Visitor increases for KNP in 2015
Like many parts of British Columbia, Kootenay National Park saw an overall increase in visitation last summer.
At the Radium Hot Springs pools, visitation increased by 8.22% over the 2014 season. Newly installed Red Chairs on the Marble Canyon trail and in Sinclair Canyon, Burgess Shale guided hikes, Redstreak Campground, and popular hiking trails such as the Rockwall, Tumbling Creek and Stanley Glacier continue to draw visitors, increasing the park’s visitation by 7.6% over 2014 numbers.
Parks Canada had another successful season collaborating with the Radium Hot Springs Chamber of Commerce to operate the visitor centre in Radium Hot Springs. Working together, Radium’s visitor centre has become one of the busiest in the province serving over 71,000 people so far this year. The Radium Chamber of Commerce is now selling Parks Canada’s day use passes and Discovery passes throughout the winter.
A number of infrastructure improvements were made in Kootenay National Park this summer including:
– New highway directional signs at Floe Lake, Numa Falls, the Paint Pots and Stanley Glacier trail heads, including exit signs directing visitors to Banff and Radium Hot Springs.
– Rock slope stabilization work in Sinclair Canyon to increase highway safety.
– Replacing the Tumbling Creek suspension bridge and reopening the Tumbling Creek trail.
– Installation of a new wildlife crossing interpretive exhibit at the Radium Hot Springs pools highlighting the world class work being done in Kootenay and Banff national parks to restore wildlife habitat connectivity.
Additional infrastructure improvements to Kootenay National Park were announced this past June. Improvements at the Radium Hot Springs pools include structural repairs to the building, upgrading the mechanical and electrical systems, repairing the retaining wall surrounding the hot pool and renovating the café on the upper deck. The majority of this work will be done during the fall and winter over the next five years in order to minimize disturbance to our visitors.
Each year, Kootenay National Park attracts thousands of winter enthusiasts. Please remember to play safe while ice climbing, snow shoeing and skiing in the park. You don’t need to go far to be in avalanche terrain. Not all sign posted trails are safe for winter travel. Visit http:// www.parksmountainsafety.ca for tips from Parks Canada’s visitor safety team and check the latest avalanche hazards bulletin before you head out by visiting http://avalanche.pc.gc.ca. If you plan to travel in avalanche terrain, take an avalanche safety course, carry a shovel, probe and beacon, and know how to use them.
Weather changes quickly in Kootenay National Park. All travellers are reminded to abide by posted speed limits and to check http://drivebc.ca and http://511.alberta.ca for up-to-date conditions, closures and delay information prior to leaving.