Part of the UNESCO Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, Kootenay National Park connects the glaciated peaks of Banff National Park with the warm and gentle Columbia Valley near Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia. Here are 5 things to do before you arrive to make your visit easier and more fun.

Pre-arrival checklist

  1. Get your park pass - Entry is free in 2017! Pick up your free Discovery Pass online or from any Parks Canada partner today.
     
  2. Reserve a place to stay - From mid-June through mid-September, campgrounds are busy. Arrive before noon at first-come, first-served sites for the best spots! We also recommend booking your hotel, hostel or B&B in the village of Field, B.C. well in advance.
     
  3. Take the stewardship pledge - Remember, a fed animal is a dead animal. Please, never feed wildlife or leave food or garbage outside. It is illegal here. Secure your food in a car. Put all trash in bear-proof garbage bins. Stay in your vehicle when watching wildlife at the roadside. What else? These are our Top Tips.
     
  4. Check seasons and seasonal closures - Yoho Valley Road (to Takakkaw Falls) is open late June to mid-October. High alpine hikes, including the Iceline, are often snowbound and subject to avalanche hazard until July. The park is a dynamic environment! Keep on top of seasonal and safety closures to avoid disappointment.
      
  5. Plan ahead for Takakkaw Falls and Emerald Lake - Takakkaw Falls is only accessible to cars and small RVs due to very tight switchbacks. Parking can fill quickly here and at Emerald Lake. For the best experience in July and August, plan to visit early or later and factor in a little extra time in case you need it.

Bonus tips

  1. Don’t miss the village of Field - After stopping at the Visitor Centre next to the highway, stroll the streets of tiny and charming Field, B.C. Stop at one of the local shops to purchase a souvenir or grab a bite at a local restaurant. 
     
  2. Arrive with an appetite - Yoho National Park has outstanding dining. Visit the Siding Café or Truffle Pigs Bistro, stop at Cilantro on the Lake, the Mount Burgess Dining Room, or book ahead at the ‘guests-only’ Cathedral Mountain Lodge. Come for the hiking, stay for the food! 
     
  3. Brush up on local safety tips - Cell coverage in Yoho National Park is intermittent and natural hazards are part of the national park experience. Here are some tips for the drivers, hikers, campers and winter enthusiasts. Simple steps to play safely like a local. 
     
  4. Write down the Visitor Centre hours - Visit the helpful Visitor Centre in Field for advice about trails, experiences or information about how to make the most of your national park adventure. 
     
  5. Plan at least one guided activity - Book a guided hike to the Burgess Shale fossils before you arrive. Or spend an hour with a park interpreter. There are daily offers throughout the summer and you’ll discover a whole other side of the park.