Hike the Fairmont Hoodoos Trail

Anyone who has driven along Hwy 93/95 south of Fairmont Hot Springs has been surprised and amazed as they came upon the hoodoos, for they are a distinct landmark in this part of the Columbia Valley. You don’t need to view them from a speeding vehicle, however – see them up close and personal from the hiking trail.

Read more... (and a video!)

Geologists explain that, 11,000 years ago, the entire Columbia Valley was an enormous lake, caused by melting glaciers. As the waters retreated, rivers and streams were left behind, meandering through and around the land formations that appeared. The hoodoos are one of these land formations.

An Indian legend tells us that far, far back in the ages, an enormous fish tried to swim along the Rocky Mountain Trench. It was a very difficult journey and finally the fish gave up and died at Canal Flats. As the flesh decomposed, its ribs fell apart, one half becoming the hoodoos at Fairmont, the other half became hoodoos further south near Fort Steele.

The Trail

The trail to the top of these sandstone cliffs is easy for just about everyone in the family. It climbs moderately for about 5-10 minutes, then levels out for the remainder of the way. Keep small children close because, even though the trail is wide enough to be safe, there are many places along the way where it drops sharply down.

The round-trip hike is 3 km and usually takes about an hour. Everywhere you look, the view is beyond description. Look to the south and see Columbia Lake and to the west, view a major feeder to the lake, Dutch Creek.

What to bring

Bring sunhat, sunglasses, water and perhaps a small snack. Oh, and don’t forget to bring your camera.

The trail is also open during the winter months for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.

Location Map & Directions

Head south from Fairmont on Hwy 93/95 about 1.5 miles (if you get to the Dutch Creek service station, you have gone a few hundred yards too far).

Turn right onto Westside Rd. and continue for about 1km. Watch for the sign on the left side of the road and look for the parking lot.
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Fairmont Hoodoos Photo Gallery

Enjoy the latest photos from the Fairmont Hoodoos Instagram hashtag feed #fairmonthoodoos. Click an image to open in Gallery view.

Have Fun at The Hoodoos | Fairmont BC

6 thoughts on “Hike the Fairmont Hoodoos Trail

  • August 12, 2018 at 7:32 pm

    I see that it’s open in winter for cross country and snowshoeing. Is it possible to hike it in the winter. My family and I are coming out in mid March but will not have skis or snowshoes. Could we hike it then? Would the conditions be likely to be safe to hike it?

  • July 23, 2018 at 9:16 pm

    Please note that for an asthmatic this trail was challenging, but not impossible. A posted trail map would be nice. I was too spent by the time I got to the level section to go any further, not knowing how much further or steep it would be up ahead.

  • August 26, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Went out today and unfortunately the trails are closed due to high fire hazard.
    We were very disappointed, but understand. Another time

  • July 13, 2016 at 10:37 am

    This trail would be wheelchair accessible if not for the stupid gate design at the parking lot. It’s like they went out of their way to prevent wheelchair users from being able to join enjoy this trail.

    • July 13, 2016 at 10:44 am

      Hi Stewart, We would think the gate was more to keep out motorized vehicles. While that is great from one perspective, it’s unfortunate that wheelchairs can’t get through. We’ll look a little further into it and see what we can find out. Thanks for the comment!

    • July 23, 2018 at 9:11 pm

      Think it is designed to keep ATV’s from destroying the trail. No one designs a trail to keep the disabled out.


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