Sinclair Canyon Trail is accessed near the Village of Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia.
The Juniper Trail is the route connecting the Village of Radium Hot Springs with Radium Hot Springs on the WEST side over Sinclair Canyon. It's more complex counterpart, connecting the Village of Radium Hot Springs with Radium Hot Springs via the EAST side of Sinclair Canyon, is the Sinclair Canyon Trail.
There are several trailheads which provide access to Redstreak Campground overlooking the Village of Radium Hot Springs and the Columbia River Valley. One trail access begins from Radium Hot Springs and another from behind the Visitor Centre on Main Street (Hwy 95). There are two additional access trails near the end of Madsen Road which link into the Valleyview Trail on the west side of Redstreak Campground.
This hike begins from the obscure and traffic-exposed trailhead tucked into the side of Sinclair Canyon near the south Park Gate and almost across the Banff Windermere Parkway (Highway 93) from the parking area for the Juniper Trail.
The trail ascends on fairly aggressive and sustained ascent over switchbacks to another sharp turn at an inviting bench.
A legion of past trail sins can be accessed from the bench by continuing straight through. These overgrown and braided transgressions are to be avoided. They are old routes which dropped down the steep slope from mid campground to the highway.
The correct trail option continues along the sharp switchback on good trail where the grade is initially more forgiving. Soon the pleasant walk is interrupted by a flight of stairs prior to being rewarded by outstanding views over the Village of Radium Hot Springs and the Columbia Valley from viewpoints which include the Juniper Trail viewpoint on the opposite side of Sinclair Canyon. A bench break is well advised to temper the next step that looms directly ahead in the form of an aggressive collection of heart-pounding, lung-collapsing stairs which mercifully end at another bench suitable for assuming a prostrate position in the slim hope respiratory survival is a remote possibility.
Following another humbling set of stairs, a trail junction provides continuing access on more stairs over Sinclair Canyon towards Radium Hot Springs or the option to swing right towards the north end of Redstreak Campground and the opportunity to enjoy another spectacular viewpoint across the valley.
Hiking on a random, intuitive route through the large and impressive Redstreak Campground will eventually provide access to the Valleyview Trail offering sustained and spectacular views of the Columbia Valley from the edge of Redstreak Hill before the drop down to the south end of the Village of Radium Hot Springs.
The Valleyview Trail passes the campground entrance station before descending on good path interrupted by significant sets of wooden steps for easier and more safe management of the steeper components. The final gravel switchback descends to intersect near Redstreak Park Road a short block above the Visitor Centre. The unique and reverent asphalt loop trail around the Stations of the Cross is directly behind the Visitor Centre.
This hike has included several components of trail on Redstreak Hill between Sinclair Canyon and the Village of Radium Hot Springs. A make-it-as-you-go route through Redstreak Campground was substituted for connection with viewpoints from Redstreak Loop into the Valleyview Trail. There are many alternative hiking possibilities in the area of this huge and very popular campground. Picking up several options can make the project an all day hike or small samples can consume less time and increase time available for enjoyment of multiple fascinating and diverse options in the area. The Visitor Centre is an important resource, largely manned by enthusiastic volunteers who will assist in making recommendations to suit the needs for a diverse assortment of hikers.
An excellent approach to the distance between the Village of Radium Hot Springs and Radium Hot Springs might be a hike from the Village to the hot springs via the Juniper Trail with a good soak in the hot springs pool complex and lunch before the return hike to the Village of Radium Hot Springs on the Sinclair Canyon Trail, through Redstreak Campground and back into the Village of Radium Hot Springs on the Valleyview Trail. Estimated distance for the full loop is about 16 KM (10 miles) with a wide variety of available options to adjust the distance, elevation and time. Be sure to take a hiking guide and map to navigate a wide variety of diverse and interconnected trail possibilities.
Photographs for this excellent hike incorporating path at Sinclair Canyon, the Redstreak Campground and the Valleyview Trail were taken on Wednesday, August 17, 2016 above the Village of Radium Hot Springs near Kootenay National Park, British Columbia, Canada.