Camping in the Kootenays
August 2, 2005

I had a great trip to the Kootenays this long weekend; my parents and I met up with my sister and her boyfriend at Radium Hot Springs. We stayed overnight in a shoddy campsite, and ventured onwards to Whiteswan Lake Provincial Park.

Whiteswan Lake is about 20 km up a dirt road near Canal Flats. We ended up there by chance, and it turned out to be fantastic. On Saturday we did some driving around and relocated to Whiteswan. On Sunday we ventured forth to the "Top of the World" Park, another ~35 km south of Whiteswan Lake.

The hike to to the TOW was definitely the highlight of the trip, but the title of the park is a little overzealous; mind you, we didn't hike to the summit, but there are much better views to be had in other parts of the province. We took probably an hour and a half to hike from the trailhead to Fish Lake; from there Mom and Robyn stayed behind and the three of us went onwards to Sparkle Lake. On the map it only looked like about 2 kms, but it took us about 1:10 up, and 35 min down. I went for a brief swim at Sparkle; there was a little snow at the sides of the Lake, so it was quite "refreshing" but totally worth it.

On Monday, we stopped at the Lussier Hot Springs on our way home; the springs are on the edge of Whiteswan Lake Prov. Park, and are essentially just water coming out of a rock and contained in a few rock pools -- no silly temperature control (besides a few pools with river water mixing with the hot), chlorine or fee collectors.

Anyways, it was a good time, and pictures are here.