Those planning a trip to Western Canada generally include popular tourist destinations, like Banff National Park in Alberta, on their itinerary. This can lead to Banff being swamped with visitors during the busiest times of year, and sometimes you want to take in nature's beauty without all the crowds. This is why you should also consider planning a visit to Kootenay National Park, in British Columbia.
Kootenay National Park is located in a sweet spot for visitors to Canadian national parks, with Banff just over the provincial border in Alberta, Yoho National Park a half-hour away, and Jasper National Park just a couple hours' drive away.
Do them all in a few days, or spread it out and spend some time taking in all that the Canadian Rockies have to offer. Read on for the lowdown on Kootenay National Park, and learn why it should absolutely be on your list of places to visit in British Columbia!
Kootenay National Park Facts
- Kootenay National Park was established in 1920 as part of a land exchange agreement between British Columbia and Canada's federal government.
- Attractions within the 1,406 square kilometers (543 square miles) of Kootenay include the Radium Hot Springs, Marble Canyon, the Paint Pots, and Olive Lake.
- Kootenay National Park is about a ten hour drive from Seattle, WA, a nine hour scenic drive from Vancouver, BC, a five hour drive from Spokane, WA, or a two hour drive from Calgary, Alberta.
Kootenay National Park Tips
- If you buy a day pass for admission to Kootenay National Park or the nearby Jasper, Yoho, and Banff national parks, you can visit any of these parks with that day pass.
- If you're planning on fishing in Kootenay National Park, you'll need a fishing license.
- You need a car to visit Kootenay National Park, but an RV would be even better!
Best Kootenay National Park RV Campgrounds
There are a number of RV campgrounds within Kootenay National Park and in nearby communities that will be happy to host you.
Located within Kootenay National Park itself, Redstreak Campground is perfect for those who want to spend more than just a day there. A variety of campsites are on offer, including full hookups, electric-only, and unserviced, and fire pits are also available. While the national park is open year-round, the camping season at KNP lasts from late April to early October. Be sure to book within that timespan if you want to stay overnight in Kootenay National Park.
Capacity: 242 RV sites
More Information: Redstreak Campground (Kootenay National Park)
The Canyon RV Resort on Sinclair Creek
Located just outside Kootenay National Park in the village of Radium Hot Springs (as opposed to the same-name attraction within Kootenay), this family-run campground with full hookups caters especially to families and seniors. You're surrounded by trees and mountain views, and there are laundry facilities, bathrooms, and playgrounds to make use of.
Capacity: 112 RV sites
More Information: Canyon RV Resort on Sinclair Creek
This RV campground in the village of Radium Hot Springs offers nightly stays, seasonal leases, and annual memberships, so your options are many. Peak season is between late June and early September, but whenever you choose to stay you can enjoy full hookups, BBQs, a covered cabana, and access to laundry, fitness, and bathroom facilities.
Capacity: 116 RV sites
More Information: RidgeView Resort
McLeod Meadows Campground
This is an unserviced (no hookup) campground at just about the center of Kootenay National Park that truly helps you and your family get back to nature. You're more likely to catch sight of wildlife here than at other campgrounds, so keep your eyes peeled for elk. If you fancy a trek, head over to Dog Lake or Stanley Glacier, or relax to the sounds of the Kootenay River.
Capacity: 80 RV sites
More Information: McLeod Meadows Campground (Kootenay National Park)
Things To Do in Kootenay National Park
You now know of some places to stay within or near Kootenay National Park, but what can you do there? Well, there are many things to do in Kootenay National Park, which makes it perfect for outdoorsy types, and those who like a good view!
Radium Hot Springs. These natural hot springs, clear and odorless, are kept at a temperature between 37ºC and 40ºC (98ºF and 104ºF), and are by far one of the most popular things to do in Kootenay National Park.
Fishing. From May 20 to September 5, anglers can try to hook a variety of fish, but need to be aware of possession limits for native species.
Hiking. The Radium Hot Springs, Marble Canyon, and Stanley Glacier areas provide unique hiking and sightseeing opportunities.
Scenic Drives. Since you already need a vehicle to visit Kootenay National Park, use it to check out Sinclair Canyon, Olive Lake, and the Continental Divide!
Visit Kootenay National Park in a Cruise America RV!
Why visit the places everyone else is going to in Canada, when Kootenay National Park's not-so-hidden natural treasures are waiting for you to discover? It's time to rent yourself an RV and get on the road, and Cruise America can help you every step of the way. To find the RV rental that will get you wherever you want to go in the U.S. or Canada in comfort and style, get in touch with Cruise America today!