- Physical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the physical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
- Technical DifficultyThis is the average user-submitted rating on the technical difficulty of this route. In general, green is beginner, blue is intermediate, black is advanced/most difficult and double-black is expert-only. It is recommended that users build up to black and double-black routes.
The Paint Pots hike in Kootenay National Park is a great hike to do with your kids. Located a 40-minute drive from the town of Banff, this is a picturesque walk for those who want great views without all the effort. The yellow pools are an interesting site to see and were culturally significant to the aboriginals in the area.
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Route Description for Paint Pots
The Paint Pots hike in Kootenay National Park is a popular trail in summer, so it’s best to try to get there early in the day. This allows you to avoid the crowds, and also allows you to combine the Paint Pots hike with another hike in Kootenay National Park. You can also do this as an end-of-day hike, and enjoy the pretty light and cool evening air.14
The Paint Pots hike begins at the Paint Pots trailhead, just off of Highway 93S, also known as the Banff - Windemere Hwy. The trail is well signed and the first half down to the bridge over the Kootenay River is very wide, and we think it is stroller friendly.
As you descend to the bridge over the Kootenay River, you can enjoy stunning views, and this is a great place to get a family photo. Children also enjoy going down by the shore to throw stones in the river, but we would not recommend allowing kids to wade in the river, as it could be fast-moving and it is most definitely very cold.
Once over the bridge the trail to Paint Pots changes, and you start walking on orange ground. In early summer, the contrast of green grass and orange ground is striking.
Early settlers mined the area early in the 1900’s, and some of the equipment is still here. Continue along the path and ascend a short slope that borders a small orange river and come to some small, multi-colored pools. The paint pots.
Take your time exploring the area and taking in the colorful clay soil, turned into painting pots by an underwater spring. Once you are ready to leave, turn around and head back to your car along the same route.
Find other great hikes in Kootenay National Park:
Insider Hints for Paint Pots
- Combine the Paint Pots hike with a hike to Marble Canyon.
- A great day trip from Banff is to drive from Banff to Radium, with stops along the way such as the Paint Pots hike. Once in Radium, you can enjoy a dip in to Radium Hot Springs or if it’s a hot day drive the 15 minutes to Invermere, where the public Kinsmen Beach is very nice for families.
Getting to the Paint Pots Trailhead
From Banff get on the Trans Canada Hwy/AB - 1W for about 30.0 km to Castle Junction, and then take the exit for the 93S signed for Radium Hot Springs. Follow the 93S for about 20.0 km until you reach the Paint Pots Trailhead on your right.
Paint Pots Elevation Graph
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Paint Pots Reviews
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