FATMAP difficulty grade
To start off, the trail goes through MacLeod Meadows Campground, then crosses the Kootenay River.
Two bridges cross two channels of the river, with a narrow island in between.
Here you’ll get excellent views up and down the river valley, with peaks on the horizon.
The trail then re-enters the forest and remains there for quite a while.
On a hot day, the shade is welcome, as the trail steadily climbs in elevation.
It can be muddy, rocky, or rooty in places but is easy going for the most part.
The final section descends to reach the lake. Eventually, you’ll emerge at the lakeshore, and find a panorama of mountains above the trees and water.
There’s room to spread out, so you can find a slice of the vista all your own.
At the lake and all along the hike, watch closely for wildlife like deer and elk that frequent this area.
Also be aware of bears, because they live here too.
Hike in a group, or at a time when plenty of people are on the trail, and your risk of a dangerous encounter stays very low. As mapped, the hike returns by the same route, but it’s possible to make a longer loop by continuing past Dog Lake and linking with the East Kootenay Trail. Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/bc/kootenay/activ/randonnee-hike/courte-short https://ruhlsoftheroad.com/kootenay/