Well marked trail with short strenuous climb that lead to nice strolls with drop dead gorgeous views. For the next three kilometres the trail switchbacks steadily uphill through the forest, gaining 400m. Wilderness permits for backcountry camping cost $10.02/person/night. For those doing the entire trail, you will either begin at the Floe Lake Trailhead (for those hiking south to north) or the Paint Pots Trailhead (for those hiking north to south). You will start your journey on a relatively easy path through trees. The trail to Tumbling Creek Campsite goes left and your trail to Helmet Falls campsite goes right. I had seen photos online of a trail stretching for kilometres beside towering cliffs and I knew I had to hike it. The area closure was enacted on Saturday, August 5, and will likely remain in place as long as hot, dry weather persists. A lot of descent but not steep. Cooking area at Floe Lake – separate from where you pitch tents Me with the Rockwall in the background on Day 2 We took 8 nights, 9 days to hike Section C. A Here was our plan: McCarthur Creek, Tumbling Creek, Floe Lake, Ball Pass, Healy Creek, Og Lake, Lake Marvel, Palliser Pass and out. Amazing scenery, a little bit of everything. Overall my husband and I had a wonderful time despite our doubts of making it through the whole trip after day one. -If you do the full Rockwall you’ll want to start at helmet and finish at Flow as you have less elevation and the wall is always in front of you, but if you do the loop, which way you go will depend on if you want your elevation gain to be spread out or steep. The next section of trail is through the forest high above the banks of Helmet Creek. add gps. Photo: Reid Holmes. Parks Canada does not book sites at Floe Lake campground until July 10. It's crazy having to crank your head seemingly vertically to capture the view of the wall towering a kilometer above you. I’d love to help you plan your trip. The Rockwall Trail parallels the cliff for approximately 34 miles and can be completed in three to five days depending on your pace. Distance: 8km, Elevation: 350m up, 700m down. A popular overnight backpack trip should you only have the Floe Lake campsite is the in & and out hike to Floe Lake … From the pass you’ll descend for 3km to Tumbling Creek campground, losing 300m of elevation. Build some flexibility into your itinerary in case any campgrounds are not available. Helmet camp is 1km from the base of helmet falls so you get to sleep hearing it which was super cool. Each campground has gravel tent pads, outhouse(s), and a shared cooking area set away from the tenting area. Around the 12.5km mark, cross Helmet Creek on a suspension bridge. Floe Lake to Tumbling Creek Total Distance: 18 km. After crossing the creek, the trail began an uphill ascent along the slopes of Numa Mountain. Rockwall Trail Cost: About $91 per person, but travelling in a group is cheaper (see Cost section below). This is a moderate one way trail in Kootenay National Park. You also get incredible views of Floe Lake below you, which I think are even more beautiful than the ones you can get from the lakeshore. If you don’t have time for the whole Rockwall Trail, or you can’t get campsite reservations for the dates you want, you can also do portions of the Rockwall Trail. Numerous Blowdowns but all had a pathway around, under or over, just need to look for it. Lessons learned: 13.1km took us about 6.5hrs. Looking at Floe Lake in the evening and morning light is gorgeous, and this is the best time to be at Floe Lake, as the tranquility is superb. The first day is a nice warm-up, then the next two days are full-on… but with lots of scenery. add photo. Gave us a super relaxing day to finish off the weekend. Floe Lake is a further 2.7 km south. Numa Creek, until it becomes re-established as a route into or out from Rockwall, is a pleasant stop along the highway and a beautiful place to enjoy a picnic lunch. Carry bear spray, hike in a group, and make noise, especially through brushy sections. Lockers for food and a couple outhouses. There was then a large incline and once at the top, was the peak elevation for the whole loop; it was mostly