a moment more to a spectacular bluff and viewpoint area. There is private property to the north so you will have to go back to the signpost and down to the highway. Take a swim at Starbelly Beach and return or continue to the Gray Creek Pass where the official trail continues on to Kimberly.

Lockhart Creek Trail – Boswell

Hiking and Mountain Biking

Lockhart Creek is located near Boswell. This trail departs from Hwy3A on the north side of the creek at Lockhart Provincial Park. It follows the creek, climbing through a magnificent grove of old growth forest and on 15 km through a wilderness valley up to the ridge line at 7000′ before dropping down to Baker Lake on the eastern slope of the Purcell’s. The lower 7 km of the trail is well maintained, though some windfall may be encountered. Baker Lake offers good fishing but mosquitoes can be ferocious there. Non-hikers can also have a great time, spending the day at the provincial park on the highway. It offers forested campsites, picnic tables, toilets, a sandy beach, and fishing at the creek mouth. (day trip or up to 2 days return to Baker Lake)

Alpine Hikes

Sphinx Mountain –

Crawford Bay

A prominent double peak south east of Crawford Bay, looking rather like an enormous single-person pup tent when viewed from the Kootenay Lake ferry, and usually covered in snow until July. From the top of either of the Sphinxes you can see many named peaks, including Loki, Snowcrest, Akokli, Bluebell, Crawford, Brennan, Hooker, and Old Tom. Also visible is the west arm of Kootenay Lake and the Crawford Peninsula. Do be aware of safety hazards, including loose rocks and snow cornices, and give yourself plenty of time to get back down to your vehicle before dusk.

Mt. Loki Trail


In Norse mythology, Loki is a deceptive trickster, causing trouble and strife among the realms of the gods. And Mount Loki is no different. With false summits, an intimidating profile, and a fierce ascent, Mount Loki challenges hikers to make it to the summit. The reward is top-of-the-world views of the Purcell Mountains and distant Kootenay Lake.

Haystack Mountain Trail


At the northwest corner of Kianuko Provincial Park, Haystack Mountain Trail is a relatively accessible back-country hike that follows along Sanca Creek before opening up into a serene toe lake at the base of the domineering mountain that gives the trail it’s namesake. Surrounded by larch trees, the basin is particularly enjoyable in fall as the needles turn yellow and create a stunning autumn vista.

Plaid Lake Trail & Mount Crawford –

Crawford Bay

(Near the summit of Crawford Mountain)

Plaid Lake is located near Crawford Bay. To reach this Ministry of Forests trail you’ll need a high ground clearance vehicle, preferably a 4×4. In Crawford Bay, turn off Hwy 3A at the school onto Wadds Road and keep left, proceeding past the refuse site and up the gravel Forest Service Road. Keep left at the first major junction at about 8 km and then left again on to Spring Creek Road. From here the road climbs steeply for about five km to the trail-head parking area. Stay on the most used road and follow the Plaid Lake Trail signs. It’s about a 4.5 km. hike to Plaid Lake. The trail climbs along a razorback ridge and presents spectacular views of Crawford Bay and Kootenay Lake. From the ridge summit you can scramble up to the top of Mount Crawford, from where Golden Eagles can often be spotted. The trail dips down from the ridge into a lovely alpine meadow and then on to Plaid Lake, which teems with small and hungry Eastern Brook Trout. Snow stays late and comes early to Plaid Lake, so enquire locally about conditions before starting out.

(4 hours to all day, return)

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