Monica Meadows and Jumbo Pass – Kootenay hikes well worth your time!
It is amazing where your legs can take you! After some smaller hikes, some laps up the flagpole in Nelson, and some longer hikes along the rail trail and mountain station our legs were ready to head in the search of alpine flowers.
It was the first time for all four adventurers at both Monica Meadows and Jumbo Pass. We went in the third week of July in hopes that the snow would be melted, that the flowers would be in full bloom and that we would beat the forest fire smoke. We were a little early for the flowers, but the snow was minimal and we saw almost no bugs! Also, luckily no fires. (Last year we had planned a few hikes late July that all had to be cancelled due to fires, smoke or fire hazard).
Monica Meadows was a mellower hike, with easy exploration along the trails once you get on top of the plateau. Jumbo was a steeper trail with a little more mud and fallen trees to climb over. We added a little extra on the ridge behind Jumbo cabin to see another view. This was well worth the extra metres! It was absolutely stunning up there.
These were both remote hikes. We were sure to pack our bear spray, first aid kit, warm clothes, food and water.
If you are interested in getting in to some wild places like this, make sure you also do some preparation workouts. Hiking can typically begin in April in the valley. Try to get on some steeper trails and address any tightness in your calf that may have built up over the winter. Having a lighter backpack can be helpful, but you still need to bring the essentials with you. It’s a great idea to do some practice hikes with weight in your bag and then spread the weight out among all the hikers in your group.
We took some time when surrounded by all that beauty to just sit and look out across the land. It was so nice to be clear of constant thoughts, schedules, phones, etc and just exist in the moment. I highly recommend it and hope you get out for some hikes before the summer is over.