Monthly Archives: August 2014

North American National Park #34: Kootenay, British Columbia

Posted by on August 31, 2014

North American National Park #34: Kootenay, British Columbia

North American National Park #34: Kootenay, British Columbia

Kootenay is adjacent to two other national parks: Banff (which borders to the east) and Yoho (which borders to the north). It is also a component of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.

As with Yoho, there is one primary highway which runs through the park, and everything you’d want to see is accessible from that road. It is larger than Yoho and as such there is more to see. The most notable attraction in the park are the Radium Hot Springs, from which the nearby town of Radium gets its name. Other stops worth taking some time to visit include Marble Canyon (shown above), Kootenay Valley Viewpoint, Numa Falls, and the Paint Pots.

Like Yoho, Kootenay can be visited on a day trip if you are in Banff as most of the attractions are located along Highway 93. If you wish to stay near the park, the closest town would be Radium, BC which is located right at the southern border of the park.

North American National Park #33: Yoho, British Columbia

Posted by on August 30, 2014

North American National Park #33: Yoho, British Columbia

North American National Park #33: Yoho, British Columbia

Yoho is just over the border from Banff National Park and borders Kootenay National Park on the south. It is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain National Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site.

I’ve always wondered why the 4 adjoining national parks in the Canadian Rockies weren’t just one big park, or at least 2 parks with one in each province. It is all basically the same area in the same mountain range, the only difference being that 2 are in Alberta and 2 are in British Columbia.

Yoho is the smallest of the four adjoining parks in the Rocky Mountains and everything you can explore in the park without backcountry hiking is located off of TransCanada Highway 1 which goes through the park.

In my opinion, the two highlights of the park are Emerald Lake and Takakkaw Falls (shown above) which is one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada.

If you are staying in Banff, it is very easy to visit Yoho on a day trip. The highway running through the park is just north of Lake Louise. It is actually easier to access Yoho from Lake Louise than it is from the town of Golden, BC on the other side of the park.

Many people visiting the Canadian Rockies actually forget about Yoho and Kootenay, even though they are adjoining, and just focus on Banff and Jasper. It is worth taking a day to see Yoho as part of any trip to the region.

North American National Park #32: Nahanni, Northwest Territories

Posted by on August 29, 2014

North American National Park #32: Nahanni, Northwest Territories

North American National Park #32: Nahanni, Northwest Territories

Occasionally I visit places which are amazing, yet no one seems to know about. Places like Oman and South Georgia Island. I like to champion those places to get people more aware of them. I have another one to add to the list: Nahanni National Park.

I discussed some of the significance of Nahanni in my world heritage post (of which, Nahanni was one of the first world heritage sites on Earth), so here I’ll talk about the logistics of visiting.

Nahanni is not an easy park to get to. Despite how much it has to offer, it gets fewer than 1,000 visitors per year. This is because of its location in Northwest Territories and also because you cannot drive to the park. The only way into the park is to hike or take a floatplane. Most people will simply take a float plane tour, although many people also spend several days rafting down the Nahanni River. If I return to Nahanni I will definitely take a rafting trip. I flew into the park with Simpson Air.

Most floatplane trips depart from Fort Simpson, NWT and this is also the location of the park’s headquarters. To give you an idea of how remote the park is, even though Fort Simpson is the closest town to the park and the location of the headquarters, it is still over 50 miles away from the park boundary. There are also weekly flights to Nahanni from Muncho Lake, BC, which is a bit easier to drive to.

Nahanni is a very special place that more people should know about. It is truly one of the great national parks in the world. It is difficult to visit, but it only makes the reward of visiting that much greater.