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Hidden Gems

Highlights: Mountain Views, swimming, hiking, & active

You can start this itinerary from any location on the route and travel around the triangle.

Experience alpine lakes, waterfalls, historic sites, and stunning scenery – but without the crowds. Visit in late summer or fall when visitor numbers decrease, and higher elevation trails are still accessible.

Download the itinerary.

Hints & Tips:

  • Purchase your National Park pass at the Visitor Information Centres in Golden, Radium, Yoho or Kootenay national parks. If you are planning to stay more than 6 days or visit other Parks Canada administered destinations this year, consider buying a Discovery Pass!
  • Arrive early to avoid busy parking lots.
  • Always carry a first aid kit and bear spray. Pack adequate food, water, clothing, maps, and gear.
  • Get updates on trail conditions from Parks Canada’s website for Yoho National Park, Kootenay National Park or at Visitor Information Centres. 

Download the Itinerary

Day 1- Golden, BC

Thompson Falls and the Blaeberry Valley
Golden, BC
Head over to the beautiful Blaeberry Valley, just west of Golden. Enjoy a historic hike along the Blaeberry River.  This trail was first used by explorer David Thompson in 1807 as Portage Creek. Head to Thompson Falls and experience this natural wonder!

Peaceful waterways
Golden, BC
Spend the afternoon by one of Golden’s historic rivers. Golden is home to the Columbia and Kicking Horse rivers. These two mighty rivers converge right in town. Hang out at Confluence Park to enjoy the water and magnificent views and wildlife.

Rotary Trail System
Golden, BC

Go for an evening walk through Golden, make sure you explore the beautiful rotary trail system and enjoy the sunset over town.

Day 2- Yoho National Park

Pack for a day trip!
Take your time to enjoy the views of Golden in the morning.  Pack a daypack with a water bottle, first aid kit, appropriate clothing for the weather and a boxed lunch. Start travelling east on Highway 1 to Yoho National Park.

Pro-tip: Weather can change quickly in mountainous areas. During the spring, summer and fall, it is worth carrying a toque, sunhat, sunblock and insulated or warm layer!

Sherbrooke Lake
Yoho National Park

Explore BC’s eastern boundary with a half-day hike to an idyllic lake. This moderate 6.2 km (return) forested hike takes you to a glacial lake in a Rocky Mountain forest. The more adventurous can continue on to Paget Lookout – an old fire lookout in the subalpine forest. Enjoy your picnic lunch next to Sherbrooke Lake, or at the top of Paget Lookout for lunch with a view! If you are not quite hungry, keep exploring! There are many other perfect picnic spots with great mountain views for you to discover!

Visit Field, BC
There is so much history to explore in Field. Be it railway engineering, tourism or fossils, take your pick! Grab a map from the visitor centre and take a stroll through the historic buildings and houses. Stop for lunch at a cafe or take self-guided tour of the town with interpretive signage.  

Faeder Lake Day-Use Area
Yoho National Park
Travelling west on the Trans-Canada Highway pull off for a quick swim or your perfect picnic at Faeder Lake. This shallow lake is tucked not far from the highway and is a great place to stop and admire the surrounding mountain scenery.

Day 3- Radium, B.C.

Head south on the Highway 95 towards Radium. There are many stops on the 1-hour drive including trails, lookouts over the Columbia River, and cafes. Take your time along the drive and enjoy the beautiful views of the mountains and wetlands. Be sure to keep an eye out for wildlife and birds along the way! 

World’s Largest Paddle
Stop to see the largest paddle in the world! Nestled below the towering Canadian Rocky Mountains, the World’s Largest Paddle provides breathtaking views of the surrounding Columbia River Valley.

The Columbia Wetlands
Enjoy views of the Columbia Wetlands for the entirety of your drive.  The Columbia Wetlands stretch for 180km along the Rocky Mountain Trench passing Radium and Golden. Stop at roadside pull-outs and day-use areas to enjoy paddling, bird watching, and mountain views.

Visit Radium Hot Springs pools
Radium, BC

Spend the afternoon or early- evening relaxing in the iconic Radium Hot Springs pools.  Nestled in the Sinclair Canyon, the namesake Radium Hot Springs pools are filled with naturally heated, mineral-rich water and are a must-see on any trip to the Columbia Valley. Swim and play in the cool pool or relax and take in the Rocky Mountain scenery from the hot pool.

Day 4- Radium & Kootenay National Park

Pack or pick up a boxed lunch in town and eat on the go, or enjoy one of the Village of Radium Hot Springs’s many restaurants in between your adventures. 

Sinclair Creek Trail
Radium, BC
The beautiful Sinclair Creek trail is tucked away beneath the Village of Radium. Stop in for a walk, bike, or bring your pup to the off-leash area for dogs. The Sinclair Creek trail rolls gently along the creekside and is the perfect place for a stroll.  

If hiking is your thing, continue on the sidewalk along Highway 93 South (or hop in your car for a quick drive) to the Sinclair Canyon Trail in Kootenay National Park. This moderate 6 km trail starts near Kootenay National Park’s west boundary and leads deep into Sinclair Canyon.  Here you can look up at Sinclair Falls then climb 260 m above the highway and enjoy a bird’s eye view of the Bugaboo Mountains and Sinclair Canyon. The trail ends in the iconic Radium Hot Springs’ parking lot, the community’s namesake and original location!

Springs Golf Course
Radium, BC
Book a tee time at the Springs Golf Course for the afternoon, located just above the Columbia River Wetlands. 

Dog Lake
Kootenay National Park

A short drive into Kootenay National Park brings to you  to Dog Lake. Cross two bridges over the Kootenay River and meander through old-growth forest. Enjoy the peaks of Mount Daer and Mount Harkin from the lake side 

Sunset Watching
Enjoy the sunset in the iconic Red Muskoka Chairs overlooking the Radium Hot Springs or look down on the Village of Radium from the Valley view trail.