Kimpton Creek is a short hike in south Kootenay National Park, near Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada.
The parking area is about 7.5 KM (4¾ miles) along the Banff - Windermere Parkway (Hwy 93) from the south-west entrance gate in Kootenay National Park near the Village of Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, Canada. However, trail beginning for Kimpton Creek is not at the small Kimpton Creek parking area with empty sign post and waste receptacle. A very tidy, gravel path leads away from the parking area but that path dwindles to nothing along Sinclair Creek and provides no alternative to the correct trailhead further down the highway.
The Kimpton Creek trailhead begins about 100 m (110 yards) south and west along the Banff-Windermere Parkway, adjacent to rushing white water reverberating against tall, sheer rock walls to the left, and high speed vehicular traffic to the immediate right. Crossing the wooden foot bridge over Sinclair Creek enters the quiet, cool stillness of lush, green forest.
This welcome paradise is made cool and lush by still air trapped between Kimpton Creek and formidable rock walls. The trail travels through the forested valley between Devil's Tooth and 2,662 m (8,734 ft) Mount Sinclair.
This straightforward hike of 9.6 KM (6 miles) return uses the same route in and out with elevation differential of about 300 m (984 ft). Relatively flat and uniquely positioned trail for the first 1.6 KM (1 mile) passes through magnificent, cool forest wedged in between tall rock walls to the left and musical white-water, Kimpton Creek on the right which morphs from lower in the valley to approach the trail side.
The hike climbs gently to a high point of 1,470 m (4,823 ft) hosting potentially higher temperature after the shelter of the cool valley ends.
Around 4.2 KM (2⅝ miles) the hike briefly breaks out into an open area which provides distant views over the Devils Tooth Range punctuated by a multitude of avalanche chutes.
The trail turns north-east and drops down again towards a major side steam feeding Kimpton Creek, and soon, an end-of-trail sign.
The return route is via the same trail taken in. Back in the coolness of flat trail adjacent to Kimpton Creek, one of the most prominent features is the diverse variety of fungi growing on the ground, on logs and on trees. Some are like works of art.
The forest ends back at the wooden bridge over Sinclair Creek and the hike completes with the short and noisy walk back to the parking area.
The Kimpton Creek hike is diverse with good trail adjacent to water and cool forest migrating beyond to a overview point through and beyond potentially warmer forest which can be enjoyed in a longer half day. Although Kimpton Creek is not an outstanding hike, the trail may be less crowded and a good candidate for reasonable exercise on decent quality trail without surprises. Not at the top of the list but a good hike none-the-less.