Floe Lake has probably the most beautiful tent sites in all the Canadian National Parks out west.
These sites are perched above the beautiful alpine pristine lake, with a 3000 foot wall of rock behind it...just stunning.
Most National Park sites for tents are not near lakes. This one perches right at lakeside. Rare and beautiful!
Mary Ann Rombach
Kootenay was not a park until the rise of the automobile and the need for transcontinental highways. Neighboring Banff and Jasper had been founded decades earlier and wealthy Canadians came by the railcar full to enjoy the glorious Canadaian Rockies. But the B.C. mountains were neglected and shut off from all but the hardiest of miners and mountaineers.
After World War I it was decided that a roadway needed to connect the Pacific Coast with the Canadian interior. The province of British Columbia owned most, if not all, of the mountain land on the western slopes of the Continental Divide. A deal was struck between the federal government and the province. Canada would build the highway along the western slopes and valleys of the Divide and in return B.C. would deed Canada five miles of land on either side of the roadway with the stipulation that it become a national park. Thus was Kootenay National Park born from the building of a roadway. Highway 93 meanders from Vermilion Pass at the northeast side of the park to Radium Hot Springs on the far southwest corner of the park. It is bordered on all sides by an exact five miles of national park (1406 square kilometers).
I know that there are proponents of solo travel. However, I cannot imagine seeing all the lovely places in the world without sharing the experience with Becky. A perfect mounatin meadow is only perfect when I am standing next to the person that I love.
Becky: thanks for being my travel companion.
Favorite thing: It is always a tricky proposition spotting wildlife. Sometimes it is just dumb luck and a bear will be grazing by the side of the road in broad daylight with no tree cover. Most times, however, you need to tread lightly and listen. Even stealthy animals make some noise when they move. Did that shrub just rustle--take a good look, there just might be a pileated woodpecker foraging for grubs. Did a branch break to the left--well maybe that buck isn't quite as cautious as he should be. Learn to see with your ears and you will find a lot of wildlife lurking in the shadows.
Favorite thing: Banff and Jasper can feel kind of crowded, especially at the must see spots like Lake Louise or the Columbian Icefields. There is a cure for the crowds and that cure is called Kootenay. I can assure you that if you drive over the Continental Divide and take a hike along one of the lesser known turnouts like Simpson River or Dog Lake you will find solitude. On a sunny day nothing can be better--but bring bug spray because the mosquitos haven't figured out that all the prime meat is in Alberta.
The Kootenay Parkway (Highway 93) bisects the park from north to south. Many of the park's key attractions and scenic highlights may be experienced along this 94 km route. These include: the Continental Divide and Fireweed Trail, which takes you through the site of a 1968 forest fire; Marble Canyon, a deep and scenic gorge carved by the waters of Tokumm Creek; the Paint Pots, colourful natural pools formed by mineral springs; the Kootenay Valley Viewpoint, and picturesque Olive Lake. A variety of short interpretive trails and picnic sites enhance the parkway experience.
Fondest memory: You may see wildlife while driving the parkway. Elk, white-tailed deer, mule deer, mountain goats (at Mount Wardle) and bighorn sheep (in the Radium Hot Springs area) are fairly common, while black bear, moose, coyotes and even wolves are less common surprises. Please drive carefully and pull well off the road when stopping to view wildlife. Some wildlife are dangerous, and all are easily disturbed, so please observe them from the safety of your vehicle.
Favorite thing: This is the sight that makes a side trip to this park well worth the time. This is a very deep narrow Canyon full of falls created by Glacier run off