Forest Recreation

Thompson Rim Trail

Leaving directly south from the Thompson Lookout, 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 and Sub-alpine Daisy. 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.


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 12 km. Park at the top of Mount Thompson, and follow the ridge past the cell towers to the trailhead.

  • Trailhead Access from town: 45 minutes – 1 hour
  • Hiking Time (Return): 3 ½ – 5 hours
  • Elevation gain: 150 meters
  • Distance (Return): 7.4 km
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Wildflowers are very abundant on the Rim Trail during the summer time

Trailhead of the Rim Trail overlooking the ridgeline

Overlooking the Creston Valley. Arrow Mountain located in the foreground on the right

Subalpine lake in one of the basins along the Rim Trail

Rim Trail looking south towards Mount Thompson