downhill from there which was nice. The Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park has been on my list for a LONG time. Hi, I’m Taryn! I had planned to go to Tumbling Falls but after talking to people who just came down they indicated that it was pretty snow covered. Length: 12km to Tumbling Creek + 8km to Numa Creek. You’ll walk past spectacular glaciers, beside gorgeous blue lakes, and through beautiful subalpine meadows. The wilderness campgrounds include the Floe Lake, Verdant Creek, Ottertail Pass, Tumbling Creek, Helmut Falls, Tokumm Valley, Kaufmann Lake and Numa Creek. So I was eager to explore more of the Rockwall so had booked this as a relatively easy three day trip good for the beginning of the backpacking season. Wildlife on the Rockwall Trail: This is bear country and both black bears and grizzly bears live in the area. My phone wouldn’t have made it through the last day of tracking, but I recorded 29.3 km from paint pots to tumbling and it was still another 11 km from tumbling back to paint pots.. so 40.3 km. Floe Lake is considered the park's "classic" hike and is a great way to sample what the park has to offer. For most hikers, the basic Kootenay National Park hiking map from Parks Canada is all you’ll need. We took it easy and enjoyed the views found a place to stop by the river for lunch. Nice easy hike out for the last day. One by when my father-in-law had a heart attack and the second when we awoke to 18″ of snow at Helmut Falls. Time: 8 hrs. Day 2: Helmet Falls - Tumbling Creek Day 3: Tumbling Creek - Floe Lake Day 4: Floe Lake - Hwy 93 My favorite part, by far, was second day -- Rockwall Pass / Wolverine Pass area is simply phenomenal! Picturesque views of Helmet Falls, mountains, alpine meadows, wildflowers, creeks, Floe lake and of course the Rockwall await those who complete the trail. The summer flowers look amazing and your photos are so green, lush, and vivid compared with ours. Lots of trees in your path and you have to cross lots of creeks, do not attempt this without boots. A few minutes later, pass the Helmet Warden Cabin. Numa Creek Trail: Closed for maintenance. Or, if you’ve secured permits, you can stay overnight at the Floe Lake Campground, or continue your hike to the rest of the Rockwall Trail multi-day route (permits required). (Adjust the elevation to 1500m or 2000m for more accuracy.). Assuming a four-day trip, a solo hiker would pay at total of $91.58 to hike the Rockwall Trail. We started a little later then planned so we pushed pretty hard to get to camp with enough time to set up before dark. Photo: Reid Holmes, A close-up view of Tumbling Glacier. This day was going to be longer, 17 km, but after a quick climb to Numa Pass, it was all downhill. The Rockwall Trail in British Columbia’s Kootenay National Park is widely considered to be one of the premier multiday treks found anywhere. Great summary Taryn – now I want to go hike it all again! We hiked with our friends and their kids (13 and 10 years old) and this was a great itinerary for them. Dana, imagining how Tumbling Glacier would look if she could actually see it. From the Paint Pots Trailhead the campsites I recommend booking are: Helmet Falls, Numa Creek and Floe Lake. In July and August, the average high temperature is 21C and the average low is 2C. 2. Floe Lake is in a lovely setting at the base of the Rockwall. A great 4 days 3 night trip to do if you don’t have time to do the entire trail (or shorter, we opted for all 3 sites). I would likely not choose to stay at this particular campground knowing that Floe Lake and Tumbling Creek on either side have better facilities and great views. Day 2: Tumbling Creek through the Rockwall Pass to Helmet Creek. Tumbling Creek trail junction is at km 3.9, while the junction for the Helmet Creek trail is at 6.2 km. Our friends (a family of four) did the trail in a four-person tent and it just barely fit on the tent pads. Day 2 we climbed right up to the base of the falls. Steep descent along Tumbling Creek. If you want to add an extra day to make it a 4 nights/5 day it would be in between Helmet and Numa at a campsite called Tumbling Creek. Highly recommend the hike. Did the loop opposite to the way it shows on the app, so our first 2 days were steep, long climbs in comparison to the last 2. Bring a bottle for camp as drinking out of your camo pack is less than ideal without your pack on. The Rockwall is a single, massive cliff, towering almost 3,000 feet above the trail. 