Kootenay National Park Things to Do

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  • The continental divide
    The continental divide
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  • Near the beginning of the trail
    Near the beginning of the trail
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Most Recent Things to Do in Kootenay National Park

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    SINCLAIR CANYON

    by balhannah Updated May 30, 2010

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    WOW! Sinclair Canyon, this was impressive!

    The actual highway were were travelling on, passed through a narrow opening between extremely high cliffs, this is called Sinclair canyon.
    Once through this area, we could pull off the road, DO THIS as it is a chance to get out and have a look, plus get some pretty amazing photo's!
    The Chasm is about 10kms long, and very narrow.

    Located 1.5kms from Radium Hot springs.

    Sinclair  canyon
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    KOOTENAY VALLEY VIEWPOINT

    by balhannah Written May 30, 2010

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    Kootenay Valley Viewpoint, located 16 km from Radium, Hot springs is another place you "Must stop."
    The views are wonderful, lots of fir trees, which would be beautiful in Autumn, and the snow capped Mountain Peaks of the Mitchell and Vermilion mountain ranges.............
    spectacular scenery!

    Views from Kootenay valley viewpoint
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    REDWALL FAULT

    by balhannah Updated May 30, 2010

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    Only a short distance further on from Sinclair Canyon was another stop, this was at the Iron Gates parking area to take a photo of the stunning Red cliffs. The Cliffs have been stained by Iron oxides contained in the mineral waters that have bubbled to the surface here over millions of years. The cliffs lie in the fracture which is known as the "Redwall fault."

    Around this area, Bighorn sheep are often seen, so keep the eyes peeled, although often, they are on the roads edge.

    Redwall fault - beautifully coloured cliffs
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    Marble Canyon trail

    by Redlats Written Oct 4, 2009

    This trail is less than 1 kilometre each way. The trail goes over a deep (up to 40 metre) deep narrow gorge.

    Every time we drive down Highway 93, we do hike the Marble Canyon trail. It is very scenic, and not a difficult hike and well worth trying out.

    If we have more time, we also hike the Paint Pots a little further down the highway.

    Sorry that I have no pictures. Last time we were there, it was 35mm film, and I have not located my pictures yet.

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    Eleventh Stop: Simpson's River Trail

    by zrim Updated Dec 20, 2003

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    We followed the trail only a short way to stretch our legs after a long day in the car. If you follow the trail long enough you will reach Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park which is unusual because the park can only be accessed by foot or by helicopter.

    Vermilion River at Simpson's River Trailhead
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    Tenth Stop: Hector Gorge

    by zrim Updated Oct 30, 2003

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    A great overlook taking in the Kootenay Valley and several massifs. The large mountain across the gorge is a well-known mountain goat haunt. We were advised to train our binoculars on the area just above the tree line and searcg for moving white dots. Not an easy trick. At this distance any boulder looks like a moving white dot due to the undteady hands holdng the binoculars. My advice is to be patient and eventually a mounatin goat will reach the lower elevations and cross your path. (See my Jasper page which will be built shortly).

    Hector Gorge
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    Marble Canyon (9): a wall of water

    by zrim Updated Jul 18, 2003

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    This is it. The big falls at the top of the canyon. Roaring water deafens the area and a fine mist slickens the the rocky trails. I almost took a mighty spill and succeeded in wrenching my back catching my footing, but no lasting damage.

    I love how the camera was able to freeze an instant of time from this continually gushing wall of water.

    Whoooosh
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    Last Stop: a pond previously overlooked

    by zrim Written Jul 16, 2003

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    The road from Vermillion crossing to the village of Radium Hot Springs is 95 kilometers (about 60 miles) one way. And Vermilion Crossing is a good 60 or so kilometers from Banff. If you want to do Kootenay in one day, I strongly suggest an early start because stopping to see all these worthwhile places will easily be a ten to twelve hour day. But well worth it, don't you agree. I felt our day in Kootenay was one of the best that we spent in the Canadian Rockies.

    an emerald alpine pond
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    Last Stop: back at the beginning

    by zrim Written Jul 16, 2003

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    Since Kootenay just has the one road, you must retrace your route or face an extra hundred miles by taking Highway 95 up to Yoho. That would be a fine option, but we had already seen Yoho a few days previous. So we went back the way we came, which isn't all that bad. By the time we reached Vermilion Crossing and were heading back to Banff the sky had once again clouded over, giving a totally new look to the peaks of Kootenay.

    one last look at Kootenay
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    Eleventh Stop: forest fires

    by zrim Written Jul 16, 2003

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    It is an interesting walk through a recently burned forest. There were fires in Mount Shanks area in 1991, 1994 and 2002. Flames can flare fifty meters into the sky during a burn. But new life returns to the area immediately. These woods just brimmed with wildflowers.

    strolling through a recent burn
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    Ninth Stop: Olive Lake

    by zrim Written Jul 14, 2003

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    A ubiquitous alpine lake. Nice enough, but nothing too special as compared to some of the real beauties in Banff, Jasper and Yoho. The most interesting aspect of Olive Lake was the dire bear warnings that stated that black bears had been enjoying this picnic spot with the same regularity as people in the past few weeks. Unfortunately, the bears did not show as we took a brief stroll to the opposite bank of the lake.

    sunlight shimmers on Olive Lake
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    Eighth Stop: Radium Hot Springs Pool

    by zrim Written Jul 14, 2003

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    The most redeeming thing about the Hot Springs area was this hillside resplendent with bright happy daisies. Maybe I'm a grouch, but for the life of me I cannot fathom laying out ten bucks for a chance to rent a swimsuit (ick) and frolick in the cool pool with eight year old screaming ragamuffins or soak in the hot pool with eighty year old ninnies. Not that I'm against young people or old people, I just don't like 'em much.

    daisies bring cheer to the radium springs area
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    Seventh Stop: information center at Radium

    by zrim Written Jul 13, 2003

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    The information center in the village of Radium is not ostentatious, but it has this great 3-D topographical map of Kootenay. I'm something of a map fiend, so I spent a happy fifteen minutes pouring over this relief map.

    cool relief map of Kootenay
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    Sixth Stop: Sinclair Canyon

    by zrim Written Jul 13, 2003

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    Sinclair Canyon basically defines the southwestern entrance to Kootenay. It must be a dramatic sight for those who are first experiencing the Canadian Rockies and entering from the west. The road is cut between an impossibly narrow canyon. Certainly an engineering feat for the era in which it was first built (1910s). But why build a road through such a narrow canyon opening with all the difficulties that such a route poses? Because the Radium Hot Springs, the areas first real attraction, lies just beyond Sinclair Canyon.

    Sinclair Canyon and waterfall
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    Paint Pots (5): mining relics

    by zrim Written Jul 13, 2003

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    When Kootenay became a National Park in 1920--the superintendent shut down the ochre mining as being incompatable with the National Park mission. Apparently, the ochre miners just left their mining tools behind, because here the mining detritus sits in all its rusted glory. Judging by the tools--it appears that ochre mining was back-breaking work.

    detritus of a forsaken mining operation
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Kootenay National Park Things to Do

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