Summit Toad Mountain
Canada › Toad Mountain Trailhead
Added by Elliott Kramer
- Distance: 8km (5 miles) roundtrip
- Duration: 3.5 hours
- Elevation gain: 625m (2,000 ft)
- Spectacular 360 degree mountain views from the summit
- Great day hike close to Nelson
The hike up Toad Mountain provides a great view over Nelson and it's surrounding mountain peaks. From the summit, a 360 degree view gives you a great spot to look at the distant Valhallas, Kokanee Glacier, Purcells and lower Selkirks.
The main challenge to hiking Toad Mountain is access. The road to the trailhead is quite steep and challenging - 4wd or clearance is recommended. To get to the parking lot, turn onto Giveout Creek Rd about 6.5km (4 mi) south of Nelson on HWY 6. From here, turn left onto Gold Creek FSR after 1.6km (1 mi). Follow this steep road up the hill, staying on the main road at all intersections. After 12km (7.5 mi) of climbing you will reach an obvious carpark where the old Silver King mine used to be.There is a small sign pointing up the road to the trailhead. It is worth getting a copy of a backroad map for this journey.
The trailhead itself is about 500m (0.3 mi) up the steep muddy 4wd road. From the trailhead, the trail is easily to follow, albeit very steep for the first 45 minutes to the first summit. Once the first summit is reached, traverse the ridge toward Toad and make the final ascent. The summit should be reached by fit hikers in about 1.5 to 2 hours. The ridgewalking gives you great views out over every direction and is some of the most enjoyable walking within the immediate vicinity of Nelson. Enjoy the views and keep an eye out for Toads!
- Good hiking boots
- Backroad maps
- Lunch and snacks
- Photography equipment
- Bear spray
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Really nice hike overall.
Poorly signed on the drive up, so pay attention to the tree with the signs on the left of the road (7km) and turn right. (Main sign at this turn says SOFT ROAD-unmaintained, along with a small realty sign pointing up the road, and you will continue to see this same realty sign on the way to the Silver King Parking lot). Many hikers overshoot this turn if going by the old directions citing to stay on the "main road" after the Gold Creek FSR turn off. A bit baffling why there would be no Silver King/Toad Mountain signage at the most important intersections but now you know. Turn left at Gold Creek FSR at 1.6ish Kms, continue on Gold Creek road and turn right at 7km where you will see the tree on the left with the SOFT ROAD signage. There can also be some confusion at the parking lot, so continue up the road to the trail head for around 500 metres and you will see an actual, real life Toad Mountain Trail sign. This is an excellent ridge hike considering the proximity to Nelson (You can make it to the trail head parking lot from Nelson city limits in under an hour in an AWD vehicle with decent clearance). There is a cool little alpine lake to check out adjacent to the Toad Mountain trail head, and the views are great at the top of Toad and along the way. Clear cuts and active logging detract from the experience somewhat, but the ridgewalk(s) and view more than make up for it. While steep at the beginning, the trail undulates and is not overly arduous. Just bring food, water, proper clothing and take breaks as needed. I came across seniors (fit) and families with children ranging from teenagers to under 10 on this trail, so it can be done by most people with a moderate level of fitness.
Turn left at 7K
I was up at Toad yesterday and met at least 4 parties who'd overshot the right turn at 7K. Loggers have built out the road such that it appears the "main" road continues left at 7K --and the road to Toad is right. Look for the tree with all the signs on it. Unfortunately, none of the signs say anything about Toad Mountain or the Silver King mine. Such is the nature of backcountry travel but, if possible, this review could use an update.
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