Kootenay National Park’s Paint Pots and Stanley Glacier trails are fully operational again thanks to the installation of two bridges.
Spring washouts in recent years have been hard on bridges throughout the Mountain Parks. One of the most popular of these was the span over the Vermilion River to the Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park. (See Paint Pots and Rockwall Trail detour, July 24, 2013 blog posting.)
A new bridge on the one-kilometre interpretive trail was completed earlier this month. Anticipating higher runoff events in the future, this bridge dwarfs previous incarnations.
The Paint Pots bridge also serves backpackers heading to Helmet Falls and the north end of Kootenay’s popular Rockwall Trail. The Paint Pots parking area was the preferred access point for these trips before the washouts. However, an alternate route from Marble Canyon was used for the past three seasons, adding an extra 3 kms.
Meanwhile, the Stanley Glacier trail reopened on August 31st following a six week closure to rebuild the damaged trailhead bridge. (See Stanley Glacier trail closed for repairs, July 15, 2014 blog posting.)
Both the Paint Pots and Stanley Glacier trails are in good late-season condition as of this posting, but with falling temperatures and precipitation in the forecast, expect to find fresh snow in the Stanley Glacier basin and on the Rockwall Trail this weekend.
Photo by Andrew Hempstead