Nelson is such a cute and quirky small town! I’m really glad we decided to go there, it has a lot to offer – especially hikes. The best part? You don’t even have to be super fit or experienced to go hiking in Nelson, there’s something for everyone! In this post I’ll share three fairly easy hikes in Nelson BC with you (the last one is more of a challenge, perfect for the adventurous one!) that you really should give a try when you’re there.
The easy hikes in Nelson BC you really should give a try – but might need a car for
To be able to do these hikes, it really helps if you have a car since one of them isn’t literally in Nelson, it’s one hour away. I still put it on this list though, since it’s a hike worth considering if you’re in town! Without a car, you’ll be able to do the easiest one of these hikes – it’s right downtown. Also, if you don’t have a car (or maybe a bike?) but don’t mind walking five kilometres to get to the beginning of the trail, you’ll be able to do the more tougher one of these 3 hikes as well!
Gyro Park Lookout
Let’s start with the shortest one – Gyro Park Lookout. To be honest, it’s not even a real hike, more like a five minutes walk, but there’s a beautiful view from the top at the flagpole that you just can’t miss when you’re in Nelson! Gyro Park is super easy to find and get to, since it’s pretty much in the middle of town. Bring a picnic, admire the view over Nelson and the lake and take some time to just walk around the park before heading down again!
Address: Gyro Park Lookout, Nelson, BC V1L 4G6
Gibson Lake Trail
While there are several amazing hikes in Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park, Gibson Lake trail is a great choice if you’re looking for an easier but still very beautiful hike! Walk the trail around the lake, which is approximately 2 kilometres, and enjoy the stunning reflections of the mountains in the water. Remember, as with any hike, always check the current conditions before you go. During the colder months of the year, you need to make sure snow and ice won’t get in your way. During summer, on the other hand, you need to be sure there are no forest fires.
Address: Gibson Lake, Kokanee Glacier Road
Pulpit Rock (and The Flagpole)
Pulpit Rock is the hardest one of these hikes, classed as “moderate”. To make it even tougher, but with beautiful views as the reward, you can continue all the way up to the flag post. Although these hikes are moderate, I managed to do them both as my first hike of the year, while being in no good shape at all (I still blame Christmas for that!). If you feel like the other two hikes are way too easy for you, this might be something to try!
When you get to Pulpit Rock, which took us about 30-45 minutes, you’ll have a great view over Nelson. If you feel like that’s enough for you, sit down and enjoy the view before making your way back down again. There are some nice rocks to sit on, so bring a picnic!
From Pulpit Rock to The Flagpole
If you instead feel like doing some more hiking, continue up to The Flagpole. This took us about the same time as getting up to Pulpit Rock. The hike to Pulpit Rock is 1,8 kilometres, one way, while going up to The Flagpole adds another 0.9 or 1.1 kilometres, depending on which way you’re taking. There are continuously signs showing you the “easy way” and “more difficult way” – we chose the easy one, which still was tough enough for the first hike of the year!
The views from The Flagpole are truly amazing. You’ll see Nelson from above, numerous mountains, the beautiful valley and Kootenay Lake – I could have stayed there all day! Remember to bring water and sunscreen though. It can get pretty warm, especially if you go during the middle of the day. Don’t forget to watch for wildlife as well – we saw a beautiful eagle! And of course, the trail is full of adorable dogs that will make any dog lover eager to continue hiking to the top.
If you decide to do this hike, remember it’s classed as moderate – it can get steep, so be careful!
Address: 238 Johnstone Rd, Nelson, BC V1L 6J1
Gyro Park Lookout, Gibson Lake Trail or Pulpit Rock/The Flagpole? Whichever of these rather easy hikes in Nelson BC you choose (or maybe you decide to do all of them!), have fun and enjoy the beautiful views they all have to offer!