We chose to pass through Glacier National Park and utilize the border crossing inside the park. It was simple and fast. Two RVs in front of us, but when we got to the window the agent wanted to talk about VWs! The border line there is not defined by a fence or a wall. It is a demarkation created by line of trees cleared out, similar to a power line. We passed by the Waterton National Park (Canada) and the Big Chief beckoned us to take a look but we chose to go further for the night. Our destination was Lussier Hot Springs in a mountain river just outside of Whiteswan Provincial Park. The lake was beautiful when Mike and the dogs took their morning stroll. The hot springs were a serious of pools created by users over the years. There were temps from about 115 to glacier cold. It was rather crowded so we felt uncomfortable taking photos. I guess you will just have to go see it for yourself!!
The next stop was Kootenay National Park and Radium Hot Springs. This park features several areas of note which we explored for the day. The “Paint Pots” are gurgling springs which push forth iron oxide and other minerals. These minerals have colored the sand particles. Aboriginal people have used it for dyes for centuries. Later miners and settlers harvested the dye in train loads to color paint and dye clothing. When the area became a National Park, the operation ceased. Now silly tourists stick their fingers in the mineral flows and spend a few days with a jaundiced index finger!
Kootenay also has a beautiful water feature called Marble Canyon. This is a narrow shale canyon carved by a forceful river. It tumbles and roars over ledges and through crannies, making a fantastic roar. Each turn of the trail reveals a new view of the beautiful slot canyon. Mike has a “thing” for waterfalls and enjoyed this one immensely.
We also located the National Park Red Chair Program chairs. These are placed in beautiful locations of National Parks all across Canada. We found a few back in New Brusnwick and Nova Scotia. The intention is to encourage people to take photos and upload them to Facebook (we did). It is interesting to ponder how social media can be effectively used by National Parks.
Kootenay also has a wild-fire burning nearby (as do many of the states in the Northern US) This led to smoky times throughout the day, but did not alter our route. We were able to enjoy Radium Hot Springs in the evening. This is an “improved” hot spring which features to large concrete pools filled with chlorinated mineral waters, cooled to a comfortable temperature. We camped at the Redstreak Campground in the park, which is basic, crowded but serviceable. Kootenay is a seldom publicized park, with many beautiful features. But the proximity to the better-known Banff and Jasper sadly cause it to be overlooked!