It’s hard to pick the best adjective to describe the Jumbo Pass area. Picturesque, beautiful, breathtaking; they all apply. Let’s just say the views from the pass are some of the best in the Purcell Mountains. It’s not a long hike, just over 4 km of steady climbing. The trail starts by following a skid road to the left of the parking area. There’s a second trailhead sign at the end of the skid road. Follow the trail to the left along the left side of Jumbo Creek. The trail then enters the forest and begins a steady climb to the pass. As the trail emerges from the trees, it crosses a small boulder field and then climbs along a marshy creek dotted with moss covered boulders. There are logs and planks on the trail to help keep your feet dry and protect the fragile ecosystem. About halfway to the pass, there’s a great view to your right of the site for the proposed and very controversial Jumbo ski development. The trail is not well defined as you get closer to the pass, but there are cairns and some flagging to guide you on your way. There are excellent views at the pass, but it’s worth continuing on to the Jumbo Pass cabin, another 20 minutes down the trail. This a great place to stop for lunch. The cabin can be booked through the Columbia Valley Hut Society for overnight stays. There’s a ridge behind the cabin which is an easy climb. Keep in mind, that the higher you go, the better the views. Everything from the Horseshoe Glacier to the Lieutenants and Jumbo and Karnak Mountains, too many mountains to list them all. It really is a postcard picture view in every direction. (Please note the KML file is not accurate at time of this posting - to be updated summer 2015)
Set your odometer to zero at the traffic lights on Highway 93/95 at the Invermere junction. Go west on Athalmer Road toward Invermere. After you cross the railway tracks overpass at 2.6 km turn right onto Panorama Drive/Toby Creek Road and continue on to the Panorama Resort at 22 km. Stay on Toby Creek Road past the Resort. At 41 km take the right fork onto Jumbo Creek Forest Service Road. Follow this road. You will cross about 5 bridges before reaching the trailhead at 56 km. Watch for a skid road and the trailhead sign on the left (1.25 hour drive from Invermere).
Variable outdoor terrain
July to September
Please respect the privacy of the hut guests and do not use the firewood that is painstakingly and expensively supplied by the Columbia Valley Hut Society.
This is a really worthwhile hike with great panorama views from the pass. Its well worth checking out the hut societys jumbo pass cabin and it makes a good lunch spot.