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: Map of Kootenay National Park
- Redstreak Restoration Area
- Sinclair Canyon and the Redwall Fault
- Radium Hot Springs
- Kootenay Valley viewpoint
- Guided Hikes at Stanley Glacier
- The Paints Pots
- Marble Canyon
- The Continental Divide
- The Rockwall
- Fire Landscapes
Note: All distances below are approximate.
Redstreak Restoration Area
Trailhead: In Redstreak Campground, keep right after the entrance for the parking lot.
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.
Sinclair Canyon and the Redwall Fault
Location: 1.5 km east of Radium B.C on Hwy 93 South.
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
Location: 3 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South. Parking for RVs is available on the west side of the highway.
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.
Kootenay Valley viewpoint
Location: 16 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South.
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.
Guided Hikes at Stanley Glacier
Location: 95 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South.
Beginning in an expansive fire swept forest with lodgepole pines and a profusion of wildflowers, this 10 km return (6.3 mile) hike crosses a turquoise river, passes by waterfalls and gives close-up views of the Stanley Glacier. Hidden at the base of Mount Stanley are trilobites, hyolithids, brachiopods, sponges and algaes.
The Paint PotsLocation: 84 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South.
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.
Location: 87 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South.
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
Location: 94 km east of Radium B.C. on Hwy 93 South.
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.
Location: various entry and exit points in the north end of the park.
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.
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.
There are many more beautiful destinations slightly off the beaten path in Kootenay. The list of day hikes in the park provides more ways to get closer to the best that Kootenay has to offer.