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 Trail Guide
'
 (PDF, 8.29 MB)
Map: Map of Radium Hot Springs area
Map of the village of Radium, British Columbia
(PDF, 8.32 Mb)

 

 

Short hikes and walks in Kootenay National Park
Trail Distance 
(one way)
Estimated time (return) Elevation gain* Elevation loss*
 Juniper / Sinclair Canyon 2.8 km 2 hours 350 m 260 m
 Redstreak Campground 2 km 1.5 hours 195 m 215 m
 Redstreak Loop 1.8 km loop 45 minutes 150 m 150 m
 Redstreak Restoration 1 km loop 20 minutes 25 m 25 m
 Valleyview 1.3 km 45 minutes 130 m 10 m
 Redstreak Creek 2.3 km 1.5 hours 200 m 30 m
 Olive Lake 0.3 km 15 minutes 5 m 5 m
 Cobb Lake 2.7 km 2 hours 155 m 260 m
 Dog Lake 2.6 km 1.5 hours 135 m 70 m
 Paint Pots 1 km 40 minutes 35 m 20 m
 Marble Canyon 0.9 km 30 minutes 65 m 35 m
 Marble Canyon to Paint Pots 2.9 km 2 hours 65 m 110 m
 Fireweed Loops 0.7 and 0.2 km loops 30 minutes 15 m 65 m

*Note: On most hiking trails you will gain and lose elevation before you reach your destination. Elevation gain represents all the up and elevation loss all the down you will experience on a one-way hike.


Trail descriptions

A hiker stands on a suspension bridge over Kootenay River enjoying the view
Dog Lake Trail

 Juniper - Sinclair Canyon 

Length (one way): 2.6 km
Estimated time (return): 2 hours
Elevation gain: 350 m | Elevation loss: 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 (one way): 2 km
Estimated time (return): 1.5 hours
Elevation gain: 195 m | Elevation loss: 215 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 (one way): 1.8 km
Estimated time (return): 1.5 hours
Elevation gain: 150 m | Elevation loss: 150 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 (one way): 1 km loop
Estimated time (return): 20 minutes
Elevation gain: 25 m | Elevation loss: 25 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. Google Street View: Redstreak Restoration

A couple stand together facing the view of the valley
Valleyview Trail

 Valleyview

Length (one way): 1.3 km
Estimated time (return): 45 minutes
Elevation gain: 130 m | Elevation loss: 10 m
Trailhead: Redstreak Campground entrance, 2.5 km east of Radium Hot Springs; OR parking area 1 km before the campground 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. Rewarding views of the Columbia Valley.

 Redstreak Creek

Length (one way): 2.3 km
Estimated time (return): 1.5 hours
Elevation gain: 200 m | Elevation loss: 30 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 peaceful, forested path. Ideal in the early season and in the fall when the leaves are changing colour.

A person walks on the trail around the turquoise Olive Lake
Olive Lake

 Olive Lake

Length (one way): 0.3 km
Estimated time (return): 15 minutes
Elevation gain: 5 m | Elevation loss: 5 m
Trailhead: Olive Lake Day-use Area, 12 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

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

 Cobb Lake

Length (one way): 2.7 km
Estimated time (return): 2 hours
Elevation gain: 155 m | Elevation loss: 260 m
Trailhead: Cobb Lake parking lot, 17 km east of Radium Hot Springs.

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

 Dog Lake

Length (one way): 2.6 km
Estimated time (return): 1.5 hours
Elevation gain: 135 m | Elevation loss: 70 m
Trailhead: Dog Lake Day-use Area, 28 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Beautiful lake in an area of high wildlife activity.
Description: Cross two bridges over the Kootenay River and meander through old-growth forest. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the lake while you gaze up at the peaks of Mount Daer and Mount Harkin.

Adults show the bright orange Paint Pots pools to a child.
Paint Pots

 Paint Pots

Length (one way): 1 km
Estimated time (return): 40 minutes
Elevation gain: 35 m | Elevation loss: 20 m
Trailhead: Paint Pots parking lot, 86 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Culturally significant ochre deposits. Watch for bears.
Description: A gentle walk takes you to three iron-rich mineral springs that stain the surrounding earth. Come prepared for muddy trail sections.

People stand on a lookout above a waterfall at Marble Canyon
Marble Canyon

 Marble Canyon

Length (one way): 0.9 km
Estimated time (return): 30 minutes
Elevation gain: 65 m | Elevation loss: 35 m
Trailhead: Marble Canyon parking lot, 89 km north of Radium Hot Springs.

Habitat: Limestone gorge, burnt forest, many small mammals.
Description: Hike along the rim of the canyon. Look down from one of the many bridges at smooth limestone rock and impressive ice formations in the winter. Relax in the Red Chairs at the end.

 Marble Canyon to Paint Pots

Length (one way): 2.9 km
Estimated time (return): 2 hours
Elevation gain: 65 m | Elevation loss: 110 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: Pass through a mix of mature and burnt forest to connect between the two points of interest. The trail parallels the Vermilion River.

 Fireweed Loops

Length (one way): 0.5 and 0.7 km loops
Estimated time (return): 30 minutes
Elevation gain: 15 m | Elevation loss: 65 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: Walk through a quiet, shaded forest. The Vermilion Pass wildfire swept through this area in 1968. Can you spot any marks left by this fire?