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McPhee Canyon

McPhee Canyon

McPhee Canyon

Difficulty Level: Intermediate
Distance: 7.5km one-way (from Brilliant Substation)
Elevation Gain: 100m
Dog Friendly: Yes
Bike Friendly: No
Facilities: Pit Toilets near trailhead, benches
Season: Potentially year-round (be aware of extremely hazardous conditions that may arise in winter due to melt-freeze cycles)

This is a short and fairly steep trail which connects the Doukhobor Waterline Trail to Skattebo Reach Trail. Finish this trip by sitting on the bench by the McPhee Creek foot bridge. On a hot summer day this spot provides excellent natural air conditioning, users may find themselves spending more time here in meditation than walking the trail itself. The trailhead leaves the Doukhobor Waterline Trail in a small gully which it traverses by several short switchbacks. The trail continues, via switchbacks through deciduous and evergreen stands. Two more switchbacks bring the trail close to the McPhee Creek canyon. The trail now enters a small terrace and passes by on old prospect hole. As the trail approaches the edge of the narrow canyon there are occasional views of cascades and white water. Cable barriers have been installed along the most dangerous area. (Caution: Stay on the trail and keep children close at hand. Do not approach the edge of the canyon!) The trail then leaves the canyon and emerges on a gently descending terrace. It continues to run along the creek ravine, offering fine views and several benches for rest and meditation.


McPhee Canyon Access

Access from the Brilliant Substation Parking Lot:

Leave Castlegar heading towards Nelson on Hwy 3A

Before the Brilliant bridge, turn right on Ootischenia Road and head up the hill

Follow signs to the golf course, turn left on Corrigan Road turning into Columbia Road

Turn left on Aaron Road

Turn right on gravel road with gate before the golf course (note gate closure times) and follow for 4km, keep left at 2km fork in road

Turn left into parking lot before the Substation

Option One

Follow the Skattebo Reach Trail on foot for 2.5 km to a marked and flagged junction (Doukhobor Waterline) on the right

Follow this trail, keeping to the left at the junction to follow McPhee Canyon Trail down and back to Skattebo Reach trail

Option Two

Follow the Skattebo Reach Trail on foot for 3km passing Brilliant Overlook, Doukhobor Waterline, and Little McPhee Creek Waterfall trail junctions

Turn right on McPhee Canyon trail just before McPhee Creek

This trail links up with the Doukhobor Waterline trail, turn left at junction to continue up, or stay right to get back to Skattebo Reach trail

Hikers Access from Park and Pool:

Follow signs for Skattebo Reach Trail from park and pool

Follow Skattebo Reach for approx. 4km passing the Brilliant Substation (See Option One)

Follow Skattebo Reach for approx. 5.25km passing the Brilliant Substation (See Option two)


Access from Glade:

Head North on Hwy 3A towards Nelson

Turn right after Lumber yard at Glade Ferry sign

Cross the Kootenay River on the Glade ferry

Take the first left on Glade Road

When this road turns to gravel, continue on for 2.7km

Park at erratic (large, out of place rock on right)

Follow Skattebo Reach trail for 3.3km, take a left on McPhee Canyon trail after bridge crossing

This trail links up with the Doukhobor Waterline trail, turn left at junction to continue up or stay right to get back to Skattebo Reach trail