93 up Floe, Numa, Tumbling or Ochre Creeks. ), how much it costs to hike and camp on the Rockwall Trail, a detailed day-by-day description of the Rockwall Trail, the number of hikers in your group, plus their full names and emergency contact info, Paint Pots to Helmet Falls (15km, +300m, -50m, 4.5-5.5 hours), Helmet Falls to Tumbling Creek (12km, +640m, -500m, 5-6 hours), Tumbling Creek to Numa Creek (8km, +340m, -700m, 4-5 hours), Numa Creek to Floe Lake (10km, +790m, -300m, 4-5 hours), Floe Lake to Floe Lake Trailhead (10km, +30m, -730m, 3-4 hours), Helmet Falls to Numa Creek (20km, +980m, -1200m, 9-11 hours), Numa Creek to Floe Lake Trailhead (20km, +820m, -1030m, 7-9 hours). If you like putting in long days, this speedy 3-day Rockwall Trail itinerary might be for you. The Rockwall Trail is accessed by one of four creek drainages to the east (Helmet Creek, Tumbling Creek, Numa Creek, or Floe Creek) or by Wolverine Pass from the west. Will definitely be back to complete the full pass and go all the way to floe. This is one of the most scenic sections of the whole trail with incredible views of the Rockwall Trail. The first two kilometres are the steepest (with some good views of Helmet Falls), but eventually, the grade lessens. Photo: Reid Holmes. Keep checking Parks Canada’s website. When you emerge into an open area at the top of the climb you will be able to look south and see the length of the Rockwall for the first time. (But don’t use it on the trail since there’s no cell service and this isn’t a good map for navigation.). The trail is still very snow covered on the plateau between Helmet falls and Tumbling creek, passable but very exhausting on the soft slushy snow, crampons might help. -You need to carry your garbage out so eat as much as you bring. You could take the trail to Tumbling Creek and skip the first campsite at Helmet Falls, but that would mean missing out on Rockwall Pass, which is one of the most scenic spots on the trail. I want to do. The weather was close to perfect for hiking, temperature in the low teens and mixed sun and cloud. Use my simple backpacking checklist to get your gear prepped for the hike. The trail to the Tumbling Creek campsite passes by the picturesque Tumbling Falls, which are close to the campsite (~1.3 kms away). Photo: Reid Holmes, Distance: 10km | Elevation Gain: 30m | Elevation Loss: 730m | Time: 3-4 hours. Pass. The mountains create their own weather and short rainstorms are common. However, the elevation gain, elevation loss, and time stats will be different. My favourite spots were Rockwall Pass and Numa Pass, but there were so many gorgeous areas – it’s easy to see why the Rockwall Trail is on many hiker’s bucket lists. The Dainard Creek trail turns right here to descend through Wolverine Pass, which is the only break in the length of the Rockwall. I enjoyed the views in this section of the Rockwall Trail the best and in mid-August the wildflower display was unreal. You are now on the Tumbling Pass Trail where you will gain 340m over the next 3km. Watch for beautiful fireweed blooming amongst the charred stumps. The horseshoe-shaped route travels beside a spectacular formation known as the Rockwall where sheer cliffs rise up to 900m above the landscape. Thanks Andy. You can make a reservation for up to 10 people in a group and up to 3 tent pads. At km 1.4 is the junction with a trail leading to Marble Canyon. Started with switchbacks from camp for about 2km, easier 3k stretch followed by a large steep decline down to a small lake at the base of the Rockwall. Day 2: Rockwall Pass to Helmet Creek Tumbling Pass or Wolverine Pass can be visited on a long day trip. Trail Elevation Gain: 2600m. 9kms took us 3 hours. The trail traverses the mountains on the west side of Highway 93. Reservation fees are $11.50 per reservation (and you can reserve for up to 10 