Redstreak Campground – Kootenay National Park

Redstreak Campground – Kootenay National Park

Redstreak Campground is a pretty camping area at the Southern end of Kootenay National Park (Canada), near Radium Hot Springs and Sinclair Canyon. It is a pretty large campground with good facilities and it’s location means it is normally warmer that the campgrounds further into the rocky mountains. The campsites are located on a hill with incredible views over the Columbia River valley and with easy to access trails to the hot springs, and to the nearby village.

Redstreak Campground Location

Redstreak Campground is on a hill at the southern end of Kootenay National Park, next to Radium Hot Springs and overlooking the village of Radium Hot Springs. The campsite is surrounded by semi arid grasslands, so it is a great area to watch out for bighorn sheep.

Redstreak Campground Map

There are 232 Campsites available. Each of the sites we saw were surrounded by trees and arranged around shared facilities, like loos, showers and covered cooking areas. It is a very large campground, but as it is arranged in smaller groups, it feels intimate.

Redstreak Campground Facilities

  • Flushing loos and showers
  • Fire pits and picnic benches at all sites
  • Drinking water (and sani dumps for the RV-folks) and grey water sinks
  • Firewood. You shouldn’t bring wood from outside the park.
  • Covered cooking/dining area in case you need to cook in the rain (photo below)
  • Food lockers
  • Recycling and garbage bins
  • Playgrounds
  • Barrier free campsites for disabled campers

Bare campsite

The most important rule about camping in the Rockies is keeping a bare campsite. Basically you need to pack away all food, cups, plates, pans, grills etc., and anything that has a scent that might attract bears. Store things in your vehicle or in the bear-proof storage lockers. Never leave any of food or these items unattended for even a minute, and do not keep them inside your tent. In addition to bears, don’t be surprised if you see bighorned sheep.

Camping at Redstreak pros and cons

Redstreak’s campsites are spacious. They would work well for both RVs and tents, but it felt lovely and roomy with a single tent. Redstreak is on the edge of the mountains, so you may have cell service(!) There are showers aaand you’re near a hot spring, so you can stay clean. (Although both the showers and the hot springs were closed due to covid-19 when we visited.)

The downside is it there is little undergrowth beneath the trees, so you can often see and hear other campers. It can also be hard to book a campsite as this is a popular campground with lots of other people keen to stay there!

Radium Hot Springs

One of the best reasons to camp at Redstreak Campground is being so close to Radium Hot Springs. As well as the natural hot springs, there is a pool. You can reach these on foot along a pretty 2.7 km trail.

Booking at Redstreak Campground

You can reserve spots to camp here in advance. Use the Frontcountry campground website to book. There are 144 unserviced campsites, 38 with electricity as well as 50 with water, sewers and electricity.
Open Dates: April 29 to October 9
Redstreak Campground fees: (you also need to pay a $11.50 non refundable reservation fee on top of this, plus $9.25 for a fire permit.)
Unserviced, with fire pit: $29.25
Electrical – $34.50
Water, sewer and electrical $40.75

– Max people per site: 6 people
– Max 3 “units” per site. A unit is a vehicle, RV or tent. Only 1 RV or trailer per site.

Redstreak Campground vs Marble Canyon Campground

Both campgrounds are great places to stay, so you’ll probably want to choose whichever campground is closest to the trails or sights you’d like to visit. Marble Canyon is a lot smaller, and close to the road so louder, it also has more dilapidated facilities. However it is also cheaper, and much closer to Banff and Lake Louise. If you want to explore the Northern part of Kootenay National Park or Banff, it’s better to stay there.

Redstreak is larger (and the individual campsites are more spacious.) It is also much closer to facilities like shops and the hot springs. It’s further away from the hikes in the Northern part of Kootenay National Park, but really good for adventures in the Columbia Valley. Restreak has a warmer climate as it is at a lower elevation at the edge of the mountains.

Wait, what is car camping?

Car camping (or front country camping) doesn’t mean you sleep in the car. It just means you carry all your camping equipment in the car and park right next to your tent. We really like this style of camping as it means we can be luxurious with things like real pillows. It also allows us to use the fire pits to cook more elaborate food (we can even use our cast iron pan).

