Kootenay National Park: The Rockwall Trail (55 km / 4 days)

55 km, 4 days, 3 mountain passes, 2850 m of elevation gain and 1 epic trail. This is one of the most sought-after backpacking experiences in the Canadian Rockies and it does not disappoint. You will pass towering waterfalls, hanging glaciers, turquoise alpine lakes, mountain pass meadows and a single, massive limestone cliff, rising more than 900 m above the trail below. This is a must-do in the Canadian Rockies. 

Trip Completed: September 2021

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Paint Pots trailhead, Highway 93

Ending Point: Floe Lake trailhead, Highway 93

Total Distance: 55 km 

Elevation Gain: 2850 m

Duration: 4 days

Difficulty: Intermediate


Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. The trailheads are located on Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park, which is accessed at Castle Junction off of Highway 1 in Banff National Park.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Ktunaxa ɁamakɁis and Niitsítpiis-stahkoii ᖹᐟᒧᐧᐨᑯᐧ ᓴᐦᖾᐟ (source).

Maps & Resources

Map: AllTrails - Following the trail systems marked on AllTrails is very helpful in customizing your trip through this area. Always bring a paper map with you when backpacking. Even though the Parks Canada trails are well marked, taking a paper map is proper safety. 

Campsite Reservations: Must reserve through Parks Canada. Select “Backcountry Camping”, and for the park choose “Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks”. Then select the trailhead you want to start as your access point (Paint Pots, Tumbling Creek, Numa Creek or Floe Lake) then select your campsites. You will need to purchase a backcountry permit which you can do in advanced when reserving your campsites. You will also need to have a National Parks day pass which you pay as you enter the park.

Safety: Bring bear spray! This area is frequented by grizzly bears. Bring bear spray and ALWAYS carry it with you. Cook and eat in the designated area a...

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