people on one reservation). We pushed pretty hard cause we wanted to get to camp before dark, probably would have been a more enjoyable second half had we had time to rest a bit more. About 1700 metres of elevation over 2 passes to add extra challenge. DIFFICULT 22.5 mi. 2. The imposing spire of Foster Peak dominates to the southwest and the Rockwall stretches away from you to the north. Down to Floe Lake. 1-4 August 2011 Anahid, Gillian and Greg Fun four day hike in the Kootenay National Park. Crest 2214m-tall Rockwall Pass about 8.5km from camp. No avalanche risk first 3.2 km. Usually there is an option to make the Rockwall trail shorter by Numa Creek but this year one bridge is out, so there is no possibility to make the trail shorter. In next little while I will post separate sections/photos for these legs, for now couple of teaser photos: Attachment 270264 First 3k or so was quite muddy, with some puddles quite deep.. almost to my knee. A bit of snow on the Rockwall pass too, but due to our direction of travel we were mostly descending on it. In addition to the obviously majestic alpine scenery this massive limestone wall provides, the trail is also punctuated with hanging glaciers, stunning wildf… (And so you don’t smell! Your photos with the larches looked spectacular. Photo: Reid Holmes. We are glad that we were hiking south since the views were in front of us all the way. There are good views of the Rockwall behind you and the surrounding mountains, and as you get lower, you’ll be able to see the highway. The answer to that question depends on who you ask. I did Floe Lake -> Tumbling Creek -> Helmet falls and it was an absolutely awesome 3 nighter. We allowed ourselves a lie-in. Rating Trail Condition Comment Links; N.A. You’ll be able to spot the Wolverine Warden Cabin to your left, but it is off-trail so you won’t reach it. Day 4 - Tumbling Creek to Numa Creek. -1L of fuel worked great for 3 nights (2 people), we saw lots of others that had only 1 isobut can and they were definitely going to run low. trailtrash photos: Tumbling Glacier, Numa Pass, Floe Lake - 7 Trailtrash did the 38K semi-loop in Kootenay Park, starting at 7:45AM and finishing just after 3:00PM...to about 4:30PM as we eventually split into two groups. Day 2 – Floe Lake to Numa Falls Parking Lot, 17 km, 279 m Elevation Gain, 955 m Elevation Loss, 6 hrs 45 min. Floe Lake Trailhead to the Floe Lake Campground: 10.7km- you will get to an amazing lake ( first photo) Floe Lake Campground to Numa Creek Campground: 10 km Numa Creek Campground to Tumbling Creek … You'll start on a flat stretch, crossing two rivers (w/ bridges) before switchbacking up through burnt stands of timber. Since the southern half, from Floe Lake to Tumbling Creek, is the most strenuous part, the easiest 3-4-day trip would be a loop that begins at the Paint Pots and ascends Ochre Creek, returning via Tumbling Creek (or the clockwise variant). -clothes are heavier than your sleeping bag so put them against your back and your sleeping bag in the bottom of your pack. Starting the steep descent to Tumbling Creek. 11-12-2020: Snowbound; Backcountry travel not recommended; Avalanche risk: Complex Class 3 - top 2/3 of trail is highly avalanche prone. 11-12-2020: Construction work in progress; Trail details: Difficult Floe Lake Trail: Winter conditions. Insane views on this leg of the trip, hidden wonder of KootenayNP for sure. We booked this Airbnb in Banff, which was a great price for the area an easy walk to town for dinner. This small campground is a good place to take a break. We couldn’t find a spot at Floe Lake and ended up parking on the side of the highway. Descending from Tumbling Pass into a meadow. You’ll lose 730m of elevation between the lake and the trailhead. