Points of interest
Spend some time in Kootenay National Park and experience a place rich in variety – from hiking glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to finding cactus on the dry grassy slopes of the Columbia Valley. Take a break along the way and enjoy something new around every curve.
Map: Map of Kootenay National Park
Olive Lake day-use area
A forested picnic area at the summit of Sinclair Pass next to a bright emerald green lake.
0.5 km return, no elevation gain.
Look for brook trout as you walk the boardwalk around the lake.
Kootenay Valley viewpoint
Enjoy breathtaking views of the Mitchell and Vermilion mountain ranges.
5.4 km return, 190 m elevation gain
Descend to Swede Creek, then continue along to the banks of a quiet lake encircled by forest.
Kootenay River day-use area
Spread out a picnic blanket or access the river for fishing and watersports.
McLeod Meadows day-use area
Take advantage of this cool, shaded picnic area on a hot day.
5.2 km return, 40 m elevation gain
Cross two bridges over the Kootenay River and meander through old-growth forest. End at a lake with a beautiful backdrop of mountains.
Dolly Varden day-use area
Learn about wildlife fences and underpasses with self-guided activities. Fun for kids!
Simpson River Trail
3 km return (interpretive trail section), 10 m elevation gain
Interpretive signs are being installed along the first 1.5 km of the Simpson River Trail (anticipated completion date: June 30, 2020). Walk through a valley marked by fire and learn about incredible forces of nature: lightning, wildfire, regeneration and succession. The entire family will enjoy the interactive, self-guided activities. Past the signs, the trail continues another 7.3 km to the park boundary.
Vermillion Crossing day-use area
Enjoy a picnic lunch and explore along the scenic banks of the Vermilion River.
Paint Pots trail
2 km return, 25 m elevation gain
An easy walk takes you to three iron-rich mineral springs that stain the surrounding earth a vibrant ochre colour.
Marble Canyon trail
1.6 km return, 20 m elevation gain
Admire the shapes and sounds of carved chasms as you hike along the trail. Relax in the Red Chairs at the end.
Stanley Glacier trail
8.4 km return, 365 m elevation gain
Hike up to a stunning alpine basin and watch glacier meltwater tumble down massive rock walls.
Continental Divide day-use area
Stand on the dividing line between the Pacific and Atlantic watersheds.
0.5 and 2 km loops, 20 m elevation gain
Walk through a quiet, shaded forest. Interpretive signs along the shorter loop tell the story of regeneration after the wildfire of 1968.