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Home / Kootenay Rockies / Central Kootenay / Trail


The City of Trail straddles the magnificent Columbia River which flows through the valley between the Monashee Monashee and Selkirk Mountain ranges. Primarily a mining town and home to Teck Cominco, the town has taken advantage of its mining heritage and visitors can tour an interpretive centre with interactive displays. The surrounding area will excite the outdoor enthusiast as there are plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as fishing, boating, swimming and more. The winter also provides plenty of opportunities to ski and snowboard at nearby world-famous Red Mountain Resort.

 Trail, BC

Trail is situated in the West Kootenays just 10 km (6 mi) north of the US border on Hwy 22 & Hwy 3B. The closest town is Rossland to the west at 9 km (5.5 mi) and Castlegar to the north at 30 km (18 mi).

Things To See and Do
  • Rock Walls Walking Tours

    The rock walls are named after the early Europeans who settled here and built their homes on steep slopes in and around Trail. The rock walls, some of them very high, were constructed by stonemasons from the 1920s through to the 1960s. A self-guided map will take you on several short tours of the Rock Walls. Take note of some of the tour names which represent the early pioneers who settled here such as Tortellini Loop, Haggis Hike, Polenta Prowl. The Rock Wall Project is showcased in a full-colour book, "Set in Stone - A History of Trail's Rock Walls". The book is available for sale at Trail City Hall.

  • Teck Cominco Interpretive Centre

    This free hands-on interpretive centre highlights the operations of a lead and zinc smelter in today's environmentally conscious society. The tour is just over 2 hours and organized by the Chamber of Commerce.

  • Columbia River Activities
     Gyro Beach, Trail
     Gyro Park Beach, Trail. Photo: Chamber of Commerce

    Go boating, do a little fishing or swimming and if you are an experienced paddler ride the waves. Gyro Park has a sandy beach, picnic area and safe swimming. Music and events take place throughout the summer.

  • Hiking & Biking

    There are many excellent trails in and around Trail. Two that have their trailhead in Trail are the Miral Heights Trail and McQuarrie Creek Trail. Both have stunning views over the Columbia River from the mountain ridge that overlooks the town. These trails link to others of varying degrees of difficulty.

  • Skiing and Snowboarding

    Nearby award winning Red Mountain Resort in Rossland offers over 100 runs on 3 mountains. There are 7 lifts to whisk you to the top where you'll have lots of opportunities for every type of skiing and snowboarding.

A Step Back in Time

Prospectors Joe Moris and Joe Bourgeois discovered gold and copper on Red Mountain in the late 1800s. This led to the area becoming the foremost mining hub in North America. To process the ores, a smelter was built in 1895 and the town thrived. In 1901 Trail was incorporated, World War 1 increased demand and commerce and schools developed and a bridge was built across the Columbia River. Europeans, mainly Italians, arrived in the early 1900s and provided a distinctive character to their homesteads. They set up home at the entrance to Trail in an area that is known as "the Gulch". This was so named as the land begins at the start of Trail Creek narrows between the high, sandy slope of Smelter Hill and West Trail bank. The homes were built on these banks.

Nearby Communities
Contact Information

Trail Visitor Information Centre



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Background Photo Credit: Destination British Columbia

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