The Rockwall Trail
The Rockwall is one of the most magnificent backcountry hikes in the Canadian Rockies. The trail is located in Kootenay National Park, B.C., along the corridor of Highway 93 west of Banff. The drive to the hike is in itself spectacular surrounded by mountains on either side of the highway and closely hugging the Vermilion River, which is a tributary of the Kootenay river. The rivers are what you would expect of glacial flow; milky blue water surrounded by gravel outwash.
Major forest fires ripped through the park in 1968 and 2003, spawning a cycle of new growth and a stunning example of ecological succession. Visit during the summer and you will likely see vibrant purple Fireweed flourishing among the new growth.
The Rockwall Trail can be hiked either South to North or North to South starting from either Flow Creek or the Paint Pots. Both directions traverse several alpine passes with scenery including mountain woods, subalpine forests, alpine tundra, glaciers, cliffs, and alpine lakes. The Rockwall is named after a continuous line of Cambrian limestone cliffs located between Tumbling Creek Trail and Helmet Creek Trail. The number of hikers on the trail is limited by the park given the size of backcountry campsites located at Floe Lake, Numa Creek, Tumbling Creek, Helmet Fall, and Helmet/Ochre junction. Take on this hike and you will surely be rewarded!