Often overlooked by it's more famous neighbors, there are oodles of beautiful things to see and do in Kootenay National Park - just the drive down Highway 93 alone is absolutely breathtaking. The short hike to the paint pots is an easy trail to give your legs a stretch, take in beautiful views, and explore some of the area's history. It's about 1.5 km to the actual Paint Pots and the first 1km out to the ochre beds is wheelchair friendly.
Before you even get to the brilliant colored soil and pools, you'll see some amazing sites and views along the way. Including crossing this glacial river on a picturesque bridge and if you go and look the opposite direction, amazing mountain views!
In just about 1 km you'll reach the first of the ochre mounds - remnants from the last collection of the mining operations that occurred during the early 1900s. The pigment found here was first used by First Nations tribes as a source for decorative paint and trade.
Just a litter further on, you'll make it to the actual Paint Pots which are cold mineral springs which create such a wonderful contrast in color with the red and orange tones of the earth.
The Paint Pots were formed as iron oxide builds up around the springs and the green color comes from mixing with the water of small creek that flows into the largest pool.
While it's just a short 3 km round trip hike with little elevation gain, the Paint Pots are great quick hike to do and certainly a wonderful one for photographers.