Campfires at Redstreak

When we stayed at Redstreak the fire permit ($9.25) was not included in the price when you book a campsite. However you can pay with cash after you arrive. We LOVE cooking on campfires, so we paid the extra. Invasive insects and pests can live in firewood so you should always use local firewood to protect the forests. You do not have to pay for the firewood (it’s included with the fire permit.) Just wander over to the log pile and pick up what you need.

Campfire meals

As always, we had fun cooking next to our tent. We had leftover chicken from our previous night camping at Marble Canyon, so one night we had pesto pasta with that. The other night involved finding fork-like sticks to skewer hot dogs on the campfire.

Explore by Foot

This campground is within walking distance from the Village of Radium Hot Springs. There are shops there as well as an information booth if you need maps or ideas for what to explore. We also loved the forest footpath to the Radium Hot Springs pools via Sinclair Canyon.

If you don’t mind a bit of a drive, there are even more hiking possibilities nearby.

Hikes Near Redstreak Campground

There are plenty of hikes and adventures in and around Kootenay National Park. You can easily reach the beautiful trails (and hot springs) in Columbia Valley as well as the mountains in all directions. Here are a few ideas…

  • Right next to Redstreak Campground is the Juniper Trail that leads you to Radium Hot Springs
  • Dog Lake (easy hike to one of the prettiest places I have ever been swimming.)
  • Cross the Vermilion River to hike along the Simpson River
  • There are some really cool hoodoos in the Columbia Valley to the South, near Fairmont Hot springs.
  • Panorama Summit is a fun hike up the ski trails of Panorama resort near here.
  • Marble Canyon, Paint Pots as well as Stanley Glacier are all great places to visit in the Northern part of Kootenay National Park.

This map shows all of our adventures in BC and Alberta. You can zoom in to the area around Kootenay National Park to see all the hikes mentioned above (and more!)

I would be happy to come back and stay here again. I loved that it was a warm, welcoming area to camp with fantastic views and easy to reach hiking trails. Do you like the look of camping at Redstreak Campground?

36 thoughts on “Redstreak Campground – Kootenay National Park

  1. Ooh that looks like a gorgeous campground – how nice to have a view rather than being down in the valley! We’ve driven through that part of the park but never stopped to explore. I think we need to rethink that…

    1. It is really nice. You don’t get views from the campsites (they are in the trees…) but where we were, it was only a couple of minutes walk to the incredible views down the hill.

  2. I’ve been in the Rockies in Colorado and would LOVE to visit Canada! Thank you for this thorough overview of the Redstreak campground! I’ve never tried car camping before, but we just got a new Subaru Outback and are looking forward to trying it out!

  3. I grew up car camping in Ontario. But haven’t done it in decades. I have fond memories of campfires, hikes in the woods, star gazing at night and cooking over a campfire. This looks like an amazing spot, and especially like the access to the hot springs.

    1. Stargazing in Ontario near all those beautiful lakes must be fabulous! We wanted to visit Algonquin Provincial Park when we were on your side of Canada, but we didn’t manage it so I need t go back! <3

  4. I would love to stay in a campground that is walking distance to a Hot Springs. Your campfire cooking looks great. It’s one of my favorite things to do too. I’m not used to paying to start a campfire though.

    1. I never mind too much in national parks (as the campsites are so cheap – and firewood is included) but I was a bit confused by that too when we first needed to pay!

  5. Amazing!! I have been to the Rockies once, and did all the major stops (or what I thought were the major stops) around Banff, like lake Louise and all that. I didn’t even hear about Marble Canyon or know about the hot springs! I really feel now like I missed out on so much. I think next time we’d try to camp there as well as that sounds like a pretty well set up campsite. We stayed in a hostel in Banff instead and I can tell you, camping looks much better.

    1. That’s the problem with the Rockies, however many things you see, there is always oodles more! 😀

      We loved staying hotels in Banff hotels too, but camping is great fun too.

  6. Ooo, that’s an awesome shot of the bears! It’d be really cool to go camping here — I’d love to check out the hot springs someday too + I love the color of that water!

