Hiking and Walking
Over 200 km of trails in Kootenay National Park offer everything from short walks to full day hikes and overnight trips. There are short interpretive trails, with trailside exhibits, at the Continental Divide (Fireweed Trail), Marble Canyon, the Paint Pots, Olive Lake and Redstreak Campground (Valley View Trail). Longer day hikes and overnight trips are described in the Kootenay National Park Backcountry Guide . This guide can be obtained, free of charge, by contacting the park.
Radium Hot Springs Area Trails © Parks Canada
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Parking area just inside the park's West Gate; OR above the Radium Hot Springs Pools main parking lot.Length:
3.2 km, one-way. Moderate elevation gains and losses.Description:
A scenic trail through open Douglas-fir forest along the edge of Sinclair Canyon. Features views of the Columbia Valley and Sinclair Canyon falls.
Redstreak Campground Trails
Redstreak Loop Trail:
Trailhead: E Loop.
Length: 2.2 km loop. Moderate elevation gain and loss.
Description: Climbs to views of the Columbia Valley.
Redstreak Campground Trail:
Trailheads: H Loop OR Radium Hot Springs Pools.
Length: 2.2 km, one way. Minor elevation loss or gain.
Description: An easy walk through the forest to the Pools.
Cobb Lake TrailTrailhead:
Cobb Lake parking area, 17 km north of Radium Hot Springs.Length:
2.8 km one-way. Moderate elevation loss and gain.Description:
A pleasant forested trail which descends to Swede Creek then ascends briefly to a small lake encircled by forest.
Dog Lake TrailTrailhead:
McLeod Meadows picnic area, 28 km north of Radium Hot Springs.Length:
2.6 km one-way. Minor elevation gains and losses.Description:
Leaving McLeod Meadows Campground the trail crosses two suspension bridges over the Kootenay River then takes a forested route to a scenic lake overlooked by peaks of the Mitchell Range.
Self-Guided Interpretive Trails
A great way to get an appreciation of Kootenay's diversity is a first-hand experience on one of the park's interpretive trails. These short trails are designed for easy walking, and many are wheelchair accessible. Along the way, colourful interpretive displays reveal the stories behind the park's landscapes, ecology and human history.
Valley View TrailTrailheads:
Redstreak Campground entrance, 2.5 km east of Radium Hot Springs; OR parking area 1 km before the entrance; OR behind the Kootenay National Park Visitor Centre.Length:
1.8 km one-way. Minor elevation gain and loss; steep ascent from the visitor centre trailhead.Story:
The natural history of a Douglas-fir forest typical of the warm, dry slopes in the Radium Hot Springs area. Features views of the Columbia Valley.
Olive Lake TrailTrailhead:
Olive Lake picnic area, 12 km north of Radium Hot Springs.Length:
0.5 km return. Wheelchair-accessible trail and boardwalk.Story:
The history of this clear green lake, nestled in the forest at Sinclair Pass, as a natural stopping place for travellers. Displays feature tactile bronze bear paw, tree bark and fish.
Paint Pots TrailTrailhead:
Paint Pots parking lot, 86 km north of Radium Hot SpringsLength:
1.5 km one-way. Minor elevation gain. Wheelchair-accessible to the ochre beds: 1km one-way.Story:
The geology, Aboriginal significance, and early 20th century mining history of these unusual iron-rich springs and the colourful stained earth of the ochre beds.
Marble Canyon TrailTrailhead:
Marble Canyon parking lot, 89 km north of Radium Hot Springs.Length:
0.8 km one-way. Minor elevation gain. One set of stairs. Trail criss-crosses the narrow canyon over footbridges.Story:
The erosion of a 40 m deep gorge by the pounding waters of Tokumm Creek. The canyon walls are limestone and dolomite; some is white, resembling marble.
Continental Divide parking area, 96 km north of Radium Hot Springs.Length:
0.8 km wheelchair-accessible loop.Story:
The drama of a lightning-caused fire that swept through Vermilion Pass in July, 1968, and the vibrant life of today's regenerating forest. Burnt tree snags form part of the exhibit structures.