Explore the most popular Camping trails in Kootenay National Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

hiking
snow
1 month ago

Three of us Hiked the Rockwall over thanksgiving weekend. We drove from Edmonton, dropped the car at Floe lake and then hitched to paint pots. Late start meant we stayed the first night in the Helmet/Ochre campsite, built a fire and enjoyed the river. Trail in good condition, covered in snow but otherwise dry. The night was cold enough that we slept with our faces tucked in our sleeping bags and missed the sunrise! The following day we hiked to Helmet falls, again doing a shorter day as a result of a late start. Trail was like a winter wonderland the whole way up- falls included; frozen around the edges and crashing water coming through the center. Day 3 was exhausting, none of us had done much hiking in the snow before, and while the incline was a challenge, we were pushed to our limits when we topped the treeline. The snow was thigh deep, and still dumping, and the visibility varied between 20-50 meters. The larch trees were beautiful while they lasted, but the depth of the snow and the lack of visibility was quite terrifying. While there were still some trail markers visible, it would be upwards of half an hour between each one, and with no distinguishable trail through the snow, the GPS signal on Alltrails was the only guide we had. Unfortunately, we saw none of the views due to the visibility and we're all planning to do the hike again as a result! When we hit wolverine pass, it was 5.20 pm, and we were afraid that we'd be hiking in the dark as there is no campsite here- contrary to the yellow marker on this app- but luckily the descent down to tumbling creek was beneath the cloud and easy to follow, we arrived at the tumbling creek campsite right as it got dark to dig out a campsite. It snowed so much overnight that we decided to follow Terry's route, and take the tumbling creek access back to paint pots. All round a beautiful hike, but definitely too late in the year to be above the treeline without snowshoes as the snow just slows you down far too much to manage 25km days with limited daylight! Trails were easy to follow when they weren't buried and alltrails navigated us perfectly the whole way around. Wicked time altogether! Loved camping in snow, and a great route to take in the event that it takes longer than expected due to the well maintained access routes (Though Numa is currently closed!)

backpacking
1 month ago

Departed Paint Pots Sept 24th in wet conditions, late, so stopped overnight at the Helmet/Ochre campsite (one of the few campsites where fires are allowed). Trail in excellent condition with numerous wet spots. Cool and rainy throughout the next day to Helmet Falls. Trail wet but in great condition otherwise. Saw a grizzly sow with one cub rummaging in one of the slide meadows. No issues with them. Helmet campsite very nice with good water accesses. Hiked up to the base of Helmet Falls (about 2.5kms round trip). A must do side trip especially in the late fall when the larch trees are yellow. The views here above the tree line are stunning. Temperatures dropped throughout the night with intermittent rain and ice pellets. Climb out of Helmet to Tumbling Creek challenging but in very good condition. The reward at the summit is beyond words. Open alpine meadows in fall colours, bordered by larch, balsam and fir. Lots of little creek crossings. Pass became snow covered with icy sections. Had to look for trail markers (white with yellow reflective stripes) to keep on trail. Trail markers only about 20 cm tall as most, if not all, have been snapped off short. Was not that big a deal but if snow was deeper, it could get interesting. The descent past Wolverine Pass into Tumbling Creek campsite through open alpine meadows was the highlight of the hike by far! Meadows, creeks, rock slides (minor scrambling), glacial lakes, hanging glaciers with ice caves, moraine ridges add to the spectacular view of the Rockwall...it has it all! Great campground at Tumbling Creek, but temperatures in the -2 range and dropping to -5 or less by morning. Heavy wet snow throughout the night which had to be punched off every few hours made for a long cold damp night. About 10cm. The weather forecast was calling for a major snow event for Friday, and since we planned to stop at Numa Creek Thursday, and Floe Lake Friday, and our equipment and boots were thoroughly wet already, we sadly made the decision to cut our hike short and bail out of the high country via the Tumbling Creek trail back to Paint Pots trailhead. This is the most underrated trail in the Rockwall complex in my opinion. It is superbly maintained through numerous avalanche slide zones and closely follows along the steep banks of the Tumbling Creek, with its numerous waterfalls, ledges, and rapids. It would be a challenging steady climb in the opposite direction without a doubt. Lots of wildlife tracks present. Cougar, bear, elk or moose (large hoof), mostly found once the trail turned from snow/ice covered to muddy sections. Remainder of the hike to Paint Pots uneventful. Met a young lady from Spain just starting a solo Rockwall loop, so hoping she’s prepared for her first blast of Canadian winter weather

