Explore the most popular lake 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.

backpacking
26 days ago

Fantastic hike! Would definitely recommend staying overnight if you manage to get a spot - beautiful campground. The first 8km are pretty easy, gentle elevation and very scenic took us about 2 hours with a couple snack breaks. Once you reach the headwall however it gets way more intense, about an hour or so straight of switchbacks with a big elevation gain. Once you get to the top it’s less than a km to the lake - nice to jump in after a sweaty day of hiking. Pretty narrow trail at some spots but overall would go back!

hiking
26 days ago

This is just a partial recording as my all trails app stopped recording. Beautiful hike and scramble up pharaoh peak

I don't reccomend this hike due to mosquitos, and it was easy to miss the lake and hike in even heavier mosquitos. Hiked this from the campground, by the theater. 2 suspension bridges have pretty view of river. Sign after bridge was helpful. A few flowers were pretty in the woods. Take an unmarked but dirt, well trodden trail to right to reach lake. if you get to the next, confusing trail sign (by the warped railroad style wooden bridge), turn around, you passed it. The trail also thins, and there's thicker plant life and mosquitos after that. Also bear activity in area.

terrific day of hiking to floe lake. last 3 km were a little difficult as it was a jot jot July day but what a surprise to get to the camp site and e experience a day in the area. played around with a released chunk of ice that floated along side the lake like an east coast iceberg. magnificent day, and met some tremendous folks from all over. Fallen burnt out trees allowed us to experience what heavy winds the previous night can do to change the character of trail. This after considerable work was done with a chain saw the previous to clear the trail. I'd do this again in a heartbeat and will certainly do it again this year.

1 month ago

Good

hiking
1 month ago

Honestly not worth the effort.

Quick run down: went on the trail at the end of June and honestly it seems like it hasn’t been maintained for 5 years (or the latter half of it at least). The first 8 or so km is OK, but there are still a lot of fallen logs and overgrown bush on the trail to contend with. After this 8km point the trail gets really funky, landslides and completely overgrown areas crowd the trail. Stay near the river to make it all the way to the 10km turn off sign, which the trail is incredibly difficult to follow - even for an experienced hiker. Didn’t actually make it to the sharp incline to the top of Kauffman’s Lake as rain set in and the trail was unfindable. Do your best to follow a few of the rock structures we set up to indicate the trail. Otherwise you’re simply hiking through and forest destroyed by a fire.

birding
2 months ago

Very pleasant walk - great length, good trail, and very few bugs. Very few bird sightings, but could hear a few.

The view at the end was FANTASTIC!! Super easy at the start, however the trail was littered with fallen trees at the last several kms. Feels like you’re playing that dinosaur game on chrome when internet shuts down. Also, last 1-2 km had waist deep snow. My buddy and I trekked through it so maybe you can follow our tracks to the lake!! The Lake was frozen.

hiking
5 months ago

We attempted to try this one 2/18/18. Lots of fresh snow, had to turn around because of the trail conditions. For a beginner like me, I found it really challenging .

hiking
10 months ago

Decent walk/ hike if you don't have the whole day for a hike. Scenic through the forest with a lake at the end. Falls colours make it a great one for sept/ oct. Easy for all and good with dogs.

on The Rockwall

10 months ago

Amazing trail. Got caught in a bit of weather but everyday was amazing views

hiking
11 months ago

Nice, easy trail with pretty scenery. A good low-elevation option for when the weather is questionable as it was the day we went. I imagine this trail would get quite busy on nice days, so I recommend going on a rainy day and/or in shoulder season like we did. It was still fairly busy, but not too bad since it was late September and it was intermittently rainy.

Deep into the woods and a decent incline but beautiful views of the forest. Quiet. 6 km and worth it

It was super smokey from the Vernant Creek wildfires so views were masked. Sweet trail through the old burn of 2003 with lots of purple fireweed up until the steep switch backs, but absolutely worth it. Could do it as a long day hike, but I booked a campsite for the night and in the morning it was unbelievably gorgeous! Hard work but worth it!

Nice trail. Cobb lake is beautiful. We had a bear encounter but not problems with it... worth doing again!

Great for running! Soft trail.

on Cobb Lake Trail

hiking
Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Beautiful trail, easy to navigate. Switchbacks make the elevation gains/losses easy to take in. Densely forested so animal sightings are common. Half way you pass over a small creek via little wooden bridge. Peaceful spot to sit for a few minutes. Lake was calm and clear with fish jumping. Again very peaceful.

hiking
Friday, August 11, 2017

Nice Trail.

Very easy to find off of the highway. Just look for a small place to pull off with a little kiosk to one side. If your coming from Radium its right after you see a T-intersection sign.

We did see a bear right in the parking lot as we were getting ready to hike. The bear was in the berry patch next to the parking lot and had no interested in us, not sure he even noticed us.

The hike was very steady without very steep up or down hill, switch backs made all the elevation gains and drops easy.

The lake was a nice lake, I wish I had a fishing pole as there were a ton a jumping fish even in the middle of the day, i am sure not many people fish this small lake.

hiking
Thursday, July 06, 2017

Interesting hike with good flowers. The bridges early on were a highlight, but then no views until you reach the pretty lake. Lots of mosquitos.

backpacking
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The trail was heavily blocked by avalanche debris, but it had beautiful views. Hardly any tree cover, so the mountains are very visible throughout the trail. Did not make it to the lake because the snow and debris proved to be too difficult. (End of May, 2017)

backpacking
Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The trail was heavily blocked by avalanche debris, but it had beautiful views. Hardly any tree cover, so the mountains are very visible throughout the trail. Did not make it to the lake because the snow and debris proved to be too difficult. (End of May, 2017)

hiking
Saturday, May 20, 2017

There is significant avalanche damage throughout a good portion of this trail - large trees, debris and snow cover at least a kilometre stretch through the middle portion of the trail (about 3km in), manageable if you are ready to climb, but wouldn't recommend for beginners. The trail is also a little hard to follow through these portions as the trees and snow are covering the trail. We made it 8.5km in but could not reach the lake as the last 1.5km of the trail was a steep incline and covered in fallen trees and 3-4ft of snow (in late May). Could possibly summit if you had ice pick and proper winter footwear but we didn't want to risk it. The majority of the trail is fairly easy terrain, aside from avalanche damaged zones. Also note, the bridge at the third river crossing is now non-existent and there is a large log in its place. We were able to cross on the log but we had to do a somewhat difficult shimmy down the riverbank to reach the log as the trail cuts off at a steep embankment. This national park was also affected by a wildfire and this trail takes you right through the burn zone. Re-growth has stated but bring sunscreen as you don't really have any tree cover. Beautiful views throughout, especially later on in the trail and very lightly trafficked (we only saw one other couple up there). I would recommend this hike but it may be better late June onwards so the last portion of the trail is more manageable and you can easily get to the lake!

backpacking
Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I took my 13 year old daughter on this trail last August and we had an amazing time! Stunning views.

backpacking
Monday, January 23, 2017

Absolutely amazing! It was a very tough trail and I would definitely recommend to do it in 5 days instead of 4 if you are unsure. Expect some rain. Some of the most beautiful views ever! Don't miss out on this trail!!

backpacking
Wednesday, August 10, 2016

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.

backpacking
Thursday, July 21, 2016

Completed this trip in mid July with our route taking us from Paint Pots to Floe Lake with nights at Helmet Falls, Tumbling Creek, Numa Creek, and Floe Lake. The trail was very challenging with every day but the first and the last involving large, sometimes steep elevation gains. However, every tough kilometre uphill during days two through four lead to beautiful alpine meadows and incredible view after incredible view.

I recommend the route we took as our mountain passes involved steep ascents followed by gradual descents while the opposite direction appeared to have gradual ascents followed by steep descents.

Many parts of the trail were overgrown and some portions included fallen trees that required some effort to get around. A bridge on the route to Helmet Falls is currently out requiring an alternate crossing. A fallen tree has been placed downstream of the former bridge location, however it has no bark on it making it quite slippery. To complicate matters, the river during our crossing was passing over the log making it treacherous. We were able to find an alternate crossing upstream involving two crossings using fallen logs, however, the second portion is somewhat tricky and a member of our group nearly fell in. If weather permits, I suggest travelling further upstream to a location where you can take your boots off and cross the river on foot. If you choose to use the upstream log crossing, we had some success with using trekking poles braced against the river bottom to help balance during the first portion of the second crossing, however, the depth of the water during the second half leaves you to balancing on your own. Remember to unclip your pack of you choose to cross via a log!

Each campsite includes tent pads and pit toilets. Don't forget your own toilet paper! Each campsite is located in a valley with great water access. Expect most days to begin with an ascent out of a valley and ending with a descent into one.

If you're up for a rewarding, challenging backpacking trip this truly is a premier Canadian Rockies experience and I would recommend it to any able bodied backpacker.

hiking
Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Forested hiking route to a quiet lake in a mountain valley.

Pros:
Mountains are visible from the lake (unfortunately it was rainy during my hike so they were covered by clouds).
Almost has a rainforest vibe to it! Very wet with lots of ground brush.
Saw a wild pheasant on the trail as well as a few small animals.
The hike was very quiet with no passerbys.
Great quick hike for all skills levels!

Cons:
Lots of hiding places for bears and less traveled, so I was a bit warier on this hike than the others I did around the area.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Pros:
Good for all skill levels
Different hiking options on the trail (It is 2.7 km one way and we took the loop to East Kootenay Trail, so totaled about 7 km instead of 6)
Lots of wildflowers and great lookout points

Cons:
It was cloudy so I didn't get great mountain views - still worth it!

hiking
Monday, October 14, 2013

Was a quiet morning hike though the bush with lots of Fall colors to enjoy. easy trail with a nice reward of snow capped mountains reflecting in the lake

Load More