Some Parks Canada places have begun a safe, gradual reopening of some outdoor areas and services, including camping. Visitors are encouraged to plan ahead and be well-prepared for their visit. Details here.

Shorter interpretive trails provide an opportunity to take a stroll while learning about the unique mountain habitat. Follow a wheelchair-accessible boardwalk around blue-green Olive Lake, or explore the Fireweed loops for an unforgettable lesson about wildfire and forest regeneration. For basic maps, route finding and trail descriptions, visit the Kootenay Visitor Centre. For detailed route-finding information, purchase a hiking guide book or topographical map.


Safety

Safety is your responsibility. There are always hazards associated with outdoor recreation. Even short trips can have serious consequences. Minimize your risk by planning ahead.

  • Check the weather forecast, current trail conditions, warnings and closures or visit a Parks Canada visitor centre.
  • Be prepared for emergencies and changes in weather. Mountain weather changes quickly and it can snow any month of the year. Dress in layers, bring extra food and warm clothing.
  • Study descriptions and maps before heading out. Always choose a trail suitable for the least experienced member in your group.
  • Bring your own water. Surface water may be contaminated and unsafe for drinking.
  • Carry a first aid kit and bear spray.
  • Tell a reliable person where you are going, when you will be back, and who to call if you do not return: Parks Canada Dispatch – 403-762-1470.
  • Ticks carrying Lyme disease may be present in the park. It is important to check yourself and your pet after hiking.
  • Avoid wearing earbuds or headphones. Be alert at all times.
  • In case of EMERGENCY, call 911 or satellite phone: 403-762-4506. Cell phone coverage is not reliable throughout the national park.

Snowy trails

Snow can remain on some trails well into the summer. When trails are snow covered, route finding can be difficult and travel through deep snow or on hard snow and ice can be unsafe. Be prepared and check trail conditions before heading out.

Seasonal avalanche risk

Trails above tree line (2,000 m) may be exposed to avalanche hazard at any time of the year and especially from November through June. Steep slopes that are snow covered have the potential to avalanche. For more information on the avalanche hazard, visit a Parks Canada visitor centre or check the Mountain Safety section.


Trail Etiquette

Show courtesy to fellow trail users!

  • Leave what you find —it is the law. Natural and cultural resources such as rocks, fossils, artifacts, horns, antlers, wildflowers and nests are protected by law and must be left undisturbed for others to discover and enjoy. 
  • Dispose of human waste at least 100 m from any water source. Bury solid human waste in a hole 15 cm deep. Pack out your toilet paper. 
  • To prevent damage to vegetation, stay on designated trails at all times. 
  • Trails are used by a variety of outdoor enthusiasts. Be sure to yield to others. 
  • Leave no trace. Pack out everything you pack in.
Wildlife and people

Kootenay National Park is home to wildlife including elk, wolves, cougars, grizzly bears and black bears. To successfully raise their young and sustain a healthy population, wildlife need access to as much quality habitat with as few human surprises as possible.

Be aware of possible encounters with wildlife in all areas of the park, including paved trails and roads.

Tips

  • Always carry bear spray, ensure it is accessible, and know how to use it before heading out.
  • Make noise. Being quiet puts you at risk for sudden wildlife encounters. Be alert through shrubby areas and when approaching blind corners. Travel in tight groups and always be aware of your surroundings.
  • Report bear, cougar, wolf and coyote sightings and encounters to Parks Canada Dispatch when it is safe to do so: 403-762-1470.
  • Keep dogs on leash and under control at all times.

More information

Trail Ratings

Easy

  • Suitable for those with little or no trail experience.
  • Flat to gently rolling with no obstacles.
  • Little or no elevation gain or loss.

Moderate

  • Suitable for those with basic trail experience.
  • Gently rolling with short, steep sections and infrequent obstacles.
  • Moderate elevation gain or loss.

Difficult

  • Suitable only for those with trail experience.
  • Long, steep sections with frequent obstacles.
  • Major elevation gain or loss.
Estimated time to complete these trails ranges depending on trail distances, fitness levels, weather and trail conditions.
Map: Kootenay National Park Backcountry Guide
Kootenay National Park Backcountry Guide
Map: Map of Radium Hot Springs area
Map of the village of Radium, British Columbia
Printable version (PDF, 321 Kb)

 

 

Short hikes and walks in Kootenay National Park
Trail Distance  Time Elevation gian
 Juniper / Sinclair Canyon 6 km 2 hours 260 m
 Redstreak Campground 4.6 km 1.5 hours 30 m
 Redstreak Loop 2.2 km 45 minutes 90 m
 Redstreak Restoration 1 km 20 minutes 5 m
 Valleyview 2.4 km 45 minutes 125 m
 Redstreak Creek 4.6 km 1.5 hours 195 m
 Olive Lake 0.5 km 15 minutes 0
 Cobb Lake 5.4 km 2 hours 190 m
 Dog Lake 5.2 km 1.5 hours 40 m
 Paint Pots 2 km 40 minutes 25 m
 Marble Canyon 1.6 km 30 minutes 20 m
 Marble Canyon to Paint Pots 6.8 km 2 hours 40 m
 Fireweed Loops 0.5 & 2 km 30 minutes 20 m

Trail descriptions

Dog Lake trail

 Juniper - Sinclair Canyon 

Length: 6 km
Hiking time: 2 hours
Elevation: 260 m
Trailhead: Parking area just inside the park's West Gate; OR above the Radium Hot Springs Pools main parking lot.

