Paint Pots -Kootenay National Park (one way distances)

Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance
Kootenay National Park
  • 0.23 km
  • 50.89 m
    Elevation Gain
  • 1470.91 m
    Trail Head Elevation
  • 1470.91 m
    Maximum Elevation
  • 18.20 m
    Cumulative Elevation
  • <1 hour(s)
    Average Time

Trail Description

Another short hike that can be accessed from a parking lot right next to the highway. This hike is all about the destination. The trail crosses a suspension bridge over the Vermilion River and then runs through the ochre beds. The Paint Pots are a little further up the trail. There are three small pools formed by cold, iron rich mineral springs bubbling up through the earth. The area around the pools is stained a deep red-orange. Almost as interesting are the animal tracks imprinted in the red dirt. The area has a long and rich history. The ochre was used by the Ktunaxa people in ceremonies and for trade. In the early 1900’s, the ochre beds were mined and the ochre was shipped to Calgary to be used as a colouring for paint. There are interpretive signs at the site explaining more of the history of the Paint Pots.

Directions to Trail Head

Set your odometer to zero at the traffic lights on Highway 93/95 at the Invermere junction. Head north 13 km to Radium. Turn right at the 4 way stop sign. Stop at the Park gates and buy a pass if necessary. Continue on Highway 93 into Kootenay National Park. At 97 km the trailhead is to the left of the highway.

Detailed Map

Elevation Profile

Trail Surface


Trail Season

Year round depending on snow depths

Points of Interest

Trail Features

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