    The term “car camping” has always confused me because it totally sounded to me like you’d be sleeping in your car (which I have also done, haha) – being able to cook more elaborate food was definitely fun. 😀 I brought my cast iron Dutch oven the last time I went and my friend and I made donuts! 😀

    1. I think there is a type of car camping like that too! (with a tent that fits over the back of a car…) But when my Canadian friends say car camping, they mostly mean camping next to their tents.

      Camping donuts!? That is sooo cool!

  7. I love that you can buy a fire permit at many of the national parks out west and that it comes with unlimited firewood. Here in Ontario it’s like $8-$9 for a small bag of firewood. This looks like a lovely spot to camp and a great excuse to visit the hot springs after a long day of hiking.

    1. Yes! I guess when you mention it, in the end the fire permit works out a lot cheaper than buying food when there is no permit. 🙂

  8. What a pretty location to camp! I love a campsite among trees. That’s a bonus that you are next to the hot springs too. I’ve never heard of needing a fire pit so that’s interesting! When I was a kid my dad told me to throw away the remains of the fish he’d cleaned. On purpose I left it near the back of our motor home in hopes it would draw a bear. And it did! I was so excited but my dad and people camping in tents weren’t too happy. Haha. Of course I’d never do that as an adult.

    1. Woooah I guess you really showed how smell can attract bears! Did the bear take the fish bones and leave? Your dad must have been so mad!?

  9. A hot spring near a campsite sounds superb! What a brilliant spot. Your camp meals look delicious too 😁. I can’t really imagine camping in bear country though. Of course, I’d love to see a bear, but only when I’m prepared for it. I’m sure, in Canada people are clued in on bear ‘protocol’, but coming from Oz where the biggest danger (at a campsite) is a snake, I’d be up all night listening for any sounds of approaching bears 😂.

    1. Yeah I know what you mean. I didn’t grow up here, so bears were the thing I found most scary when we started to camp in Canada. To be honest though, as everyone is pretty good at keeping bare campsites, we’ve never seen a bear near where we camp.

    1. It’s great fun (and to be honest, you are not likely to see bears in the campgrounds – I just include that advice to keep everyone, including the bears, safe.)

  10. I car camp too, who wants to carry all that gear! Thats so great they have wood there for you, I’ve not seen that anywhere in Australia!

    1. Lol I like carrying the gear to camp in the back country too… but it is pretty fun when you opt for luxurious car camping. 😀

  11. I’m excited we are bringing all our camping and hiking equipment with us on the plane, so we can land and be ready for the spring and summer hiking and camping season in Canada. Redstreak campground looks like it might be a great first place to get out feet wet and hopefully the hot springs will be open this summer!

    1. Woot woot! You guys are going to have soooo much fun here! Although, there are loads of provincial parks much closer to Vancouver that are great for getting started.

      My fave is probably Lightning Lakes in Manning Provincial Park. You can always give me a shout if you need ideas for getting going.

  12. What stunning scenery – it reminded me of Yosemite where we camped but in a pre-erected canvas tent. Nothing better than waking up in the great outdoors.

    1. Thanks Krista! Yeah, we loved the views but we were pretty sad that the hot spring was closed due to covid. I’ll just have to go back. 😉

  13. The idea of camping where there are bears terrifies me as I am so ditsy that I would inadvertently leave treats in my backpack inside my bag by mistake and would then no doubt be dragged outside in the middle of the night by a hungry bear! What a gorgeous area though!

  14. Wow, the surrounding Kootenay National Park must be wonderful with all those trees and the arid grassland is the perfect setting for camping. You always go to such wonderful spots. I always love doing hikes from a campground so nice that you’ve included a few in this post too, as well as some nearby.

  15. That is such a pretty campground, also, your camp meals look incredible, way better than my usual vegemite and cheese sandwiches! I am visiting BC next year – bookmarked! <3

  16. I love Kootenay National Park and these campgrounds look fantastic. Radium Hot Springs is a great spot – I’ve only been in this area during winter (my last visit was 2019) and I just love it. Would love to head back in the summer!

    1. Oooh we may have to swap, I love the idea of visiting in the winter! I also still need to visit when Radium Hot Springs is open.

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