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Mount Thompson Rim Trail is one of those hikes where the hard part – climbing up the mountain – is done for you. The access road to the hike takes you right to the top of Thompson Mountain where the trail head is found for the Rim Trail. The trail winds along the ridge of Thompson Mountain and the Skimmerhorn through sub alpine trees and wildflowers. The wonderful part is the expansive views of the Creston Valley, which can be enjoyed for the entirety of the trail. In fact, many people forego the trail entirely and instead just drive to the top to enjoy the best view of Creston to be had from anywhere.
If you have the time the hike is a perfect family friendly outing for an afternoon. You’ll want 4 wheel drive or at least high clearance to get up here, depends on how adventurous you feel and how much you value your muffler etc. The trail itself begins just past the radio towers and lookout, heading down the slope along the ridge to the south. From here you can see the end goal – a green radio tower a few kilometers over. The trail is in excellent shape and quite safe – I’ve done it with both a baby on my back, and a toddler at my side. Being a ridge, the trail dips and rises, never for too long all the way from one end to the other. Not to say you’ll never breathe heavily, but there is always down after the up, with plenty of level ground on route.
The sights are awesome year round, but the flowers are at their best in early July most years. June hiking often involves a bit of snow trough some of the treed areas. I have yet to come up here during fall when the leaves change colour, but its high on my list to try, time permitting. For those wanting to spend the night there is a small rec site for camping just before reaching the towers along the road.
This is without a doubt one of the top hikes in the area, and one that shouldn’t be missed by any outdoor enthusiast. Be sure to bring water whether you’re hiking or camping, as there is none to be found.
For more detailed information visit the Trails for Creston Valley Society.