Swift Creek Lookout (1.85km turnaround) (#6 on hiking map)
- Difficulty: Easy/Medium
- 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. Check social media feeds below for current trail status updates
- Wheelchair accessible: No
- High-clearance 4×4 advised to access trailhead? No
- Best seasons: spring, summer, fall
- Distance (return): 3.7 km/ 2.3 mi
- Approx. time: 1hr
- Elevation gain: 120 ft/37 m
- Steepest grade: approx. 25%
- Viewpoints: Several, both along the river and once you start climbing. 180 degree views from the top of the hill of Canoe Mtn, the Premier Range, and the Village of Valemount.
- Geocache points: Unknown
- Closest bathroom/outhouse: Centennial Park or the Learning Centre on 5th Ave.
- Cell service? In parts; Not comprehensive
- Gear to bring: Bring 0.5L water/pp and mosquito spray
- How to access/where to park: 1) The trailhead begins at the bridge over Swift Creek. From the info centre, head east on 5th Ave, turn left on Dogwood St. Just after crossing the tracks, take another left. Just passed the bridge, the road widens. Park on the west side of the road. Or from downtown, head east and cross the train tracks; turn left and drive 2km; park on the far side of the bridge. The trailhead begins on the east side of the bridge – you’ll see a sign that you’re entering a Watershed Management area. The descent is steep and sandy. Click here for Google Map Directions.
- Best Parts: The views are wonderful for this relatively short hike. Walking along the creek is incredibly peaceful. You can ski or snowshoe the trail in winter. You can sometimes spot 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.
- Worst Parts: There are some very steep sections that are sandy and it’s hard to grip unless you’re wearing good hiking shoes. Hiking poles are recommended for these sections. 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!
A popular trail among locals, this trail begins as a wide flat gravel trail that follows Swift Creek for 1km, then veers left into the woods and works its way steeply to a viewpoint. You can continue on this trail for a 10km loop (Swift Creek Loop) or turn around at the viewpoint. The views are excellent for the shortness of the hike – More than 180 degrees with views of Canoe Mtn, The Village, and the Premier Range. 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.
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Elevation change profile (metres and km). Click to expand.
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