Floe Lake, Rockwall Trail closed by wildfire

Floe Lake and the Rockwall Trail were closed Saturday, August 5, as the Verdant Creek wildfire creeps closer to Highway 93 South. The closure also extended north along the popular Rockwall Trail to Tumbling Pass. Brian Patton photo.

Floe Lake and the Rockwall Trail were closed Saturday, August 5, as the Verdant Creek wildfire creeps closer to Highway 93 South. The closure extends north along the popular Rockwall Trail to Tumbling Pass. Brian Patton photo.

Update August 16, 2017—The trail to Floe Lake and the southern half of The Rockwall Trail have reopened. Keep track of current conditions on the Kootenay National Park Trail Condition Report.

The Verdant Creek wildfire has claimed another popular hiking area in Kootenay National Park with the closure of the Floe Lake trail and the Rockwall Trail south of Tumbling Pass. The area closure was enacted on Saturday, August 5, and will likely remain in place as long as hot, dry weather persists.

The fire has been growing steadily since it was first discovered in the Verdant Creek valley following an electrical storm on July 10 and moving closer to Highway 93S in Kootenay National Park. See Wildfire Closes Banff, Kootenay trails and Mount Assiniboine Park closed by wildfire.

Periods of heavy smoke prompted Parks Canada to close Highway 93S periodically during the past week, though it was open when this report was posted. Keep abreast of fire and trail closures on Parks Canada’s Verdant Creek Wildfire Update and Highway 93S access on drivebc.ca.

Rockwall Trail options

Options are limited for anyone planning on hiking the Rockwall Trail this season. In addition to the current fire closure, access was already limited by missing bridges that closed the Numa Creek and Tumbling Creek trails.

If I wanted to visit the Rockwall this summer, I would hike the Helmet Creek trail (166) and camp at Helmet Falls Campground. From there, you can day hike to Rockwall Pass (8 km), which I consider the best pass on the Rockwall Trail, or Goodsir Pass (4 km). Then return the way you came on the Helmet Creek trail.