Hiking in the Valhalla Ranges of the Selkirk Mountains

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Fiona Wozney


Fiona Wozney has been in the Global Tourism industry for over 30 years. Her dedication, commitment, and drive to be excellent in what she enjoys doing are evident in all the partners she has worked with, the staff she has mentored, and the clients she has brought a smile to. Beyond her enthusiasm for business, she has a great passion for traveling and embarking on unique, thrilling adventures. Fiona was born in Australia and currently lives in the United States with her husband and two lovely daughters.

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Hiking choices from New Denver Lodge in the Slocan Valley and surrounding areas include some of the best you will experience anywhere in BC or Canada. From strolls and easy hikes along gorgeous valley bowls such as the Slocan Valley Rail Trail to many varied Alpine adventures, everyone is sure to find a hike that suits their physical conditioning, interest and timeframe.

As part of or between hikes, people who love to fish will enjoy the Slocan River and Slocan Lake for rainbow trout, Kokanee salmon or other fish during certain times of the year. Birdwatchers have the Walter Clough Wildlife Sanctuary and many trails that offer excellent bird watching and views of wildlife including eagles, moose, elk, deer, swans, beavers and more. A rich expanse of ecologically vibrant wetlands that is part of the yearly flood plain of the Slocan river, the Walter Clough Wildlife Area offers yet another adventure for New Denver guests who are experienced canoeists. Home to many waterfowl and wildlife, this shallow reed- and rush-choked waterway only is accessible by canoe.

For more encounters with nature’s wonders from a base at New Denver Lodge, nearby Valhalla Provincial Park is unsurpassed. This dramatically diverse area and its magnificent peaks cover 18 miles along the west shore of Slocan Lake and most of the Valhalla range of the Selkirk mountains. New Denver Glacier (1700 ft) dominates the landscape while the block-shaped Devil’s Couch and Hela Peak define the central area.

Along the southwestern boundary of the Park a group of amazing mountains include
many trails for hiking and cycling. Among them Gwillim Lakes in the alpine heart of Valhalla Provincial Park offers one of the best day hikes near New Denver. Easy to follow, the hike through a wilderness leads steeply up a basin to magnificent Drinnon Lake. High peaks surrounding the lake are stunning. The trail then passes through a huge valley past a small lake on the way up to Gwillim Lakes.

Every hiker who ever visited Gwillim Lakes basin agrees that the place is truly amazing. Granite peaks stretch to the heavens. Views of a series of peaks – Drinnon, Mount Presley, Midgard, Asgard and Gladshelm — stretch across the horizon with three scenic lakes in the foreground. Hikers familiar with Valhalla are reminded of the jaw-dropping views of jagged mountain summits along the Gimli Ridge Hike that include Nisleheim Peak, Midgard Peak, Asgard Peak, Gladsheim Peak, East Molar, The Humps and others.

The trail to Gwillim Lakes passes a series of campgrounds. Many hikers heading for Gwllium Lakes choose to overnight. From Gwillium Lakes basin, strong hikers make the very challenging ascent to Lucifer Peak. All of the hiking options in Valhalla Provincial Park will make it very clear to guests of the New Denver Lodge why the Park was created to protect its diverse topography, majestic peaks and unique vegetation. In addition to hiking and backcountry adventuring, the Park has several beaches for boaters, some for water-skiers and others for canoeists. All of the trails and other wonders of Valhalla are easily accessible from New Denver. The north end of the Rail Trail, for example, lies in the Village of Slocan, a 30-minute drive from New Denver along the southern shore of Slocan Lake.

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