Explore Kootenay National Park in the Fall
Kootenay National Park is nestled right outside of Radium and right below Banff National Park. Just like it’s less popular neighbor, Yoho National Park, Kootney isn’t as busy compared. But if you’re up for a hike (which if you’re reading this blog, I know you are) then this is the park for you.
Best Time to Visit
I visited in the fall and I cannot recommend it enough. The weather was stunning, far fewer crowds, and the bugs are all GONE!
If you can’t come in the fall, summer is an amazing time to explore.
Where to Stay
If you’re traveling here in the summer months when the weather is warmer, you can choose to camp inside the park or even go backpacking (permits and reservations pending of course). But if you’re looking for a little more comfort at night, then I recommend staying at the Prestige Radium Hot Springs Resort in Radium. Not only is the hotel very comfortable, but they also have a delicious restaurant where you can grab breakfast before you head out and dinner when you come back.
The most popular hike (and for good reason) is Floe Lake and the Rockwall Trail. Hiking south on the Rockwall Trail 33.8 miles one-way with 3,400 feet of elevation gain. Floe Lake is 12 miles round trip with 3,150 feet of elevation gain. Floe Lake can easily be done as a day hike and if you’re a trail runner, you can run the Rockwall Trail in a day. But to really experience this area, I recommend backpacking. I day hiked it, but after seeing how stunning it was, I wish I had done a backpacking trip.
Additional Hikes to Check Out:
Honeymoon, Redearth and Healy Passes
Other Things To Do
Soak In the Hotsprings
This hot spring was amazing. I was having knee issues and I swear the next day I felt better. I spent two hours soaking here. Part of the time I spent reading the other part I spent meditating and focusing inwards, so it was an amazingly relaxing experience. Even solo. It’s located about 15 minutes outside of Radium and right at the entrance of the national park. I went around 7pm and sat there until they closed at 9pm. I wanted fewer crowds and it was a great way to unwind from the day. My biggest regret was not going nightly while I was at Radium.
Hire Playwest Mountain Experience as a guide
Chris is one of the best humans I’ve ever met. He is the owner at Playwest and was also my guide. He has a great sense of humor, great personality, friendly, and so knowledgeable about the area. The hike we did together in the Purcell Mountains, is only really only locals know about. In all my Googling of trails, I didn’t even come across it. Even as an experienced hiker and backpacker, I love going with local guides because they know the area so well they make the place come to life with knowledge. Plus they will show you the cool spots you see on Instagram that aren’t geotagged.
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