Swift Creek Loop


Swift Creek Loop (#6 on hiking map)

  1. Difficulty: Medium difficultymore
  2. Warnings: *A bear was spotted in late June and early July. Be sure to make noise as you hike/bike and are familiar with what to do if you encounter a black bear or a grizzly. *Bike trail construction underway – watch for signs along the trail. Check social media feeds below for current trail status updates.
  3. Wheelchair accessible: no
  4. High-clearance 4×4 advised to access trailhead? no
  5. Best seasons: spring, summer, fall (May-Nov)
  6. Distance (Loop via Main St.): 10km / 6.2mi
    Distance (Trail portion only): 7km / 4.4mi
  7. Approx. time: 3hrs return (trail only) or 4 hrs (full loop)
  8. Elevation gain: 150m / 500 ft
  9. Steepest grade: 25%
  10. Viewpoints: Mountain views, large cedars, suspension bridge, lichen & Swift Creek
  11. Geocache points: Unknown
  12. Closest bathroom/outhouse: Centennial Park or Valemount Learning Centre
  13. Cell service? Only along the creek closest to town or along the road
  14. Gear to bring: Bring 0.5-1L water/pp and mosquito spray
  15. How to access/where to park: There are two access points. From the info centre, head east on 5th Ave, turn left on Dogwood St. Just after crossing the tracks, take another left. Just past the bridge, the road widens. Park on the west side of the road. Click here for Google Map Directions. On 5-Mile Rd (Access via Hillside Dr.) the road also widens approx. 1.5km from Main St. Park just downroad from the trailhead sign. Click here for Google Map Directions
  16. Best Parts: This trail has many great attributes making it a favourite among locals and visitors. The calming rush of the creek, the huge cedar trees, the lookout overlooking Valemount and surrounding mountains, the lichen, mushrooms and other plant life, plus the new suspension bridge! In September you can often see spawning salmon close to the municipal water intake. The Village gets its drinking water from this stream. Please respect that this is a watershed. You can sometimes spot bright red and green Sockeye salmon spawning in the creek just below the weir during September. Keep yourself and your pets out of the water as not to disturb the delicate salmon nests. Chinook salmon are more commonly seen closer to the Info Centre in Swift Creek and usually begin spawning in mid-August.
  17. Worst Parts: There are some very steep sections that are covered in pine needles and it’s hard to grip unless you’re wearing good hiking shoes. Hiking poles are recommended for these sections. Watch for falling trees. If you’re biking, there are lots of roots and some deadfall. You’ll find yourself skirting around, over and under fallen trees especially close to the logging block. On the southwest side of the creek, the ground is often mucky, and you have to bushwack among poky devil’s club! Watch out: bears are sometimes spotted along this trail during spring and summer. Be sure to make lots of noise so you don’t surprise them and they have time to leave to avoid an encounter. The mosquitoes are bad during the summertime – but nothing a little mosquito spray or net shirt can’t handle!

Trail Description:

This trail has many great attributes making it a favourite among locals and visitors. The calming rush of the creek, the huge cedar trees, the lookout overlooking Valemount and surrounding mountains, the lichen, mushrooms and other plant life, plus the new suspension bridge! There are some very steep sections covered in pine needles and it’s hard to grip unless you’re wearing good hiking shoes. Hiking poles are recommended here. Watch for falling trees. If you’re biking, there are lots of roots and some deadfall. You’ll find yourself skirting around, over and under dead trees especially close to the logging block. On the southwest side of the creek, the ground is often mucky, and you have to bushwack among poky devil’s club – ouch! Bears are sometimes spotted along this trail in spring and summer. Be sure to make lots of noise so you don’t surprise them. You can sometimes spot bright red and green Sockeye salmon spawning in the creek just below the weir during September. Keep yourself and your pets out of the water as not to disturb the delicate salmon nests. This trail is being developed into a multi-use mountain bike trail, likely in spring/summer 2015.

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Elevation change profile (metres and km). Click to expand.

Swift Creek Elevation

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GPS Zone:

Trailhead coordinates: Plug these into a GPS device
or Google Maps search bar.
Main St. Trailhead: 52.838697°, -119.267809°
5-Mile Rd Trailhead: 52.846802°, -119.255173°

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