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Kootenay National Park

Backpacking

Floe Lake © Parks Canada
Most backpacking in Kootenay is on the famous Rockwall Trail.  This Rocky Mountain classic is worthy of any “bucket list”. Experienced backpackers longing for extended
treks can link trails in Kootenay with trails in Banff and Yoho national parks, and in Mt. Assiniboine Provincial Park.

Where to Go  |  What to Bring  |  Reservations  |  Safety  |  Trail Report 

Warnings and Closures


Where to Go

Campgrounds

Kootenay National Park Backcountry Guide Kootenay Backcountry Guide
© Parks Canada
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There are six backcountry campgrounds in Kootenay. Five are located along the Rockwall Trail, while the sixth is on the Verdant Creek Trail connecting to Banff National Park. Campgrounds are equipped with: 

  • tent pads 
  • dry toilets 
  • communal picnic tables 
  • food storage cables or lockers

Backcountry campgrounds in the Shadow and Egypt Lake areas of Banff National Park are also accessible from Kootenay trails. Contact the Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre in Radium to book.

The Rockwall

The Rockwall Trail is a 55 km (34 mile) superlative-laden feast traversing three alpine passes through subalpine meadows and past impressive hanging glaciers. The trail’s defining feature is a single, massive limestone cliff, towering in some locations more than 900m (2953 feet) above the trail below.

There are four access points to the Rockwall Trail along Highway 93 South:

  • Helmet Creek Trail, access via Marble Canyon to Paint Pots 
  • Tumbling Creek Trail, access via Marble Canyon to Paint Pots 
  • Numa Creek Trail, access via Numa Falls Trailhead 
  • Floe Creek Trail, access via Floe Lake Trailhead

*Note: The Paint Pots bridge is out, requiring hikers to depart from Marble Canyon. The Vermilion River may be fordable at Paint Pots late in the summer – fording at other times of the year is dangerous and not recommended.

Contact the Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre for information and reservations.