My Hiking Experience of Pulpit Rock in Nelson, BC

My Hiking Experience of Pulpit Rock in Nelson, BC

If you want to enjoy your experience in this quaint region, and feel like a boss while doing it, then hiking is your activity!

A classic hike near Nelson is Pulpit Rocka lovely little trek that’ll be sure to fulfill all your aspirational hiking dreams. Pulpit Rock is the locals' “walk in the park” that is best approached early mornings (much cooler) or afternoons.

Here is my first-hand account of what you are bound to experience hiking up this gorgeous little path. 

As you approach the trailhead, get ready to be immediately met by that quintessential forest smell. That is, all the trees you can imagine, mixed up in a smoothie with dew and breezes and hints of spicy sap and fresh soil and leaves and wild flowers and all the other things you imagine would be in your own personal forest fantasy. 

As you step onto the trail and begin taking your first steps, there is an immediate sense of leaving behind the bustle of town. The hum of cars begins to fade and the sounds and hubbub of ‘city’ life slowly disappear. The feeling of this living and breathing thing, nature, freeing you from the worries and anxieties of daily life, pervades the air. The smell of cedar, pine, and douglas fir envelopes you as gentle breezes fill your lungs with the freshness of the undergrowth. Looking up, patches of blue sky mingle with clouds, floating lazily above your head as the sun gleams, cutting through the foliage and casting pillars of light on the forest floor, shimmering on leaves, making kaleidoscopic shapes where the light meets the shadows.

The trail slopes with some steeper terrain as well as some rolling easy bits. Grab some ski poles from the communal pile at the start of the trail if you want an extra push. Stepping over rocks and climbing the wooden steps (built in some places to maneuver some of the steeper sections), there will be moments where you are shrouded by the trees and moments when you see a peek of your journey, looking across Kootenay Lake, Nelson slowly shrinks below you, the water sparkling with the suns rays.

When you reach the peak, Pulpit, you’ll find a sloping rock face with benches and little nooks to hydrate and have a snack, a glorious view of Nelson spread out below you.

Pulpit Rock has been around for close to a century, although the name only dates back to around 1923. Hikers have been frequenting the trail since then, even before it was refurbished into a new gentler route by the Chamber of Commerce in the 1980’s. Now, the trail is maintained by the Friends of Pulpit Rock Society and the RDCK.

Happy hiking!

Based on original story by Emma Chart

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