Best time to travel to British Columbia

Floe Lake in British Columbia

Cobalt lake lying at the foot of the picturesque mountains

Best time: mid-July–September

Floe Lake
Floe Lake
Floe Lake

Picturesque Floe Lake is settled in Kootenay National Park, British Columbia. Surrounded by glaciers, towering cliffs, and alpine forest, it is one of the most beautiful spots in the Canadian Rockies, only accessible by hiking trails. The Floe Lake Trail starts at a trail head on highway 93 in Kootenay National Park, about 32 km (20 mi) west of the Castle Junction.

The Floe Lake Trail is 19.3 kilometer (12 mi) long, with 959 m (3,146 ft) of elevation gain. It is lightly trafficked and rated as moderate. For multi-day hikers, there is a campground at the Floe Lake, so you can witness a sunrise or a sunset at the lake. The first part of the trail is relatively flat and easy but the last quarter of the hike features a 30% uphill climb. Like most Rockies hikes, the best time to hike the Floe Lake Trail is from mid-July to September (sometimes early October). You can check current trail conditions of the Parks Canada website.

Practical info

What is the total distance of the Floe Lake Trail?

The Floe Lake Trail's length is 19.3 km (12 miles) and has an elevation gain of 959 meters (3,146 feet). The trailhead is on Highway 93, 32 km (20 miles) west of Castle Junction in Kootenay National Park. Hikers must brace themselves for an uphill climb with a 30% gradient during the last quarter of the trail to reach their destination. Show more

Is the Floe Lake Trail easy or challenging?

Even though the first portion of the Floe Lake Trail is relatively easy and flat, the last quarter of the trail is where it gets challenging, specifically the steep elevation gain. The trail has a moderate rating because of these conditions. Nonetheless, the views and wildlife sightings present along the way are worth it. Hikers must be adequately prepared and physically fit to tackle the rest of the trail with ease. Show more

What is the best time to visit Floe Lake?

The best season to visit Floe Lake is generally between mid-July and early October when it is relatively warm, the trail is accessible, and the scenery is breathtaking with blooming alpine flowers and lush green trees. It is a must-visit spot for anyone fascinated by nature. Parks Canada website provides visitors with regular updates about trail conditions and other pertinent information to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience. Show more

Is the trail open in winter?

Although Kootenay National Park is accessible throughout the year, the Floe Lake trail is not suitable for hiking in the winter. The trail is prone to avalanches and buried in snow. That said, visitors in the winter can enjoy cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on the trail. It remains a popular attraction for winter sports enthusiasts, thanks to its gently sloped trail, perfect for beginners. Show more

Is there any campground near Floe Lake?

Floe Lake Campground is the only camping site in close proximity to Floe Lake. It has beautiful surroundings and provides visitors with an opportunity to bask in nature's serenity and spend the night under the stars. Picnic tables, toilets, and food lockers are available within the campground for visitors' comfort. The camping site offers hikers the chance to witness the mesmerizing sunrise and sunset at the lake, making it an experience no one should miss. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin