Olive Lake, just past the Sinclair Pass Viewpoint, is a perfect spot to enjoy a picnic and fishwatch. The cool forest that surrounds the lake is a treat on a hot summer day.
Enjoy the scenery and relax in the Radium Hot Springs. Two pools, one hot for soaking and one warm for swimming, will keep all members of the family happy. Forgot your trunks? No problem, towels and suits are available for rent.
Just beyond the park boundary lies one of the biggest and most important wetlands in Canada – the Columbia Wetlands. Ask locals for walking suggestions or take a tour with a float trip company. Eagles, osprey, waterfowl and other birds are sure to be seen.
For those looking to challenge themselves in the mountains, Kootenay has a handful of classic full day hikes. We recommend the Kindersley/Sinclair Loop for midsummer wildflowers, Floe Lake for dramatic beauty, and, Stanley Glacier for a taste of fire and ice.
Gateway to the Desert
At the south end of Kootenay, the road travels through Sinclair Canyon, a feat of highway engineering.
Between narrow red canyon walls, the road actually travels on top of the Sinclair River. Once you have passed through the narrowest part, the wide open Columbia Valley awaits. Only an hour’s drive away from glaciers, you will find cactus on the warm and dry valley floor.
There are a number of short trails that allow you to explore more of the Sinclair Canyon on foot. The smell of sun-warmed juniper bushes wafts on the air, and when you descend to the stream, tall western red cedar trees whisk you away from desert-like conditions to the rainforest of the British Columbia coast.