Stagleap Provincial Park is renowned for backcountry skiing, but there is also a range of summer hiking on trails and routes. There are panoramic views of the mountains around Kootenay Pass.
Lightning Strike and Ripple Ridge are used interchangeably to refer to this ridgeline which is confusing. The proper Ripple Mountain looms far in the distance and isn’t connected at all to the ridge.
Elevation gain: 393m (Lightning Strike), 759m (including Monk Peak)
Distance: 9.4km (Lightning Strike), 12km (including Monk Peak)
Drive: Park at the top of Kootenay Pass beside Bridal Lake and cross the highway. Follow the old gravel road leading south. This road switchbacks for 2.3km. At a signed post, go right for the Lightning Strike/Ripple Ridge Trail.
The trail climbs out of the trees onto an alpine ridge with panoramic views on both sides. Vegetation varies with the season – beargrass, flowers, huckleberries. Cornice Ridge is north across the highway far below. At 4.7kmm the ridge ends and the trail disappears above some large bluffs. This is the usual turn-around point.
What to do?
1. Monk Peak – Bushwhack down to a saddle. The ridge becomes rough half way up.
Descend off Monk Peak a different route towards “little Monk Peak”, a smaller summit at the base of Monk Peak. Contour along the base of Monk Peak and bushwhack back over to Lightning Strike through some interesting conglomerate rock.