43.3 miles
6,238 ft
-5,929 ft
4,388 ft
High Point

This is The Great Trail (aka Trans Canada Trail) Since some sections of the route such as Waldie Island, Skabetto Reach and Ward's Ferry Trails do not accommodate cycling it should therefore be considered a hiking route, although their are lots of road links throughout.

For cyclists refer to the linked Trails BC pages below that identify cycling alternatives in this region.

This route starts from downtown Castlegar and terminates at the base of the Nelson bridge over the Kootenay River. This is the point where The Great Trail transitions from a land to a water paddling route. Cyclists would have to continue on Highway 3A heading east to the ferry landing at Balfour.

Detailed Description
Castlegar to Nelson (The Great Trail) is a 43 mile moderately popular intermediate route located near Castlegar British Columbia. This hike primary route. This route includes 14 trails. This route climbs 6,238 ft with a max elevation of 4,388 ft then descends -5,929 ft.

7 Reviews & Comments

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More Stats for Castlegar to Nelson (The Great Trail) mountain bike route
  • Avg time
    11 hr 21 min
  • Altitude change
    307 ft
  • Altitude min
    1,387 ft
  • Altitude start
    1,453 ft
  • Altitude end
    1,762 ft
  • Grade
  • Grade max
  • Grade min
  • Distance climb
    18 miles
  • Distance down
    21 miles
  • Distance flat
    5 miles
Avg: 1 (1 votes)
Trail Conditions
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  • Freeze/thaw Cycle
  • Icy
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  • Ideal
  • Dry
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Trail transparency
Upper Bottoms - Morning Mtn. - Nelson B.C.
Upper Bottoms - Morning Mtn. - Nelson B.C.
15:27 | 25 | comments: 0 | favs:
Aug 28, 2023
Bottoms Up - Morning Mtn - Nelson B.C.
Bottoms Up - Morning Mtn - Nelson B.C.
trail: Bottoms Up
11 | comments: 0 | favs:
Aug 23, 2023
Quick climb up to the top of Rhythm & Blues

Recent Trail Reports Along Route

Bottoms Up
Nov 20, 2023 @ 6:34pm
Nov 20, 2023
Variable snow & dirt stretches all the way up to the Oil Can crossing and then solid snow after that. Fatties not mandatory, but it's probably not worth the climb all the way to the top with out one. Snow is a bit loose and wet.
Nelson Kootenay Lake Pathway (The Great Trail)
Oct 24, 2023 @ 7:15am
Oct 24, 2023
Upper Bottoms
Oct 1, 2023 @ 2:02am
Oct 1, 2023
Skattebo Reach Trail (The Great Trail)
Aug 6, 2023 @ 1:02pm
Aug 6, 2023
A long way from being done but somewhat able to be ridden. I turned around (unlike me) as multiple downed trees n hike-a-bike sections once new work ends. Surprisingly this will go from a double black to beginner by the appearance of the work so far. One steep fitness climb but no tech, not even flow features. Castlegar has some of the best bridge builders known so hopefully current bridges will be upgraded. This is def an extremely difficult project so patience probably needed.
Ward's Ferry Trail (Trans Canada Trail)
Jul 29, 2023 @ 5:00pm
Jul 29, 2023
Definitely more of a hiking trail than a biking trail but mostly rideable. Rode it from River Creek FSR east bound to Glade, signage is excellent! 4-5 trees down along the route, all east to get around/over/under. Some washouts that require a dismount but also manageable. I rode it on a gravel bike which felt a little sporty, would recommend a mountain bike. You’ll have to dismount and hike-a-bike about 20-30% of the trail but a fun one nonetheless. Great views of Slocan Pools, Shoreacres, and Sentinel Mountain.
more reports »
  • By TrailsBC TrailsBC & contributors
  • #19684 - 2,323 views