Straddling the highest peaks of the Selkirk Mountains, the 32,035-hectare (79,160-acre) mountain wilderness of Kokanee Glacier Provincial Park can be seen from downtown Nelson . The steep and narrow gravel roads into the park are often impassable until late June, and the hiking trails remain snow-covered even later.
The park is named for a massive glacier that, along with two other glaciers and 30 lakes, feeds dozens of creeks and rivers flowing west to Slocan Lake and east to Kootenay Lake. The heart of the park is too steep and rugged to be penetrated by roads, so all the best features must be reached on foot. The main access is via an unsealed road that spurs off Highway 3A 20 kilometers (12.4 miles) north of Nelson and follows Kokanee Creek 16 kilometers (10 miles) to Gibson Lake.
A 2.5-kilometer (1.6-mile) trail circles the lake, but the best hiking is farther afield. From Gibson Lake, it’s four kilometers (2.5 miles) uphill to beautiful Kokanee Lake.