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Kootenay National Park RV Vacation

About Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park is located in British Columbia, alongside Banff National Park (located in Alberta), with the boundary between the two parks marked by the Continental Divide. You can stand on the dividing line and take a picture with the Continental Divide sign. The park is one of the seven contiguous parks that make up the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site, which consists of four national parks: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho, and three British Columbia provincial parks: Hamber, Mount Assiniboine, and Mount Robson.

The Banff-Windermere Highway (Hwy 93) runs for 58 miles through the backbone of this narrow park. The park stretches for just five miles on either side of the highway, making most of its attractions easily accessible. There are plenty of hiking trails in Kootenay. The Paint Pots trail takes you to ochre-colored mineral springs historically used by Indigenous People and miners – some of the mining equipment was left behind and can be seen on the trail. The Marble Canyon trail crisscrosses the turquoise, glacial waters of Tokumm Creek and leads to a powerful waterfall. A large population of mountain goats live within Kootenay and can sometimes be seen near Mt. Wardle, licking the minerals on the rocks above the highway to gain essential nutrients.

At the southern end of the park, is the town of Radium Hot Springs, famous for its hot spring pools with a 104F soaking pool set amidst the spectacular rock walls of Sinclair Canyon. There is also a cooler pool, at 84F for swimming, and a very cold (60F) plunge pool. Nearby are the Sinclair Canyon Trails, an extensive and picturesque trail system, and beautiful Windermere Lake, Invermere, and Panorama Mountain Village are just 15 minutes from Radium. Here, there is adventure for the whole family, with rentals for water sports, ATVs, and mountain bikes, a sandy lakeside beach, and a zipline adventure course.

Interesting Facts About Kootenay National Park of Canada

  • About 17,000 hectares of the park burned in 2003 after lightning started a fire.
  • Before the 1900s, people used the iron-rich Paint Pots to create ochre paint pigment.