Kootney National Park

Our backpacking trip to The Rockwall was cancelled. The trail report did not recommend travel so we took their word on it. One of my closest friends, L, got us a reservation at a campsite in Redstreak Campground by Radium, BC.

Before our backpacking trip, we decided to drive down to Calgary and stay the night.  We figured this way we could get an earlier start without having to leave Edmonton in the dead of night.  Since we couldn’t cancel the reservation, we still drove down and utilized it.  It was a lovely way to start the trip before getting to Radium. 

Since we were already halfway there, we decided to stop and do a hike the next day.  We wanted something with beautiful views, decent km’s, and some sort of elevation gain.  After some research, we decided on Galatea Creek to Lillian Lake.  

What a beautiful idea! 

Parking lot views

With the starting views so spectacular and the weather cooperating, L and I were excited to start. I had still brought some of my new gear I was going to bring backpacking, like my new trekking poles, so I had to give them a try! I honestly never knew how much a difference a pair of poles could make! It helped my knees, my balance, and evened out the workload.

The trail to Lillian Lake was varied. Some rocky sections, some muddy, some bridges, and definately some ups and downs. We would wind through forests, over the creek, see peek-a-boo views of the mountains and hear only the sound of our footsteps, laughs, and the birds chirping.

Lillian Lake came seemingly out of nowhere. The uphill walk stopped and through the trees we saw the lake.

Lillian Lake

This lake was the beautiful green lunch spot we had been hoping for. We stayed for awhile, I aired out my feet, and we ate some protein bars and trail mix.

Just another kilometer up the mountain, there was another lake we heard about – Galatea Lake. We also heard that the last kilometer was a big elevation gain. We felt good though so we gave it a try.

Oh my goodness. They weren’t kidding. Even though it was only a kilometer, the elevation gain was brutal (I blame some of it on the lack of oxygen … right?).

But it was worth it.

Galatea Lake

It was absolutely amazing. The blue of the lake was incredible.

Wow. That’s all I have to say.

We headed back down and we were treated to amazing views again.

View heading back down (that is Lillian Lake among the trees)

Oh and I have to give props to a trail runner we met on our way. He was planning on doing the WHOLE thing three times! I couldn’t do that. Totally in awe as my breathing was laboured and sweat was streaming down my spine.

We headed to our campsite and spent the night at the campground. It started to rain shortly after.

It kept raining. And raining. And raining. We spent the next day in Invemere to hopefully wait out the rain.

It didn’t happen.

Everything was soaked. L tried sleeping in her car for the first time. It worked so well! There is only room for one, which was totally fine because I like my little backpacking tent. But with all the rain we got, everything started to feel damp. My sleeping bag, pj’s, everything. We even bought cheap tarps to put over the tent and the picnic table.

Attempting to keep things a bit more dry

While this worked, we were running out of ideas. Most of the trails were in poor condition and things were getting too wet. After spending time in Invemere, we hung out in the back of L’s car at the campsite and played a game, watched a show, and ate some delicious snacks.

While I like the look and smell of rain, I could only imagine what the Rockwall trail would have looked like!

So we did what any camper would do. We woke up the next morning, decided to do a little hike and then take a dip in the hot springs.

After a hot breakfast and some hot drinks, we did the Juniper Trail. The nice thing about this trail is that we could park at the Radium Hot Springs parking lot, get on the trail and do a loop right back to the parking lot. And we could then do the hot springs without having to drive anywhere.

It was raining on the trail. Everything was wet and soon we were soaked through too. I’m not going to lie, we thought about turning around. But we didn’t.

Wet but loving the views

The clouds were low rolling and creating this incredible moody view. It was incredible that even without the sun, being outside was soothing.

Sinclair Falls

The waterfall at the end was amazing. The water was raging which made sense due to the amount of rain we got in 36 hours.

L and I chose to walk back along the road instead of taking the Sinclair loop back as we were starting to get cold.

We took a dip in the Radium Hot Springs which was a great way to warm up and clean up a bit before the drive back.

This trip was very different then the one we had been dreaming of since March but it was wonderful all the same. I was heartbroken that we didn’t get to do the trail but I realized that as long as you have a good friend and a sense of adventure, plan B or plan C can be just as much fun as plan A.

Me and L

Has there been a time when your plan A didn’t go as planned? What did you do about it?

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