Kootenay National Park Travel Guide

  • Things to Do
    by shavy
  • Welcome to Kootenay!
    Welcome to Kootenay!
    by PinkFloydActuary
  • Goats!
    Goats!
    by PinkFloydActuary

Kootenay National Park Things to Do

  • Kootenay Valley Viewpoint

    Continuing the return trip to Banff, we stopped at this scenic lookout. From here, you'll be treated to wide open views of the Mitchell and Vermilion mountain ranges. Down in the valley, you'll be able to spot the river as well. It surprised me that we had places like this all to ourselves. The views are incredible.

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  • Olive Lake

    When we passed this lake going west, we knew we had to make a stop on the way back. The water is incredibly clear, and has that olive-green color to it that surely inspired its name. There's a small parking lot and some picnic tables - from there, it's an extremely short, flat trail to a small overlook of the lake. There's a worn trail that seemed...

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  • Numa Falls

    As is mentioned in many places, this may not be the biggest waterfall you will run across in the Rockies, but it is extremely accessible, and the view of the falls with the mountains in the background is still a beautiful sight. There was a trail that started past the bridge that crosses over the falls. You literally only need to walk about 100...

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  • Marble Canyon

    This was the first real hike of the trip. Our guidebook said the trail is 1 km each way, but I have to wonder if that was on the short side, or as the crow flies. In any case, this is a relatively easy hike (as I recall, only one modest staircase towards the beginning.) After that, you can criss-cross the canyon on a number of bridges, getting...

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  • The Continental Divide

    As you enter the park from Banff, this is the first roadside pull off - a marker that splits the park, and tells you towards which ocean the rivers now flow. You have the opportunity to read the marker, take a picture, and if nature calls...there is a pit toilet available.

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  • Meet the bears

    During our drive in Kootenay National Park, we didn't expected to see bears as what we've heard from the others, they said bears are not visible of that timeAnd all of a sudden we've seen many of them here in this park and in Whistler areasThis is all I wanted to see coming to this part of the country, I never seen wild bear so closedAs I look to...

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  • The lake is everywhere and its so...

    Wherever we go in this part of the country the water or lake is everywhere to findAnd it gives a wonderful views, the trees and mountains around, Kootenay national park is very big and if you do some hiking you need at least a few days hereWe didn't do any hikes during this trip, we have a very limited time on this journey, there so many to see and...

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  • More to discover around the park

    Never get enough to see the landscape every corner were photogenic, the only thing you'll get enough if you run out of memory card of your cameraWe have plenty of extra memory card this time, as we know before coming here it will be clicking here and thereIts an amazing views and nature were so natural and so peaceful, the mountains around there...

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  • Admire the landscape

    Just like other national parks, Kootenay offers a wide variety of landscape, a fascinating combination of forested valleys, grasslands, lakes and hanging glaciers attracts visitors from all over the countryVisitors can explore the many nature trails that wind through the dense forest, marvel at tranquil lakes, spend time watching wildlife or simply...

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  • The bridges at the park gives a nice...

    The narrow gorge that the bridges take you over gives you a better view of how Tokumm Creek has slowly cut and carved its way through the limestone over thousands of years, almost in a snake like manner, although it is tempting to lean over to get a better view of the intricacy and depth of the canyonThe trail starts off in the signed Marble Canyon...

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  • Marble Canyon

    Marble Canyon is located in Kootenay National Park along highway 93 if you are traveling from the Trans-Canada highway, head south on highway 93 for 17km and you will see the signed parking lot for Marble Canyon from Radium Hot Springs the distance is about 88km heading north on highway93This is a very popular spot with well maintained gravel...

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  • Walking or hiking to Marble Canyon

    Walking or hike is a unique trail that is ideal for families and people of all ages what gives this hike its uniqueness is the interpretative geological signs along the trail which provide descriptions of how the canyon was carved out over timeThe falls you see at the end of the interpretative hike are part of Tokumm Creek as it pushes its way...

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  • The Continental Divide

    Right near the Banff/ Kootenay border is where the Continental divide sits, the boundary line for where water runs east into the Carribean/ Atlantic and West into the Pacific ocean. A large roadside marker marks the spot. This is also the dividing line between Alberta and British Columbia.

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  • RADIUM HOT SPRINGS

    After departing Invermere, we followed Highway 95 to the small village of Radium Hot springs. The village is named this, and there are popular thermal springs here to!Radium Hot Springs are odourless as much of the gas has dissipated before it emerges at the outlet at the Springs. The water is 44deg C at the source, then is chlorinated and enters...

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  • NUMA WATERFALLS

    Numa Falls, and another wow! when we saw the amount of water rushing down and over the falls, sure was impressive! The falls, formed by the Vermilion River, are a short walk from the parking lot, where there are picnic tables. It is a lovely place to stop for a tea break.The old bridge gives the best view of the falls and Vermilion Canyon below....

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  • SINCLAIR CANYON

    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...

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  • KOOTENAY VALLEY VIEWPOINT

    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!

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  • REDWALL FAULT

    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...

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  • Marble Canyon trail

    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...

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  • Eleventh Stop: Simpson's River Trail

    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.