hiking
1 month ago

One of the great multi day walks of the world! Well maintained trails and campsites with strict limits that leaves a lot of solitude. Stunning passes, glaciers (while they last) and waterfalls. Much steeper grade than trails in the Sierra but less length than the grinds of the JMT. Can link up to Great Divide Trail and Assiniboine.

hiking
2 months ago

The worst part of this trail is the booking system The reservation people have absolutely no clue about the trails and have very limited experience themselves. I recommend when booking you know exactly where you are going and what alternative you have

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Last day of circuit from Paint Pots. 1968 burn through lower portion provides continuous views.

hiking
muddy
2 months ago

Muddy on the flatter sections due to recent rain. Varied scenery throughout.

hiking
2 months ago

Easiest segment on the Rockwall loop. Good trail except for steep or brushy sections closer to Numa Creek. Muddy today due to rain near Numa Creek. Tumbling Creek was an exceptionally nice campground. Numa Creek allows camp fires. Tent sites are on opposite side of Creek from food area.

hiking
2 months ago

Good trail with some puddles. A little steep descending into Tumbling Creek campsite. Mix of forest and interesting alpine. Great views.

muddy
2 months ago

Day 2 of counter-clockwise loop. Muddy patches to step around, otherwise a good well trodden trail with few roots. Scenic views. Well shaded.

hiking
bridge out
muddy
rocky
scramble
2 months ago

Perfect little hike for a young family. Only about an hour. Trailers are easy and many great views

Included the red streak loop in the campground, then headed down to the hot springs and back up again. Great trail run. Lots of beautiful trees and shade.

hiking
2 months ago

Great short trail with a lot of climbing at the beginning. Shady and cool even in an August day. To get to trailhead park at any of the Radium Hot Springs lots and head for the entrance to the pools. There is a picnic area with two bathrooms just before you enter the pools. Trailhead is on the right as you face the building.

on The Rockwall

hiking
2 months ago

We couldn't get spots at Floe Lake, so settled for two nights at Tumbling Creek and two nights at Helmut Falls. Hiked in Sunday 11 Aug to Tumbling in cool but settled weather. Steep trail toward Tumbling, but spectacular. Heavy rain that night - all night - and rain all next day. Nonetheless the hiked back to Tumbling Pass and part way down to Numa. Cold & wet, we returned to Tumbling Creek for dinner. Even though foggy, still spectacular views of Tumbling Pass and Glacier. Woke up next day to blue skies and no rain, headed up to Wolverine & Rockwall passes. Again, unbelievable views along the Rock Wall. Tough last hump up Limestone pass, then a knee-numbing descent into Helmut. A nice night with a little rain just before dawn. Day hiked up to Goodsir Pass. Next day, sunny again for our hike out. Took our son's dog Yuki with us - she did really well. wanted to chase ground squirrels & chipmunks & frogs, but we didn't let her off leash. This is a hike not for the meek. Highly rewarding every step, even in rain. Next time we'll book earlier and make sure we get spots at Floe.

hiking
3 months ago

Did the trail over August 14, 15, 16 as part of a longer 100 k 4 day hike. I started at Egypt lake, hiked 30 k to Floe Lake, then hiked another 30 k to Helmet Falls, then another 15 k back to the Paint Pots trailhead. At the start I hitched from Paint Pots to Vermillion Crossing very easily and got picked up by the 4th vehicle that passed. I would NOT recommend hiking in such a short time because it involved over 2000 m ascent days. It would be nice to have some time to explore the pass areas especially. I've done alot of hiking in the rockies and this was a difficult hike for sure. The kootenay area tends to be pretty rugged and steep compared to some other area in the rockies. I would put this hike in the top few for views, it was amazing! Also, trail maintenance was some of the best I've seen in Canada. If you are in good shape consider this hike a must do.

