The Rockwall trail traverses three alpine passes following along the limestone cliffs that form the wall (see Park Canada for more information and trailhead closures). You can see the Tumbling Pass in the distance. You've now completed the longest day and can give your knees a rest at the Numa Creek Campsite. Paint Pots to Helmet Falls is boring so is Floe Lake to the Trailhead, but the middle section between Helmet and Floe makes up for it. The wind whistled through the dead trees too, musically creepy! Definitely would do again. Raspberries can be found here, so can many bears, who are after the same sweet treat. After basking in the magnitude of the Rockwall reflecting in Floe Lake at breakfast, start your last day. The trail switchbacks steeply, quickly losing most of the elevation you'd gained on the The bugs were a non-issue at Helmet and Numa but relentless at Floe! is to do the relocation before you start the hike. After steep decent, trail go in to the bush. find me hiking somewhere in the mountains. Lots of larches with views of the entire valley- you can even see numa pass where you’re headed the next day! After you've conquered the Numa Pass it's not too much further to Floe Lake. (Wowza!). please for the love of god book your campsites. Lots of dense forest ascents and descents with rewards of beautiful passes. reservations for the peak period of July and August. Excellent views , campsites etc. Back in April Ray invited me to do the Rockwall Trail with him in mid July. I did this trail solo over 3 nights and 4 days of backpacking. The first section of the trail is quite flat. Once you make it to Numa Pass the views are incredible to both the south and the north. Parks Canada predict the affected area will be prime grizzly bear habitat from 2018 onwards as the resurgence of Worth all the hype!! 5th day Floe Lake to Ball Pass Jct 22 km, 7 hrs 20 mins. The Rockwall Trail is a 55 km trip traversing three alpine passes so we figured we would make it a five day, four night outing in order to take it easy and have some time along the trail for some side trips. don't go overboard, but don't skimp, err towards heavier/warmer) NB helmut ochre has bear hang instead of lockers, if staying there factor that into consideration w/ your food bag. If you have the luxury of time or that still seems too challenging then consider doing 4 nights/5 days. Definitely do this hike late August or September to get all the colours! Also used a -12 sleeping bag and R3.8 mattress. find me hiking somewhere in the mountains. Make sure you have comfy boots is all I would say! Once we reached the last bit of the rocky portion of the pass, we couldn’t even look back to see the views because a heavy cloud/ snow had rolled in. After the second water fall it’s a little steeper uphill but not bad! After we got to camp we ate dinner and went straight up to the falls, they’re wonderful! Stay aware and make lots of noise. Hiked the trail from Paint Pots towards Floe Lake which meant that I was always facing the gorgeous views. The trail is regarded as one of the premier hiking spots in North America, drawing in many visitors each year. The trail then descends into a sparse forest adjacent alpine tarns, before the roughly 200-m climb up Rockwall Pass begins. After crossing over tumbling falls you head uphill for a for a little while and then the descent begins! Typical back-country pit toilets, some in better shape than others. See the trail on google maps and google earth. Realistically, there are two possibilities. night was cold but not below freezing. Length: 12km to Tumbling Creek + 8km to Numa Creek. Overall a beautiful hike with the best views along the passes. 3 points of elevation gain, last one after tumbling creek (30km no turning back!) Overall this hike was amazing with breathtaking views the entire way!! We had a grizzly sighting, gorgeous weather, and unmatched views of Rockwall. not much I can add that others haven't mentioned. Many of the pads lie close to the shore. Probably down to -3 or -5 overnight! If you want to Just came out from Paint Pots after hiking the whole trail in 3 days/2 nights. The ridge separates the Vermilion River drainage and the Kootenay River drainage. Day 1: paint pots to Helmet Falls Amazing views, great trail condition and had sunny days with cool nights and only one night of rain. 4 days 3 nights starting at paint pots trailhead Aug 22 to Aug 25 2020. Day 2: Helmet Falls to Tumbling creek Up early and was first to arrive in Floe. Hike is in the trees most of the way, relatively flat, but so colourful! Trail conditions in Kootenay were good, few down trees, some short (15 steps) sections of snow and some mud and of course occasional downed tree. Remember to smile and look Bug