- Located in the East Kootenay Trench
- Acquired: 2003
- Size: 3,930 hectares (9,707 acres)
- Online property map
One of the largest and most important properties for critical wildlife habitat and wildlife migration corridors in the East Kootenay, the Hoodoos property is a remarkable acquisition. Known for the distinctive “hoodoos” formation on the southern edge, the property lies in the Columbia River Valley between Fairmont Hot Springs and Invermere.
It features extensive grasslands, wetlands and forests, and provides vital winter range, staging ground and a migration corridor for wildlife including elk and deer. The size and location of this property allows for habitat management on a landscape level in conjunction with nearby Nature Trust conservation lands.
When you walk to the top of the Hoodoos property, there is an expansive view to the south on a clear day. Watch your step. You’re now on the edge of the hoodoos formation, a geological feature created by erosion. Looking down the Rocky Mountain Trench, the viewscape is dominated by Columbia Lake. This shallow lake is the source of the Columbia River, which travels through BC, Washington and Oregon, emptying into the Pacific Ocean.
Flanking the lake, on the east are the Rocky Mountains. The Nature Trust owns several parcels on this side of the lake that form our Columbia Lake Eastside Conservation Complex. The east side of Columbia Lake is recognized as being an important location in the Ktunaxa Creation Story as well as providing critical wildlife habitat and biodiversity values. In fact, the Province has designated land around the east and south of the lake as a Wildlife Management Area, including our properties, since it provides important winter range for ungulates, staging areas for waterfowl and vital habitat for many other species.
Meanwhile, to the west lies The Nature Trust’s Columbia Lake Westside Conservation Complex, one of our largest conservation properties, located within the Purcell Range and very important habitat for ungulates and large carnivores. The Purcells are part of the Columbia Mountains, a much older mountain range than the Rockies, worn down by millennia of wind, water and ice. Take a few photos from the top of the Hoodoos, and appreciate the fact that much of the land that surrounds you has been conserved!
Access & Directions
The best place to access the viewpoint at the top of the Hoodoos formation is via the parking lot located off Westside Road.
If you are travelling from the community of Fairmont Hot Springs, at the junction with Fairmont Resort Road and Highway 95, travel south on Highway 95 for 3.3 kilometres. At this mileage turn right (north) on Westside Road and travel for about 1.2 kilometres. On your left (west) will be an unmarked gravel road. Turn onto this road and travel about 50 metres until you reach the trailhead parking lot.
If you are driving north along Highway 95, you will see the stunning Hoodoos formation from a few kilometres away. After you cross the Dutch Creek bridge, the Hoodoos will be on your left (north) and you will notice a gas station and resort on your right (south). After the gas station, the next road on your left (north) is Westside Road. Turn left (north) on Westside Road and travel for about 1.2 kilometres. On your left (west) will be an unmarked gravel road. Turn onto this road and travel about 50 metres until you reach the trailhead parking lot.
To begin your hike, walk past the information kiosks and a green metal gate. The trail is an old road that is closed to traffic, taking you up in elevation to a viewpoint overlooking Columbia Lake to the south. The average length of time to walk one way is about 30 minutes.
Management & Stewardship
The Hoodoos is managed by The Nature Trust of BC. Each summer The Nature Trust of BC Kootenay Conservation Youth Crew undertakes restoration and maintenance projects on the property.
The Nature Conservancy of Canada is an adjacent landowner. Some of the trail at the top of the Hoodoos is on Nature Trust property and some is on Nature Conservancy property. Together the trail and parking lot are maintained by both organizations.