From cactus to glacier Established in 1920, Kootenay National Park represents the south-western region of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. From glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to the semi-arid grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench, where cactus grows, this park is home to a rich diversity of landscapes and ecology.
It's only when you get to the lower lookout does the adventure begin. Take the trail right up the side of the valley wall to a waterfall and cave. Then continue up to the upper plateau for amazing views of the glacier and valley. Watch out for a fast running stream that can be difficult to traverse between the cave and the plateau. To get down, go to the opposite side of the plateau to try the north face back down. Be cautious of the scree and loose gravel in a steep decline back down to the lookout. The extra hiking to the plateau likely added 2 hrs but well worth it.
This was a very pleasurable hike - about 10 km out and back. It is rated easy but some may find it a challenge. It takes about 45 mins or so to break through the trees, then the views of the glacier and falls in the distance become amazing. We did the hike with 3 kids, 9 and 8 years, and they handled it fine.
Great hike! Views of the Rockwall are fantastic. We went from Helmet falls to Tumbling Creek to Floe Lake and then out. The hike to Helmet was along a creek for much of it and the park crews have been out and cleared all but a few dead fall out of the way. The suspension bridge has been repaired and made the river crossing a non-issue. The alpine pass from Helmet to Tumbling is awesome in early August with alpine flowers in full bloom, some of the reddest paint brushes! and ones with pink highlights. We did not take the short walk to Wolverine pass and we regret it a bit. Part of the walk down to Numa is a bit like a jungle but the switchbacks up out of Numa were very nice ( if that is possible). and not to steep and often a 10-30m flat section after a climb. Great view of Floe lake from the pass. Parks Canada has done an awesome job of trail maintenance, food lockers at each campsite and running water close by all camps. I would recommend the hike to anyone that loves fresh air and the mountains.