Habitat: Arid and cedar forests, canyon, and creek
Description: A scenic trail through open Douglas-fir forest along the edge of Sinclair Canyon. Features views of the Columbia Valley and verdant Sinclair Canyon falls. Google Street View: Juniper - Sinclair Canyon

 Redstreak Campground

Length: 4.6 km
Hiking time: 2 hours
Elevation: 30 m
Trailhead: “H” Loop of Redstreak Campground OR Radium Hot Springs Pools.

Habitat: Cool, moist forest connecting the hot pools and campground.
Description: An easy walk through a cool, wet forest from the campground to the hot springs.

 Redstreak Loop

Length: 2.2 km
Hiking time: 90 minutes
Elevation: 90 m
Trailhead: “E” Loop of Redstreak Campground

Habitat: Open forest, rocky bluffs, views over the valley.
Description: Sunny exposure and clear views across the Columbia Valley to the Columbia Mountains outside of the park. Google Street View: Redstreak Loop

 Redstreak Restoration

Length: 1 km
Hiking time: 20 minutes
Elevation: 5 m
Trailhead: Access from Redstreak Campground. Take the first right after the entrance. Parking lot is on the right.

Habitat: Grassland restoration area, watch for bighorn sheep.
Description: Walk through meadows reborn by prescribed fire on this gentle interpretive trail. Watch for bighorn sheep. Google Streetview: Redstreak Restoration. Google Street View: Redstreak Restoration

 Valleyview

Length: 2.4 km
Hiking time: 45 minutes
Elevation: 125 m
Trailhead: 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.

Habitat: Douglas fir forest, grassland, watch for sheep.
Description: A steep trail connecting the village of Radium Hot Springs with Redstreak Campground. Good views of the Columbia Valley.

 Redstreak Creek

Length: 4.6 km
Hiking time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: 195 m
Trailhead: Small parking area on the south side of Highway 93 South, 6 km east of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Douglas fir forest with an interesting blowdown.
Description: A cool forested path. Ideal in the early season.

 Olive Lake

Length: 0.5 km
Hiking time: 15 minutes
Elevation: none
Trailhead: South side of Highway 93 South, east of the Radium Hot Springs pools.

Habitat: Forest, small lake and a boardwalk.
Description: A short interpretive loop and boardwalk around a small, quiet lake. Fully accessible.

 Cobb Lake

Length: 5.4 km
Hiking time: 2 hours
Elevation: 190 m
Trailhead: South side of Highway 93 South near the Kootenay Valley Viewpoint.

Habitat: Pleasant lake at the end of a forest trail.
Description: A pleasant forested trail which descends to Swede Creek then ascends briefly to a small lake encircled by forest.

 Dog Lake

Length: 5.2 km
Hiking time: 1.5 hours
Elevation: 40 m
Trailhead: McLeod Meadows picnic area, 28 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Beautiful lake in an area of high wildlife activity.
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.

 Paint Pots

Length: 2 km
Hiking time: 40 minutes
Elevation: 25 m
Trailhead: Paint Pots parking lot, 86 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Culturally significant ochre deposits. Watch for bears.
Description: Iron-rich pools and ochre beds, culturally significant to indigenous people including the nearby Ktunaxa Nation.

 Marble Canyon Trail

Length: 1.6 km
Hiking time: 30 minutes
Elevation: 25 m
Trailhead: Marble Canyon parking lot, 89 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Limestone gorge, burnt forest, many small mammals.
Description: A popular trail atop a narrow and dramatic limestone and dolomite gorge eroded by the pounding waters of Tokumm Creek.

 Paint Pots to Marble Canyon

Length: 6.8 km
Hiking time: 2 hours
Elevation: 40 m
Trailhead: Marble Canyon parking lot, 89 km east of Radium Hot Springs OR Paint Pots parking lot, 86 km east of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Mature and burnt forest, with riverside sections. Watch for bears.
Description: Lots of variety. Mature and burnt forest with beautiful riverside sections.

 Fireweed Loops

Length: 0.5 and 2.0 km
Hiking time: 30 minutes
Elevation: 20 m
Trailhead: Continental Divide parking area, 96 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Forested trails through an old burn. Watch for small mammals.
Description: 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 interpretive exhibits.