Stop and stretch your legs on a self-guided interpretive trail alongside Highway 93 South, or take a thigh-burning all-day hike to an alpine meadow, backcountry lake or mountain pass. With more than 200 kilometres of trails, Kootenay National Park offers countless possibilities for the day stroller and expert backpacker alike.
Prime hiking season runs July through mid-September. Until late June, many passes are still snow-bound and may be subject to avalanche hazard. Trails tend to be muddier at this time and the best hiking is at lower elevations or on drier, south facing slopes in the Radium Hot Springs area. By the middle of July, most alpine passes are snow-free.
Many summer hiking trails are exposed to avalanche hazard throughout the winter and into the late spring. For avalanche safety reasons hiking is not recommended on snow covered trails at and above treeline from mid October to mid June.
A day of hiking in the Rockies requires preparation. Conditions can change rapidly in the mountains and higher elevations increase your exposure to the sun and stormy weather. To have a safe and fun time outdoors you will need to bring:
- Warm clothes (not cotton), rain jacket and pants, winter gloves, and toque
- Hearty lunch, snack & drinking water (at least 2 litres)
- Hiking boots and hiking poles, extra socks
- Sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat
- Personal blister kit and medical supplies (just in case)