Kootenay National Park is a true gem, nestled on the west slope of the Continental Divide and stretching north and south for 104 km. Established in 1920, this 1406.4 km2 park is a nature lover’s paradise, bounded on the east by Banff and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park and on the north by Yoho National Park.
The contiguous block of Kootenay, Yoho, Jasper, and Banff, augmented by several provincial parks and wilderness areas on its periphery, is among the largest protected areas in the world and the largest in the Rocky Mountains. The national and provincial parks form the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks World Heritage Site and offer visitors a spectacularly varied landscape, from cactus to wet-belt western red cedar and from alpine tundra to forests of Douglas fir. The park is home to large mammals such as mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, black bear, and grizzly, as well as numerous smaller mammals and over 190 species of birds.
The Kootenay has lived in this area for over 10,000 years, and the park is rich in human history. David Thompson, who was exploring a route to the Pacific, was the first European to travel through the area. Although he did not actually pass through what is now the park, he wintered at Kootenai House close by. James Sinclair was recorded as the first European in Kootenay in 1841.
Visitors can enjoy the park’s many facilities, such as the Kootenay Parkway, which passes through the park and provides dramatic views of snow-capped peaks and narrow canyons. The park offers year-round camping, swimming at the hot springs, and outdoor recreational facilities. So come and explore the natural beauty and rich history of Kootenay National Park, and let the splendor of the Canadian Rocky Mountains take your breath away!
Did you know about Kootenay National Park?
- Kootenay National Park is home to the Radium Hot Springs, one of the largest hot springs in Canada. Visitors can soak in the mineral-rich waters and enjoy the park’s natural beauty year-round.
- The park is home to the Sinclair Canyon, which features a deep, narrow gorge with towering limestone cliffs, and is also home to the Sinclair Creek, which is one of the most popular hiking trails in the park.
- The park is home to the Marble Canyon, a unique geological formation created by the erosion of limestone by the Vermilion River. The canyon features a variety of minerals and colors, creating a beautiful and unique landscape.
- The park is home to the Stanley Glacier, one of the most easily accessible glaciers in the Canadian Rockies. Visitors can hike to the glacier and get an up-close look at the ice and rock formations.
- Kootenay National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including large mammals such as mountain goats, bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, black bear, and grizzly, as well as numerous smaller mammals and over 190 species of birds.
- The park is also home to Olive Lake, a small but picturesque lake located in the park’s interior. The lake is known for its beautiful turquoise color and popular spot for picnicking and swimming in the summer.
- The park is home to Stanley Peak, which is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the park. The peak offers a challenging climb but rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountain ranges.
Google Maps of Kootenay National Park
This embeddable Google Map generated for free on Canada Maps.com