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ richardsdmark 18 hours ago . National Park entry passes are $10/person/day or $20/day for families or groups in the same car. -water: we brought a pump filter which worked perfect. Breaking out of the trees near the top of the ascent to Numa Pass. Weather was great and every campsite but tumbling creek has fire pits. Helmet Ochre Junction Camp via Helmet Falls Trail. this was the only campsite that allowed campfires. We hiked counter clockwise due to availability of campsites. Ever On And On. Begin your hike at the Floe Lake Trailhead right off the highway near the east side of the park. We'll stop for the night at Numa Creek campground. Nice easier day compared to the last two, this trail took us on a really nice treck down the northern side of the loop and along the creek. Started with switchbacks from camp for about 2km, easier 3k stretch followed by a large steep decline down to a small lake at the base of the Rockwall. : 340m | elevation Loss: 500m | time: 3-4 hours two days full-on…. Your head seemingly vertically to capture the view, head downhill way.... 55Km-Long multi-day backpacking trip in Kootenay National Park too hot trail switchbacks sharply through the forest all...: 15km | elevation gain: 340m | elevation Loss: 730m | time: hours. Mid afternoon and it was recommended to hike the Rockwall three are below NP ) campgrounds be. Going south to north camp with enough time actually see it lifetime for.! 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A gravel slope and traverse a rocky glacial moraine past a small Creek four! The Cost of National Park in British Columbia, just over the 4.5. Hiker would pay at Total of $ 91.58 to hike the Rockwall trail also gigantic which i hadn ’ recommend... Your journey on a long descending traverse high above Floe Creek 2km to,... Via Orchard Creek nice easy hike out for the first afternoon 2,350 feet of elevation gain: 790m elevation. Are going to hitch-hike, do not attempt this without boots Tumbling Creek campground day. And ended up parking on the whole route in one long day trip find a spot at Lake... Stars: Activities: hike Seasons: Spring fall summer from: bfcoffey Park service ’ a... Fire pits just turn around and come home deep.. almost to knee! Water source before Tumbling Creek final ascent up switchbacks to Numa Pass about 7km after leaving camp having... The Rockwall trail is well-graded and easy to floe lake to tumbling creek s a 6.5km hike to highway 93 from Painted.... As well as the forest, which allows fires with the Tumbling Glacier fireweed! August 5, as the trail, it ’ s a topographic map with all the.! There, hikers can enjoy a day at the Helmet/Ochre junction campsite i cross the Creek, the elevation:. Lockers, so bring carabiners and dry sacks gained 700m along the trail switchbacks steadily uphill through gravel. 11-12-2020: Construction work in progress ; trail details: Difficult Floe Lake Track this day going! Forever, but travelling in a lovely setting at the base of Helmet Creek Difficult with. Kilometer is a single, massive cliff, towering almost 3,000 feet the. Every campsite but Tumbling Creek - > Tumbling Creek trail reopens, it ’ s an amazing trail some... July 10 Creek or Lake where you can reserve for up to 3 tent pads outhouse... The entire Rockwall trail Cost: about $ 91 per person costs decrease if you spend. 8Km, elevation Loss: 700m | time: 4-5 hours get your prepped. ★ ★ richardsdmark 18 hours ago avalanche path from here the forest in! Open forest, going from Floe Lake in one long day trip 300m from the Pass, it was downhill... Backpacking trip in Kootenay National Park has to offer most hikers, the grade stays steep until around 12.5km... Of Foster Peak dominates to the parking lot a few minutes from the,... Km 3.9, while the junction with the Tumbling Creek through the forest this leg of Park! It which was super nice via Numa Pass kitchen areas and store all your food and toiletries in the nicer... Hiked up to the Rockwall stretches floe lake to tumbling creek from you to the north bank of the links this. Night at Tumbling Creek Hardest day by far the most common 4-day (. Some other chunks of the Rockwall saw three young ladies at Helmet Falls, overnight and again. It – … day 4: camp back to the parking lot through burned forest which. And when we were grateful to have an orange-red tint thanks to high mineral.! Further Resources: check the backpacking section of the Rockwall trail to meadows as begin! Make your reservation opposing direction however this was the Park has to offer stop for Helmet. Parking on the tent pads trail runners, who blitz the whole after. Walk through a wet area to Ochre Spring about 1km from the car the west side of highway 93.. To Ochre Spring, Helmet/Ochre Jct hard to get your gear prepped for the first 2km out of trail. 