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Kootenay National Park

Points of Interest

Kootenay National Park is rich in variety; from glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to the dry grassy slopes of the Columbia Valley, where cactus grows.

 
 

Map of Kootenay National Park

Note: All distances below are approximate.


Redstreak Restoration Area

Redstreak Restoration Area from the Interpretive Trail © Parks Canada Redstreak Restoration Area from the Redstreak Trail © Parks Canada

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Trailhead: In Redstreak Campground, keep right after the entrance for the parking lot. (map)

This open, grassy plateau offers sweeping views of the Columbia Valley. It is equally special for being carefully restored with the regenerative use of prescribed fire. A gentle, interpretive walk explains the history of the area and its importance to local plants and animals, such as Rocky Mountain bighorn sheep. Learn more: Redstreak Restoration Area


Sinclair Canyon and the Redwall Fault 

Sinclair Canyon from the Juniper Trail © Parks Canada Redwall Fault © Parks Canada

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Location: .1.5 km east of Radium B.C on Hwy 93 South (map)

One of the most impressive gateways to a national park in Canada, offering views of Sinclair Canyon below and the Redwall Fault cliffs above. Trails on both sides of the highway can be accessed at the north and south ends, from the Redstreak area to the east, and Juniper Trail to the west.


Radium Hot Springs

Radium Hot Springs in the autumn © Parks Canada Radium Hot Springs in the winter © Parks Canada

Disabled access symbol Restaurant symbol Hot springs symbol Swimming symbol Hiking symbol

Location: 3 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South. Parking for RVs is available on the west side of the highway  (map)

Soak in the naturally-heated, mineral-rich hot pool between the sheltering walls of Sinclair Canyon. Radium is one of three thermal swimming pools in the Rocky Mountain National Parks – luxurious in summer and magical in the winter. Learn more: History of the Radium Hot Springs Pools

Visit the Radium Hot Springs 


Kootenay Valley Viewpoint 

Kootenay Valley Viewpoint © Parks Canada Kootenay Valley Viewpoint © Parks Canada

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Location: 16 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South (map)

This roadside viewpoint provides breathtaking views of the Mitchell and Vermilion mountain ranges and the Kootenay River far below. Watch the river wind through the rich, montane forest following an ancient route to Castlegar, B.C. where it unites with the great Columbia River. 


Numa Falls

Numa Falls in flood © Parks Canada Numa Falls © Parks Canada

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Location: 80 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South (map)

Walk to the bridge over this impressive waterfall on the Vermilion River, carving a path between the glistening black canyon walls. This is a perfect place to stretch your legs just a few steps from Highway 93 South. The trail beyond connects in ~6.5km to the famous Rockwall Trail, a popular backcountry destination.


The Paint Pots 

Ochre beds at the Paint Pots © Parks Canada Paint Pots © Parks Canada

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Location: 84 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South (map)

This unusual orange ochre bed is important to many Aboriginal peoples who gathered the ochre for centuries for use in ceremony and trade. In the early 1900’s ochre was mined and shipped to Calgary, where it was used as a pigment in paint. Remnants of twentieth century mining are still visible along the trail. Learn more: History of the Paint Pots


Marble Canyon 

Marble Canyon © Parks Canada Marble Canyon © Parks Canada

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Location: 87 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South (map)

Turquoise, glacial waters and startling canyon walls grow ever more impressive along this short trail. Multiple bridges span the narrow gorge, crossing several times for spine-tingling views of the river below. Watch for fuchsia fireweed and mountain bluebirds in a landscape shaped by fire, erosion, and mountain-building.


The Continental Divide 

Continental Divide © Parks Canada Fireweed Trail at the Continental Divide © Parks Canada

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Location: 94 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South (map)

Stand in two provinces at once. This is the continental spine of western North America. At this location, it separates two watersheds, two provinces, and two national parks.


The Rockwall 

Helmet Falls Warden Cabin on the Rockwall Trail © Parks Canada Floe Lake © Parks Canada

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Location: various entry and exit points in the north end of the park. (map)

A vertical wall of limestone stretching 55 km length, this is one of the finest backcountry destinations in the Canadian Rockies. Wildflowers adorn sheltered meadows between forests of subalpine larch and fir, and pass after pass offer truly incredible backcountry vistas. Experienced hikers will find opportunities for long, day-hikes or multiday treks here. Learn more : Backpacking


Fire Landscapes 

Fireweed blooming among burned trees © Parks Canada Vermillion Valley © Parks Canada

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Location: various locations in the north and south ends of the park

The ghostly spindles of once-burned trees carpet many parts of Kootenay. The fresh green trees and plants among them is awe-inspiring evidence of the destructive and regenerative power of fire - vital to forest renewal and health. Watch for fuchsia fireweed along “Lightning Alley” where it is uniquely prominent in Kootenay National Park. Learn more: Fire and Vegetation Management

There are many more beautiful destinations slightly off the beaten bath in Kootenay. The list of day hikes in the park provides more ways to get closer to the best that Kootenay has to offer.