Silver Spring Rim Overlook on the cliff rim above Silver Spring Lakes
4.3 km
300Elevation Gain (m)
Enjoy the views of all three Silver Spring lakes from the overlook rim trail that hugs the edge of the cliff directly above the third (south) Silver Spring Lake. The third lake is the deepest and largest of the three scenic lakes. Mount Broadwood rises in blocky steps to the east, and folded in the Rockies, far away in the distant northwest, is Mount Fisher and The Steeples.

The best time is in spring – April, May or June – for wildflowers, or mid-September to early October for the fall colours of yellow aspens. The golden larch is prime usually in mid-October. Although anytime is a fine day for a hike along the rim trail, on a hot summer day you may be more interested in swimming in the Silver Spring Lakes than looking down into them. Note also, that the Elko sawmill across the Elk River is noisy on weekdays. Weekends are much quieter.

Mountain bikers use this trail. The single tracks in the forest have dips and curves for riding interest. Along the scenic rim of brown cliffs, you can see layers of multicoloured lichens, and in the deeper cracks, the rock barely supports gnarly trees. The rim trail hugs the very edge of the cliffs and it peters out above the south end of the third lake. Note that the rim portion is about 700 m long and well worth the hike. The rim part of the trail may be intimidating for parents with small children.

The rim trail follows the same route as the Wigwam Flats for 2.3 km. The trail is within the Wigwam Flats–Mount Broadwood Conservation Area managed by the Nature Conservancy of Canada in partnership with Ministry of Environment for wildlife protection. See the Introduction for more about motorized-vehicle closures.

0 km: Parking pullout by the Elk River. Hike around the vehicle closure gate and south up the gravel road/trail beside the river.

2.3 km: Leave the road/trail, turn left (east) uphill onto a smaller track, N60236-E38805. This smaller track is ditched and has a non-motorized vehicle sign.

2.5 km: In 200 m up from the road/trail, take the right fork onto a small, well-worn, single-track bike path into the tall grass marked with ribbons. Trail heads uphill southeast in a dry Douglas fir forest mixed with open meadows. Stay on the cairn trail across the grassland.

3.5 km: Intersect with another old road. Immediately turn left (approximately east) onto a tiny path heading to the Silver Spring rim overlook, N59755-E39361, at 1220 m (4,000 ft.) and begin the hike along the edge.

4.3 km: Trail fades out. For a different route, take the old road back down. It winds through a dense larch stand and takes you back to the main road/trail.


Road: any vehicle; mostly pavement

The road and first part of the trail are the same as Wigwam Flats–Mount Broadwood Heritage Conservation Area.

0 km: Turn east from Highway 3 in to Elko, N62200-E37100. The Elko townsite is not visible from the highway. The turnoff is south (slightly downhill) from the prominent gas station/restaurant along Highway 3. The paved Bate Avenue in Elko winds through town around several corners. Stay on the main road.

1.1 km: Turn sharp left (east) and head downhill 400 m to cross the Elk River. Park after the bridge, in a wide pullout by the river, N62048-E37746.

Hike Map
Janice Strong

Janice Strong

Janice Strong is an established professional outdoor photographer. Her images grace collections all over the world and appear in many respected publications. She is passionate about hiking and is also an avid snowshoer and skier, exploring the outdoors of the East Kootenay in southeastern BC year round.

She openly shares her passion for the outdoors with others and has introduced hundreds of people to the joys of hiking. For a decade she led hikes for the City of Cranbrook – Parks and Recreation. With her guidance, many people have themselves become enthusiastic hikers.

Climbing mountains, finding new places and enjoying the experience of the journey have always been important to Janice. She cherishes the little things she sees along the trail, as well as the grand destinations.

When Janice is not writing, hiking or taking photographs, she is involved in various creative digital, website design or photographic projects for her clients. She and her husband, Jamie Levine, enjoy their rural property, near Cranbrook, BC.

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