hiking
3 months ago

So amazing !! We went floe lake to paint pots, a little more elevation this way, but so incredible. We had our two dogs with us and they loved it. Trail was in great condition !

hiking
3 months ago

Just did the rockwall trail NOT the full trail but most of it since nums bridge was closed we didnt try to get out that way. This BY FAR was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. This trail in many many places is very narrow and works best for people that dont have to keep a wide stance because they are carrying such a big load! such tiny areas to walk in. This trail is NOT for people who haven't done alot of conditioning and preparation. I thought I was in shape enough for it. NOPE. I walked out with 2 sprained ankles not from twisting them but from all the gear you have to carry if doing a multiday hike. Lots of beautiful scenery but in my out of shape opinion NOT worth it! Although we will go to wolverine pass again and just take an easier route. Wolverine pass was the highlight of our trip because you are out of the national park and can camp and have a fire in between mountains with not a soul in sight. If you are in the best shape of your life and enjoy more of a challenge then this trail is for you. If your like me and enjoy a nice scenic easy trail DO NOT OVERESTIMATE your abilities! I almost died!

hiking
3 months ago

Was a great trail with amazing mountain views along the way. A little more than I like to do per day as my feet ached by the time I’d arrive to each camp. Camps were well kept as were the trails and was well marked.

hiking
3 months ago

Hiked this from July 13-15. Planned to do it over 4 days but because of weather we hiked it out in 3. Despite that I still recommend this hike! Beautiful views!

hiking
3 months ago

Views are amazing. Trail could use more maintenance however.

hiking
3 months ago

This trail was extremely challenging, but equally rewarding! My phone tracked the distance at 67km, not 52 as AllTrails says. I find with AllTrails the distance is always a lot less than I track with my phone. They must measure ‘as the crow flys’ instead of ‘as the weasel climbs’. Heads up to anyone traveling in the next few weeks: Minimal snow on top of the passes in mid-July. The trail is not well maintained. The brush was so over grown in some areas I could not use my hiking poles. This also caused us another issue from the heavy rainfall, all the foliage was wet and subsequently we got soaked wading our way through the greenery. We passed about 30 large fallen trees coming in and out of the Numa Creek campsite. Floe Lake is the crown jewel of the hike. I’m happy we completed the whole trail, but if I come back I would just go in and out of Floe. Happy Hiking!

hiking
4 months ago

Trail is very difficult and should only be attempted by experienced hikers! That being said it’s also one of the most beautiful and rewarding.

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

hiking
muddy
4 months ago

Most intense hike we’ve ever done. Every morning you get started with a steep incline right off the trail but every day the scenery was incredible. We went south to north and our garmins tracked 66km with 3200 meters of elevation. Snow was mostly melted and if not should be now (we hiked July 10-13). We lugged around snowshoes as per recommendations from Parks Canada and they weren’t needed. Some gaiters and good boots will suffice this time of year.

backpacking
5 months ago

We decided to hike this trail on Memorial Day weekend. The trail leading up to Helmet-Orchre Junction was fairly easy and well maintained with little blow down or snow. A little further down from the campsite the trail became impassible because of snow accumulation on the north facing side of the mountain. Crampons, and snow baskets on our trekking poles, and gaiters helped but we got caught post holing in snow drifts waist deep trying to find the trail. I would recommend snow shoes for hiking the trail at this time of year. Avalanches are still an issue at higher elevations on this trail, so I also recommend renting avalanche gear at University of Calgary Outdoor Centre and knowing how to use it.

A nice easy hike through the trees, at the peak there’s a place to take pictures before heading down to the road by Sinclair Canyon!

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