Life In the Big Green Jolly

Embrace local. Explore often.

Embrace local.  Explore often.

Hike the Hoodoos Trail

The hoodoos trail just outside Fairmont Hot Springs, British Columbia is a short hike that is worth an hour of your day.


Locals refer to the hoodoos by two different names – ‘Dutch Creek Hoodoos’ and ‘Fairmont Hoodoos’.  

The hike is approximately a 3 kilometer or a 1-hour round-trip hike.  

On the ascent and descent, there are glimpses of Columbia Lake and the Rocky Mountains.  At the top, the views of Columbia Lake are spectacular.

Watch your step as there are steep drop-offs at the top of the hoodoos.  

During the winter months, consider taking ‘winter grippers’ as the packed snow can be slick.

View of Columbia Lake from Hoodoos Trail
View of Columbia Lake from Hoodoos Trail

To actually see the hoodoos themselves, plan on a stop along Kootenay Highway.  You can’t safely see the full ‘wow’ of the hoodoos from the top of the hike.

Hoodoos - view from below
View of the hoodoos from the Kootenay Highway

The hike is labeled ‘easy’ by many trail review sites.  ‘Easy’ is relative to your hiking abilities and altitude adaptation.  With a starting point of 3100’, flatlanders might consider it a moderate hike.  Anyone who is not an experienced hiker should consider it a moderate hike.

hodoo trail - snow-covered wide path leading down thru pine trees
Trail for the Hoodoo

Getting There

The hoodoos are located in the Columbia Valley in British Columbia, Canada.

The trailhead is on The Nature Trust land.  Off of the Kootenay Highway, turn right onto Westside Road. The second left-hand turn-off is the parking lot.  

We didn’t see any obvious signs indicating parking until after we turned into the parking lot. If you’ve gone more than about 1-kilometer on Westside Road, you’ve missed the parking lot.


Geologically speaking, erosion creates hoodoos.  Weather elements (rain, wind, snow) wear away the softer layers of rock and sediment and the hoodoos are formed.  

From a conservation perspective, the area is a collaborative effort between The Nature Trust of British Columbia (TNT) and the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC).  The Columbia Valley is listed by NCC as a wildlife corridor. The TNT indicates the conservation land is important for the ‘…ungulate wintering range’. Googling ‘ungulate’ shows that any mammal with hooves fits that definition.


The hoodoos are an experience worth planning into your day.  Plan on adding the hike into a schedule that includes a visit to Lussier Hot Springs.

Fast Facts

  • Trip Date: December 2018
  • Name: Dutch Creek Hoodoos
  • Location: Westside Rd, East Kootenay, British Columbia
  • Family friendly: yes
  • Cost:  Free
location of hoodoos trail