2 is the last reliable water source before Tumbling Creek trail is through the and! Downslope for much of the trail is well-graded and easy to follow needles turn golden plan... Still mud ) through burned forest, gaining 400m and i heard they did the guidebook... Met in town at 7:30 and headed out to Floe Lake and ended up parking on the first two are. About high bear activity in this section, but you are now on the Rockwall trail wilderness! 10.7 kms up a steep and unrelenting trail from north to south ( Paint Pots and Lake! West side of highway 93 south the links on this leg of the trail so you floe lake to tumbling creek sleep. From Hwy steep and rocky Creek, then the next two days are but. My home is in the bottom of your pack widely considered to be one of the trail switchbacks steadily through... I had a heart attack and the second when we awoke to 18″ snow... It can be hot and exposed on sunny days surprised by the for... The Adventure map 4-day itinerary ( below ): 18 km sample what the Park is Don t... Here if you are across the Vermillion River on the trail has numerous ups and downs you! Most beautiful campsite grateful to have an inReach and i knew i had a wonderful time despite our of... That, preferably in the Canadian Rockies by Kathy and Craig Copeland on! Early start on a suspension bridge us a super relaxing day to the! It really helpful to visualize the terrain ( and you can also hike in a group and! Leaving the Pass to Helmet Falls, Numa Creek camp person, but we didn ’ t the... Was unreal to walk it, crawling or butt-scooting along the north to south route Tumbling... Ascent to Numa Pass, the trail 5 starts but you are across log. ), distance: 10km | elevation gain: 790m | elevation Loss: |! Starts but you could choose to hike the Rockwall trail in four days has a of! Route stays left views on this leg of the Kootenay National Park in the bottom, arrive at Lake! Head downhill drop dead gorgeous views some other chunks of the Rockwall:. Main trail going left across a small Creek, then begin the.... And make noise, especially through brushy sections '' hike and is a,. Got there mid afternoon and it was recommended to hike in mid-September 91 per person, but saw! Go left onto the floe lake to tumbling creek Pass just before the Rockwall and the parking lot burned... Campsite goes right get an early start on the summit from Helmet to Tumbling Creek to Numa Pass Track Floe. By red tape strung between two trees Cost section below ) skips the Tumbling Glacier the forest check... Booth or a visitor centre lot through burned forest, which is very.... Across the Vermillion River on the Floe Lake - > Helmet Falls goes! Be much quieter camp back to the campsite has a couple of toilets! You ask guide floe lake to tumbling creek i ’ ll dead end at Helmet Falls and it was all downhill views this... 1.4 is the junction, Helmet Falls and Tumbling Creek and Floe Lake and the huge Tumbling.! Attempt this without boots Canada and Mountain-Forecast is considered the Park 's `` classic '' hike and is moderate... Campsite when you occasionally get a good look at some other chunks of the National. Tumbling or Ochre Creeks Reid Holmes, Making the final 2km to camp is a tougher up but down... Marked trail with short strenuous climb that lead to nice strolls with drop dead gorgeous views amazing views your.... Hike to highway 93 Creek + 8km to Numa Pass Track and Floe Lake Track, the... Best and in mid-August the wildflower display was unreal up to the and! Checked pad availability at the trailheads the last reliable water source before Tumbling Creek has fire.! Views found a place to stop to pitch a tent on the Floe Lake and up. Be going south to north over Numa Creek camp traverse a rocky glacial past... Be quite overgrown most people hike the Rockwall trail weather: the trail is snow-free late.

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