The dramatic entrance into the Village of Radium Hot Springs occurs through Sinclair Canyon in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia.
Driving southwesterly adjacent to Sinclair Creek near the bottom of Kootenay National Park passes the stone pillar sign leading through the arched bridge and past Radium Hot Springs. Soon the dramatic rock walls of Sinclair Canyon soar above the Banff Windermere Parkway and define the demarcation line between Kootenay National Park and the Village of Radium Hot Springs.
Expanding views past the South Park Entrance and parking for the Juniper Trail reveal the small but pristine Shell Park where 'The Mountains Shall Bring Peace to the People' sign complements a tribute to Conrad Kain, the Austrian mountaineer and guide famous in the area. The drive continues west along motel row towards the center of town where the Banff Windermere Parkway (Hwy 93) intersects with north-south Highway 95.
The Village of Radium Hot Springs hosts a variety of essential purveyors of service for food, lodging, travel, travel, exploration and adventure. The Village of Radium Hot Springs is one East Kootenay hub and most people pass through or stay a single night without taking the time to absorb the multiple attractions this small community has to offer. The original and major attraction is, of course, Radium Hot Springs which entertains world-wide visitors year-round. Few are even aware, let alone venture into the plethora of outstanding hiking trails through lush, green valleys or the lofty pinnacles of the Rocky Mountains and Purcell Mountains framing the lakes, rivers and incredibly unique features of the Columbia River Valley.
One local unique feature is the somewhat ramshackle, likely controversial and definitely unique woodcarving installation created over top of a home on Highway 93 and adjacent to one of a long string of motels.
The Radium Woodcarver provides a unique experience across the side street from a beautiful but abandoned church virtually crying out for attention and rejuvenation. The possibilities are unlimited but the future is uncertain and time is limited. The wood carving attraction tragically burned down towards the end of 2018. Plans to rebuild are being considered but circumstances leave the option uncertain.
This south end of the the Banff Windermere Parkway (Highway 93) hosts a variety of attractions which include a white-water rafting service near a popular mini-golf range and the excellent cuisine at The Old Salzburg Restaurant and Lounge.
The northwest intersection where the Banff Windermere Parkway meets Highway 95 hosts the tiny and immaculately maintained Radium Hot Springs Rotary Park providing vistas across the Columbia River Valley to the Purcell Mountains. A dramatic and somewhat intimidating set of stairs descends from Rotary Park into Sinclair Valley to a vast recreational array of hiking and cycling trails at valley bottom along Sinclair Creek near the Canfor Sawmill.
The Highway 95 Main Street component of the Village of Radium Hot Springs host the all-important Visitor Information Centre with Stations of the Cross directly behind. The small but important and complete village store area provides all the key components of a busy tourist town and many visitors avail themselves of accommodation provided by the large and well-appointed Redstreak Campground sprawling across the mountain plateau above the village.
A broad assortment of hiking trails which include the Juniper Trail and the Redstreak Loop provide many hours of scenic hiking opportunity. Old Coach Road begins across the highway from the Visitor Information Centre. A short drive accesses the Springs Golf Course. There are four major golf courses within easy and quick reach. And, there is a pub or two in case everything else fails.
The world famous Panorama Mountain Resort providing year-round, world-class accommodation and recreational opportunity is a short drive south through Invermere. This entire area is a recreational paradise for a broad range of recreational preferences. This short trip revealed substantial future opportunities.
Photographs for this post were captured over several days during an excellent week long stay in the Village of Radium Hot Springs during August of 2016.