Along our Alaskan Road Trip Route, we came upon Marble Canyon. It is one of those places that you never forget. It is absolutely gorgeous. The water is crystal clear and blue as the sky. I have never been more in awe of a locale in my life. I just kept repeating, “this is so pretty”, “this is so gorgeous”, “oh my gosh I can’t believe it”. The Marble Canyon Hike is as unique an experience you will get in Kootenay National Park and is an amazing place to bring the kids.
Marble Canyon Hike is 1.4 kilimeters, about .8 miles. We walked it as more of a kayak scouting expedition than anything else. The entire way up, until the very end, we really felt we could kayak this canyon. We were totally stoked and took extra care to look at every last stretch of Marble Canyon. Unfortunately, for us, the canyon was completely walled off with wood near the top and there was no way to get through.
But, Marble Canyon Hike in Kootenay National Park is absolutely perfect for an early am walk … keep reading for all the info…
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Marble Canyon Hike
The trail system is made up of trails and bridges that offer spectacular views down into the stunning slot canyon. The entire package, the blue water, the canyon, the surrounding wilderness and the mountain views in the distance make Marble Canyon Hike a truly special place.
The hike itself is an easy .8 mile out-and-back trail and will take you about .5 to 1 hour to complete. Along the Marble Canyon Hike interpretive signs are scattered to explain how and why erosion occurs. They explain how the canyon was carved out by glaciers as well as some educational facts on how mountains came to be.
Marble Canyon Hike is very easy and suitable for people of all ages and skill levels. Dogs are allowed, however they must be on a leash.
The hike starts from the parking lot at the trail-head (to the left of the restrooms). You begin by following Tokumm Creek up towards the canyon.
Marble Canyon Sights
There are countless geological finds, including this stunning natural stone bridge that formed.
Marble Canyon is one of the most colorful canyons in Kootenay National Park with its green dwelling cliff plants, grey limestone and glacial meltwater that is a spectacular, icy blue. A quick Google search will provide you with a plethora of educational information. As a homeschooling/roadschooling/worldschooling family we discussed the types of geological material found in Kootenay National Park. The are Modern Sediment, Rocks, and Ice Age Sediment.
Marble Canyon Hike is Safe for Kids
Marble Canyon Hike is totally safe for kids, which is another reason it is so popular.
There are fences that discourage people, not us, but other people, from approaching the dangerous and slippery edges of the canyon. I heard there have been several tragedies, some fatal and the danger only gets more obvious as you walk the path. You see, the depth of the marble walled canyon increases as you walk up the paved path.
When To Visit
While there is ample evidence of the 2003 wildfire that ravaged the area, during our visit, there was another fire burning and the air quality was less than desireable. However, nothing, not even poor air quality could minimize the experience of Marble Canyon.
This short, easy, gorgeous path makes Marble Canyon Hike an extremely popular destination. I suggest you make an effort to arrive early in the am or during off season. It is best to experience the gorgeous Marble Canyon in peace and quiet. We were very lucky that there were not too many tourists when we arrived.