Simpson River Trail
Simpson River Trail Map

Simpson River Trail

Kootenay National Park
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Simpson River Trail

Simpson River Trail

Distance: 13.9mi
Elevation: 2,221ft
Time: 6-8h

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The Simpson River Trail is a beautifully scenic hiking route in Kootenay National Park that will take you from the banks of the Vermillion River to the Surprise Creek Campground. While out on the trail, you will hike along the winding Simpson River and take in views of the surrounding mountains as you make your way through the valley into Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. This area was previously devastated by a forest fire, leaving a graveyard of charred trees that are surrounded by stunning views.,

Simpson River Trail Map

Getting there

To get to the trailhead for the Simpson River Trail from Radium Hot Springs, make your way to the northeast along BC-93 for 35.7mi and turn right to enter the parking lot.

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When to do


Backcountry Campsites

Surprise Creek Campground

Pets allowed

Yes - On Leash

Family friendly


Route Signage


Crowd Levels


Route Type

Out and back

Simpson River Trail
Elevation Graph

Simpson River Trail Description

Although the terrain along the Simpson River Trail was previously affected by a forest fire, it is still a dramatic and beautiful landscape that highlights the unique character of Kootenay National Park. Setting out from the parking lot, make your way east across the Vermillion River and follow the trail as it turns to the southwest along the banks of the Simpson River. From here, you will make your way along the winding river bank as it passes between rugged mountain peaks and a stretch of desolate forest filled with charred trees. Even with the level of destruction, plant and animal life have already begun to return to the area and will soon restore it to its former glory. Continue along the river and take in the beautiful views of the valley before arriving at the Surprise Creek Campground. From here, take some time to set up your camp for the night before heading back along the trail the next morning.



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