Bridal Lake, located at the top of the Salmo-Creston Pass, is a favorite for many locals year-round. The trail takes you from the small parking area on the east side of the lake to the public day-use cabin on the west side of the lake. Be it a summer hike or a winter snowshoe, its an ideal place for an afternoon adventure and is totally family friendly. Not so long that the kids get overly tired, and not so short as to be a waste of a drive. Due to the presence of an extremely endangered herd of mountain caribou in the area, park rules indicate that dogs are not allowed to join you for your hike.
Unfortunately the trail is not quite a full loop because of the highway along its south side, but while you are in the trees it is easy to forget you are so close to the Kootenay’s main transportation corridor. The trail is in good shape all year round, and provides a good warm up for those looking to tackle some of the somewhat longer hikes in the area, like Ripple Ridge or Cornice Ridge.
In the winter the lake transforms into an untouched sheet of ice and snow, creating a stunning visual, even without leaving the main parking lot. The lake is likely not a candidate for a swim summer, given how shallow it is, with no real beach, but a paddle in a canoe or kayak would likely be quite enjoyable. Bridal Lake Cabin is open to the public year-round, and has a fire-place, firewood, and picnic tables, making it the perfect place to enjoy lunch and some hot chocolate after a day of exploring.