From grasslands to glaciers, panoramic mountain vistas to narrow canyons, Kootenay National Park is a land of unique juxtapositions. Every twist and turn along the 94-kilometre highway from the Alberta border to the tranquil village of Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, offers a new surprise.

Short trails lead to natural treasures such as the Paint Pots, where Indigenous peoples collected naturally occurring pigments from sacred ochre-beds, and Numa Falls, where the Vermilion River carves a path between glistening black rock walls. Adventurous hikers have their choice of backcountry campgrounds as they trek the 55-kilometre Rockwall Trail, while families can enjoy some modern comforts at Redstreak Campground or take a relaxing soak in the steaming hot springs.

In summer, brilliant fields of fuchsia fireweed mark where naturally occurring wildfires once raged. These sites provide important habitat for bears, lynx and moose and offer visitors a vivid snapshot of the forest’s regeneration process.