spray did not help. Definitely challenging and chilly nights, but well worth it. The Rockwall Trail. Numa pass looking down at Floe Lake is by far the best. As there's no higher foliage, on a sunny day, there's absolutely no shade. Check out other fantastic backpacking trips in the Canadian Rockies. The cost is 9.80$ per person per night plus an 11.70$ reservation fee. For a comfortable hike, reserve four nights and stay at the Helmet Falls, Tumbling Creek, Numa Creek, and Floe Lake campsites. Helmet Ochre Junction Camp via Helmet Falls Trail. The distance between the trailheads is 13km (8mi) or a 10 minute drive. You consistently get great views of the 2003 burn across the mountains/ valleys with the bright red fireweed growing in its place! From Floe trailhead until the top of Numa Pass the bugs (horseflies, biting flies, & mosquitoes) were relentless, bring bug spray if not just for that section. The plan was to enter on the Floe Creek Trail and exit from the Helmet Creek Trail, where we would leave a vehicle at each end. Conditions on Hawk Creek trail on other side of highway bad as usual, seems this is one of last trails park service hits. Unless you're superhuman, most people decide to do it over 3 nights/4 days. Bookings for the Rockwall Trail can be made 3 months in advance. :) Actually shared camp w/ large doe hanging around eating area. Best Time to Hike the Rockwall Trail: The trail is snow-free between late July and mid-September. The trail includes several waterfalls, numerous creeks, many glaciers, alpine lakes and of course the famous Rockwall itself. On July 31st 2003, a lightning strike started a fire that would end up covering over 17,000 hectares. Saw a grizzly bear on this day as well. I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of, I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since. The First Nations communities in the area baked and dried ochre so it could be used as a paint for clothes, spiritual ceremonies and tipis (teepees). The trail then descends into a sparse forest adjacent alpine tarns, before the roughly 200-m climb up Rockwall Pass begins. We found the trail quite easy to follow, with the exception of leaving Tumbling Creek. I would just like to respond to Queenie's post about having a backcountry permit and reservation, and not finding a tent pad. From Victoria Public Market to the Parliament Buildings, make stops to sample craft beer, chocolate, cheese, tea, and other local treats. Took me about 7 hours (i'm not the fastest hiker, mid 50s, jogging pace 8 km/hr to give an idea for you to use to figure out how long it would take you). Stunning views. Eat lots and happy trails!! All campsites on the Rockwall Trail have access to non drinking water, cooking areas, outhouses and bear lockers. I had already made plans with my parents during that time, but he sparked my interest (and informed me that Parks had opened up reservations for the whole year instead of their usual rolling calendar. The Rockwall Trail is an epic backpack in Kootenay National Park. I am Marta Kulesza - the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. but there were enough skeeters to make me wonder what it would be like if the wind wasn't there. Between Numa Creek and Tumbling Pass we saw a mother grizzly and two cubs at the creek about halfway up, once you leave the trees from Numa Creek. I had the camp site to myself, despite one other booking in system. The Rockwall Trail is a 55 km (34 mile) superlative-laden feast, traversing three alpine passes through subalpine meadows and past impressive hanging glaciers. end. Excellent hike. Today the trail takes us to the base of Limestone Peak and the northern end of the ‘Rockwall’, our point of reference for the remainder of the trip. We were four guys, driving straight through the night across a good chunk of the country in a Mazda. 320m gain to Tumbling Pass, 715m loss The other is to hitchhike. The easy to follow path undulates slightly Woke up to weather around 5-10 Celsius then as high as 25C around 2 in the sun. There is a lot of Larch trees everywhere along the trail and whilst hiking it I thought to myself quite often, how awesome would it be to do this hike in late September! I met the black bear face to face in 5~6m. Trail ran around 60km of this magnificent trail! Starting on a weekend did help as the traffic was higher. But more, if it's raining or has recently rained, i'd be extra careful. if doing this extended route, can do trash dump at parking lot, which was a real nice bonus. In 2003 it was devastated in one of the most widespread forest fires in the Canadian Rockies. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from June until September. 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