Hike in the footsteps of the Hudson Bay Brigade
It’s easy to fall head over hiking boots in love with the Similkameen. There are more than 40 marked trails between Manning Provincial Park, Cathedral Provincial Park, China Ridge Trails, Kettle Valley Railway, and the historic Hudson Bay Company 1849 Trail. Whether you’re trudging up a steep mountain pass or meandering through a nature reserve, each trail has its own distinct personality.
You’ll enjoy hikes from easy to expert through rolling hills and up to rocky outcrops. Picture-perfect scenery calls to you from the alpine meadows and high atop jagged peaks. These are the historic footpaths to alpine summits. Follow the footsteps of people who have come centuries before you. Hike our trails, enjoy the ancient landscape, and connect with our region. Leave your everyday worries behind as you head out on an adventure as dramatic as the landscape around you.
Similkameen’s Top 10 Hiking Spots
- Explore the Cathedral Rim Trail at Cathedral Provincial Park and discover rock formations unique to the park
- Hike Cathedral Park’s Smokey the Bear and Stone City, then pat yourself on the back for making the summit
- Drink in views of the Tulameen River Valley and the Coquihalla Range from China Ridge Trails
- Hike in the footsteps of the Hudson Bay Brigade on the HBC 1849 Trail
- Enjoy a stroll at Lightning Lakes at Manning Park
- Hike to Manning Park’s highest peak on the Mt. Frosty Trail
- Basque in the cool spray of Tulameen Falls after an easy 1-km hike
- Follow the heritage footpaths of the Dewdney, Whatcom and Hope Pass trails
- Wander the old-growth forest from Peers Creek to Tulameen and discover fast-running rivers and tranquil streams
- Refuel your wanderlust hiking the Trans Canada Trail from Princeton to Coalmont
View Hiking Locations Map
Cathedral Provincial Park
Hike in Cathedral Provincial Park and you will find yourself on trails often undiscovered by the average hiker. These trails lead to some of the most postcard-worthy landscapes you’ll ever see. Resident mountain goats and other wildlife await. Fragrant alpine meadows are awash with wildflowers, jagged mountain peaks, smooth alpine ridges and jewel-coloured lakes 2072 m (6800 ft) above sea-level offer an unspoiled wilderness adventure. Getting off the beaten path is as easy as taking that very first step.
China Ridge Trails
A hike in the great outdoors can take you to some of the most unexpected places. Take China Ridge Trails, for example. It’s a snow lover’s haven in winter, and in summer it becomes a hiker’s paradise. The duality of China Ridge is what makes it so popular. From a stroll to a challenging hike, explore nature’s playground at your leisure. Drink in the Tulameen River Valley views or the Cascade Range as you climb 1311 m (4300 ft) to the trail’s highest point. You may see tracks here as you follow in the footsteps of elk, wapiti deer and occasional rabbit or two.
Cruise the Crowsnest Highway from Vancouver to find this epic Provincial Park and the treasures it holds. You will find other historic trails such as the Dewdney, Whatcom and Hope Pass trails along this route. Many an intrepid hiker has ended their PCT quest here.
Enjoy spending a day, a weekend, or even a week hiking the rugged, yet traversable, trails in the park. Begin at Lightning Lakes and you can choose a leisurely walk through forests heady with the scent of fresh pine. For something more challenging and a lot more rugged take the Mt. Frosty Trail to Manning’s highest peak at 2408 m (7900 ft) and discover panoramas so expansive, 360° isn’t enough to take it all in.
Hiking the Trans Canada Trail
Refuel your wanderlust hiking the Trans Canada Trail along the Kettle Valley Rail Trail from Princeton to Coalmont. It’s a spectacular hike along the Tulameen River Valley.* Your journey begins in the cool darkness of a 305 m (1000 ft) tunnel carved from the ridge that separates the Tulameen and Similkameen Rivers. It then continues for 18 km (11.2 mi) past ochre cliffs and haunting hoodoo rock formations that have been eroded by wind since recorded time.
*Severe flooding in 2021 washed out a large section of the KVR from Princeton westward. Please check with the Princeton Visitor Centre for the most current information about trail access.
HBC (Hudson Bay Company) 1849 Trail
Hike in the footsteps of history along the heritage HBC 1849 Trail. Look around, and you can easily imagine the rough and tumble life of a Hudson Bay Company fur trader. Imagine them guided by First Nations people, searching for ways to get their fur pelts to market. Today almost 150 km (93 mi) of heritage trails have been restored, creating a wilderness wonderland for day hikes and multi-day treks. Hoist your backpack and wander the old-growth forest from Peers Creek to Tulameen and discover fast-running rivers and tranquil streams and whispers of our fur-trading past. Review the map.