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  • Tenth Stop: Hector Gorge

    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...

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Kootenay National Park Shopping

  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Jul 22, 2014

    In the middle of the park, you'll find the little bit of civilization that exists at Vermillion Crossing. There's a small cabin complex, a restaurant (couldn't tell if it was open), but if you're out and about without lunch, the Godsend is the store. There's a refrigerator with sandwiches, snacks, and drinks, as well as an assortment of snacks (bars, trail mix, etc,) It's not cheap, but it can fill you up. We bought 3 sandwiches and two packs of trail mix - the bill was just under $20. If you don't bring food with you, this is pretty much your choice. They also have plenty of the standard souvenirs you'll find throughout the parks...

    Kootenay Park Lodge

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Kootenay National Park Local Customs

  • Moose

    We saw a female moose, but as soon as she caught sight of us she bolted into the brush and therefore I could not get a photo. I'm sort of glad she did that because we saw far too many animals in the Canadian parks that have become accustomed to people. Wild animals should be wild and should be skittish around people. (This photo comes from my...

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  • same buck zoomed

    I didn't get all that close to the buck, but my zoom lense brought him in nicely. Even so, I twisted my ankle twice as I was busy trying to frame the buck in my camera sights.This was along the deserted trail to Dog Lake. Nice camping grounds. A picnic area. But not a human or evidence of a camper in sight. Maybe the voracious mosquitos had...

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  • A buck laying low

    The deer were actually more skittish than the elk, bighorn sheep or bears. Skittishness is a good thing in a wild animal. They should not feel comfortable around people. People and wild animals are not meant to be friends. Animals are to be admired, yes--but they should be free to remain independent and wild.

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Kootenay National Park Tourist Traps

  • zrim's Profile Photo

    by zrim Written Jul 14, 2003

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    It must have an allure, but I can't really see it. Just two normal looking swimming pools. One is a cool pool where kids play their normal swimming games and splash around and make a bunch of noise. The other pool is a hot springs pool which is warm enough, I guess. But then so is my bathtub at home. I don't understand why anyone would want to travel thousands of miles to take a hot bath with a couple hundred strangers. My loss, I guess.

    Just a swimming pool
    Related to:
    • National/State Park
    • Road Trip

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Kootenay National Park Off The Beaten Path

  • Woolly or Western Groundsel

    These little guys are tiny flowers with heads measuring about 15 milimeters. Groundsels are sometimes referred to as butterweeds.

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  • Fireweed

    We did not find fireweed on the Fireweed Trail. I suspect that it was still too early in the season at that high altitude. However, we did find fireweed in the Kootenay Valley off of the Simpson's River Trail. Fireweed gets its name because it is one of the first plants that springs to life in the aftermath of a burn. Fireweed even appeared in...

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  • Flora: take some time to look down as...

    The mountain vistas are magnificant--of that, there can be no doubt. But the meadows and woodland also provide a splendid habitat for wildflowers of all shapes, sizes and colors. This photo portrays the Shrubby Cinquefoil.

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Kootenay National Park Favorites

  • Marble Canyon

    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

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  • Best Tent Site

    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

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  • A marriage of roadway and parkland

    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...

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Explore Deeper into Kootenay National Park
Marble Canyon (9): a wall of water
Things to Do
Last Stop: a pond previously overlooked
Things to Do
Last Stop: back at the beginning
Things to Do
Eleventh Stop: forest fires
Things to Do
Share your travels with someone close to you
Favorites
Mountain Blue-Eyed-Grass
Off The Beaten Path
Spotting Wildlife
Favorites
Ninth Stop: Olive Lake
Things to Do
Labrador Tea
Off The Beaten Path
Molting Sheep
Local Customs
Bighorn Sheep
Local Customs
Eighth Stop: Radium Hot Springs Pool
Things to Do
Seventh Stop: information center at Radium
Things to Do
Sixth Stop: Sinclair Canyon
Things to Do
Fifth Stop: Kootenay Valley Viewpoint
Things to Do
Please don't eat the daisies
Off The Beaten Path
A place to escape the crowds and tour buses
Favorites
An array of wood lilies
Off The Beaten Path
Yellow Sweet-Vetch
Off The Beaten Path
Paint Pots (5): mining relics
Things to Do
Paint Pots (4): the real scoop
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Paint Pots (3): sacred spot
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Fourth Stop: On the Trail of the Paint Pots
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Paint Pots (2): ochre
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Marble Canyon (8): into the jaws of the abyss
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Marble Canyon (7): boulder came tumbling this way
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Marble Canyon (2): the color of water
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Marble Canyon (6): ice flow
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Marble Canyon (5): mosses and lichen
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Marble Canyon (4): a natural bridge
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Marble Canyon (3): the mouth of the canyon
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Third Stop: Marble Canyon (a tragic story)
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Second Stop: a glimpse of Stanley Glacier
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Fireweed Trail (3): a peek at some peaks
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Fireweed Trail (2)
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First Stop: Fireweed Trail
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Sinclair Canyon
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Paint Pots
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Marble Canyon
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Radium Hot Springs
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Map of Kootenay National Park

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