Kootenay National Park is a popular and quick escape from Calgary. It hugs the border between BC and Alberta and features many great hikes and backcountry camping experiences.
The best campsite in Kootenay National Park is in the Redstreak Campground on the western edge of Kootenay National Park just outside the town of Radium Hot Springs.
ABOUT REDSTREAK CAMPGROUND
Redstreak Campground takes its name from Redstreak Mountain which towers above Radium Hot Springs and Kootenay National Park.
The campground is almost directly in town, it’s just 2.5km up a winding road (that has been home to rocky mountain sheep lounging on the shoulder every visit we’ve made).
The Redstreak campground is very large with almost 250 sites to accommodate unserviced tenters, RVs, trailers, or those who prefer a glamping experience in an oTENTik.
We are tenters, and while I can appreciate the chance to plug things in, we prefer quieter and more secluded campsites. I’ll take a walk in campsite over a pull through RV parking lot every day.
At Redstreak campground, the pull through lots are in the F, G, and H loops. The oTENTiks are along the edge of the A loop, while B, C, D, and E are more traditional campsites with a variety of serviced an unserviced. Each loop features washrooms, a few have playgrounds, and there’s also an amphitheatre for naturalist presentations.
Not every site at Redstreak Campground is equally awesome. One year, I got my ‘favourite site’ numbers confused and I reserved the wrong one. We could literally reach from our picnic table and touch the clothesline of the site next to us.
Now, for people who are looking to have a shared experience with friends or family, and don’t want a group camping site, getting sites so close together would be fantastic. For me and my sons, who take camping trips to unplug and escape, it was a nightmare. We didn’t set up our tent on that trip, we just drove down to Fairmont Hot Springs, went for a swim and then went back home.
THE BEST CAMPSITE AT REDSTREAK CAMPGROUND
To be honest, I have only ever camped along the B loop at Redstreak Campground . The sites here back on to those in the C and D loops, so I’ve seen a number of the sites. I haven’t been all the way into the E loop, which does show promise for being secluded away from the rest of the campground. I have camped once in the walk-in sites along the west edge of B loop (which were great).
The best camping experiences at Redstreak, however, have been the two times we’ve booked site B-9. It is, by far, the best campsite at Redstreak Campground.
Site B-9 at Redstreak Campground is a simple walk-in campsite. You sit in a Valley between the B, C, and D loops and you just feel like you have acres of space all around you.
My son and I tossed a football without bugging anyone else, he ran up and down and around the hills without running into anyone.
Even the squirrels love this campsite, they were scampering up and down trees for our entire visit, knocking down pinecones and stocking up for winter.
If you want a camping experience where it’s quiet, and you’re secluded but it’s still safe and there are people around to make enough noise to keep the bigger animals away, then B-9 at Redstreak Campground is the best campsite inKootenay National Park.
HOW TO BOOK THE BEST CAMPSITE AT REDSTREAK CAMPGROUND
The worst part about sharing a secret like this is that ‘word gets around.’ So, um, let’s keep this campsite just between us.
Booking any campsite at a National Park in Canada is a difficult task. They open campground reservations at the beginning of the year, staggered by region.
In other words, you need to know what your camping wishes for the summer are in JANUARY. People often hoard a number of campsites and then just eat the reservation fee when they cancel at the last minute.
So if you want to reserve the best campsite at Redstreak Campground, site B-9, then you need to make plans early OR check throughout the year to see if someone else’s plans have changed. But don’t be a hoarder, take what you need, save the sites for others to make their plans, and let many people enjoy this perfect camping site in Redstreak.
THINGS TO DO AROUND RADIUM HOT SPRINGS
If the Radium Hot Spring is open (it was closed for 2020 because of COVID-19), it’s a leisurely hike from the campground to enjoy a relaxing soak.
Fairmont Hot Spring is another hot spring is just at the other end of the Columbia Valley.
There is A LOT of golf in the Columbia Valley. Kids will love Copper Point and Fairmont Hot Springs courses, while tracks at Radium, Invermere, Windermere, and Panorama offer up some of Canada’s best within a 30 minute drive.
If you want some beach time, there are options in Invermere on Lake Windermere.
Mountain biking is a popular activity out near Panorama.
Of course you could just sit around the campfire roasting ‘smores, playing cards, and unwinding. After all, when you’ve found the best campsite in Kootenay National Park you might as well unwind and enjoy it!