From glacier-clad peaks along the Continental Divide to semi-arid grasslands of the Rocky Mountain Trench, where cactus grows, Kootenay National Park is noted for its diversity of landscapes, ecology and climate. The 94 km Banff-Windermere Highway (93 South) takes you through the park along the Vermilion and Kootenay rivers and through the narrow gorge of Sinclair Canyon to the famous Radium Hot Springs. Many use the highway simply as a scenic route to reach the Windermere Valley, beyond the park’s southern boundary.
While the park is open all year, the major tourist season lasts from June to September. The park takes its name from the Kootenay River, one of the two major rivers which flow through the park, the other being the Vermillion River. The park’s main attractions include the Hot Springs, Olive Lake, Marble Canyon, Sinclair Canyon and the Paint Pots. The hot springs offer a hot springs pool ranging from 35°C to 47°C (95°F to 117 °F). Because of the relatively small width of the park (five miles on each side of the highway), many of the park’s attractions are situated near the road and are wheelchair accessible. Just outside the park’s south-western entrance is the town of Radium Hot Springs. The town is named for the odourless hot springs located just inside the park boundary.
Kootenay National Park of Canada offers opportunities to experience the Rocky Mountains, learn about their natural and cultural heritage, and connect with nature.