Birdwatching in the Columbia Valley

March 22, 2022

Have you ever considered taking the plunge into bird watching? Situated between the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies and Purcell Mountains British Columbia is home to a vast array of North America’s best birdwatching opportunities. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a just starting out as a beginner, the Columbia Valley offers bountiful wetlands that welcome home migrating birds each year.


the practice of observing birds in their natural environment. Many individuals enjoy birding as a calming, contemplative activity that allows them to disconnect from the day-to-day and immerse themselves in nature. It can be done in your backyard, your local park or out on a hike.

The Columbia River
Image Courtesy of Mitch Winton & Kootenay Rockies Tourism


  • Binoculars
  • Field Guide
  • Comfortable Footwear
Image Courtesy of the BC Bird Trail
Image Courtesy of the BC Bird Trail


Lower Bugaboo Falls

This 3-kilometer trail is located near Brisco, BC. The Lower Bugaboo Falls trail will take hikers up the Bugaboo Creek to a beautiful waterfall in the forest.

Wilmer Wetlands Hiking Trail

This 3.7-kilometer circuit looks along the edge of the Columbia River Wetlands, make sure you bring your binoculars to keep and eye out for resident and migratory birds such as hawks, waterfowl and herons.

Old Coach Trail

This 9-kilometer trail offers incredible views of the Columbia River Wetlands and Purcell Mountains with excellent opportunities to see birds and other wildlife.

Dorothy Lake

Located in Invermere, BC near Kinsmen Park, Dorothy Lake offers accessible opportunities to see a variety of osprey, herons, waterfowl and shorebirds.

James Chabot Provincial Park

Located just off the banks of Lake Windermere, James Chabot Provincial Park offers a wide sandy expanse for lakeside recreation. Here you can check out the interpretive boardwalk trail for a number of birdwatching opportunities and read all about the wetlands and animals that call it home.

Hoodoo Trail

This 3-kilometer trail provides beautiful views of local farmland, the Columbia Valley and Dutch Creek. It is the perfect place to enjoy elevated birding.


It is important that we explore nature with good intentions. When observing birds in their natural habitat, make sure that you:

  • Stay on designated paths and keep out of protected areas
  • Do not feed or all out to the birds
  • Don’t leave anything behind – pack out what you pack in.

Whether you pop over on a day trip from Alberta or make it into a week-long road trip with the family, just let the river guide you to fantastic birdwatching all along the Columbia Valley Trail. Book your stay today at Bighorn Meadows Resort!