Note that you can click on each object on the map to obtain details about it.
Trans Canada Trail Legend:
|Trans Canada Trail Pavilion|
|Multi-Use Route (Cycling & Walking)|
|Hiking Only Route (No Cycling)|
|Equestrian Route (May Allow Cyclists/Walkers)|
|Temporary Bypass or Unofficial TCT Route|
|Trans Canada Trail Closed|
|Obstacle or Warning (click it for details)|
Alternate Route Legend:
|Alternate Route for Cyclists & Walkers|
|Alternate Route for Hiking|
|Alternate Route for Equestrians|
|Connection Point to the Trans Canada Trail|
Google Maps Legend:
|Map menu to access highlights, campsites, grocery stores, parking areas, toilets and more!|
|Click the grey star at the top of the map to favourite it in Google Maps, so you can pull it up later in your Google Maps app's "My Places".|
Disclaimer: This trail information is subject to changes. While reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information on this site is correct, Trails BC makes no warranty about the accuracy of this information and accepts no liability for any inconvenience or any direct or consequential loss arising from reliance upon this information. Be sure to check our Latest Trail Closures before heading out and read our full disclaimer!.
- KML/KMZ files can be opened in Google Earth, and many smartphone apps.
- GPX files can be opened by most GPS software apps when KMZ cannot. Note, GPX files do not contain custom colours and icons that we use on our maps; all tracks and icons will appear the same colour and styles. We recommend using KMZ instead of GPX if possible.
The files below include data for only this specific area. For all of our Trans Canada Trail data for the entire province (including features, campsites and alternate routes), download our BC.kmz master file (1.2 MB)
Visit our GPS & Navigation page for instructions of how to use your smartphone as a GPS device (even when outside of data coverage) or how to import data to your Garmin unit.
About the Route:
Travelling the Trans Canada Trail from Gray Creek to Kimberley is an extremely arduous journey in the wilderness for 80 km on a forestry road, plus an extra 10 km through Kimberley Nature Park with minimal amenities, no supplies and limited-to-no cell service until approaching Kimberley. Cyclists should carry spare brakes, chain links, tubes, tires and a comprehensive set of bike tools. If you are up to the challenge, you certainly will be glad you tried it!
The route follows active forestry roads and cyclists are asked to USE CAUTION along the way; the road's poor visibility and heavily laden logging truck traffic can make this route a potentially hazardous journey if users do not remain vigilant and aware of their surroundings. Give all traffic - particularly logging trucks - extra room to pass.
Note: The Gray Creek Pass road is normally closed to vehicles through the winter, opening as late as early-mid July. Late snow and the occasional washout can delay the annual opening. Hikers and cyclists can often pass through these obstacles but do so at their own risk. Visit the Gray Creek Store's website for the latest road conditions!
Here are some historical dates for the seasonal openings/closings:
|OPENING DATE (approx)||CLOSING DATE (approx)|
|June 25, 2018||October 12, 2018 (reopened a week later, then closed again Oct 28)|
|June 23, 2017||October 18, 2017|
|June 21, 2016||November 11, 2016|
|June 10, 2015||October 31, 2015|
|June 26, 2014||October 31, 2014 (3" snow)|
|July 4, 2013||October 3, 2013 (6" snow)|
|2012: Closed most of the year due to washouts, etc|
The history of the route over Gray Creek Pass goes back to the 1950s, when Cominco (now Teck Metals) built a power line over the Pass. Cominco employees who had relocated from Kimberley to Riondel were keen to have a shorter route back to the East Kootenay, and at the time two roads were considered – one over Gray Creek Pass, and one over Rose Pass to the north. It wasn't until the late '80s when the push for the backcountry route finally gathered momentum. Rose Pass would have required a three-mile tunnel so that idea was abandoned. Gray Creek Pass was finally completed in the 1990s, and officially opened in July 1990. Since, the powerline has been abandoned - but the road remains a popular route for visitors to the area, particularly amongst RV enthusiasts. Curiously, publicity about the route draws many German tourists to the Pass each year.
The route described begins at the Gray Creek Store (not to be confused with the General Store further south). Its eastern endpoint is the "Platzl" pedestrian mall in Kimberley.
For hikers Trails BC has proposed a hiking alternative as shown on our map page for the part of the route from Gray Creek to over the pass and connecting to the main Forestry Road. To read about a hiker who has done this section refer to this posted article.
Trail Highlights and Developments:
Russell Musio of the Backroad Mapbooks rates the Gray Creek Pass as the Most Important Backroad in BC. Backroad Mapbooks has published a waterproof, foldable West Kootenay map ($12.95 at the Gray Creek Store) which corrects some of the errors that are in their older book.
Oliver Lake Recreation Site has picnic tables and an outhouse, about 1/4 mile before the summit. The lake is not visible from the road but is worth taking 10 minutes to walk to and a few more to walk around. A trail crew built a neat path around the lake, splitting big boulders to make a path that travels through 400 year old larches. Residents of Gray Creek village say that the water of Gray Creek and the south fork is safe to drink.
Take note of the steep climbs/descents:
Average of nearly 9% grade for 17 km from Kootenay Lake up to Gray Creek Pass
Average of nearly 6% grade for 12 km from Gray Creek Pass down to Parker's Creek
Trails BC is looking at developing the abandoned power line utility road that parallels the forestry road as a hiking and equestrian alternative, however some bridges have to placed before the the entire power line route can be recommended. Hikers can currently use this option from from Gray Creek until it meets the main forestry road 7 km above the hamlet of Gray Creek. From this junction the power line road utilizes a different pass to reconnect with Gray Creek Pass forestry service road on the east side of Gray Creek Pass; however, this segment requires a ford over a creek above the junction with the main road. To obtain an overview of the longterm goal of developing this section as part of the Trans Canada refer to this Powerpoint Photo Album that was done by Trails BC a few years ago.
Heading north from Riverside Campground, a lovely trail climbs into Kimberly proper via the Kimberley Nature Park.
Starting from the west:
- Kootenay Lake to start of Forest Service Road: Ministry of Transportation, West Kootenay District
- From start of the Forest Service Road to the Pass: Ministry of Forests, West Kootenay District
- From the Pass to approx 7.8 km west of St. Mary's Lake: Ministry of Forests, Rocky Mountain District
- Approx 7.8 km west of St. Mary's Lake to city of Kimberley boundary (1 km west of Riverside Campground): Ministry of Transportation, Rocky Mountain District
- 1 km west of Riverside Campground to Kimberley Nature Park to downtown: City of Kimberley
Trail Stewards and Volunteers:
Other Regional Trail Groups:
There are only two designated camping sites on the route, besides those located in Gray Creek:
- Oliver Lake Recreation Site, located 800 meters west of the summit - a picturesque but primitive campground with an outhouse and tables.
- Riverside Campground, which is located on the St. Mary's River, 14 km east of St. Mary's Lake.
Unofficial campsites are numerous as this is wilderness; but please be sure to do so responsibility - leaving no trace, lighting no fires, and being careful that you are not on private property.