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THOMPSON RIM TRAIL
Leaving directly south from the Mt Thompson campsite, the Thompson Rim Trail undulates along the Skimmerhorn ridgeline. Gnarly Balsam Fir and Whitebark Pine dot sub-alpine meadows home to Mariposa Lily, Mountain Harebell, Spike-like Goldenrod, Sub-alpine Daisy and Bear Grass. Eastward Views over Russell Creek are visible from a natural rocky gateway and continue to the first short climb through a bit of scree and dense Balsam. Reaching height of land, expect to see down over Thompsons alpine rockfall and over the city of Creston. The ridgeline descends and then climbs, following cairns over a short scree section before reaching the trails end at a repeater station. Panoramic views abound, from here you can see West over the Selkirks, North into the Purcells, East to Yahk and Moyie and South into Northern Idaho. The elevation of the south peak is 2176 m or 40 m higher than the north peak with all of the communication towers. The campsite or the new trail head for the Rim Trail is at 2116 m.
From the Creston Valley Visitor Center, head southeast on Highway 3 towards Cranbrook. At roughly 5.8 km, turn right at Canyon-Lister Road. Continue on this road, and turn left onto Whimster Road after about 1 km. Follow Whimster Road until it’s end—keep left to continue onto Mount Thompson FSR. Stay on this well maintained gravel road for 10.5 km. Right before the last pitch to the top of Mount Thompson, take the short spur to the right for 150 m to the Mt Thompson Campsite and park at the trail head adjacent to the camping area.
Trailhead Access from town: 45 minutes–1 hour
Hiking Time (Return): 3½–5 hours
Elevation gain: 350 meters
Distance (Return): 7.4 km
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