The Gateway: Your Gateway to Kootenay National Park

Terrace, The Gateway, Radium Hot Springs BC Canada

The Gateway, a family-run lodging in Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia

The small community of Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, is the gateway to Kootenay National Park, one of several national parks in the Canadian Rockies. Though lesser-known than the popular Banff and Jasper National Parks, Kootenay’s diverse terrain — from deep stone canyons to turquoise rivers to snow-topped peaks — is well worth exploring. Radium Hot Springs, a popular mineral pool at the south end of Kootenay National Park, is just outside the town that shares its name, perfect for a soak when you come off the trails.

Suspension bridge, Kootenay National Park, BC Canada

A suspension bridge crossing the river in Kootenay National Park.

Basic roadside motels line the highways leading into Radium Hot Springs, but for a lodging with a little more style, consider a stay at The Gateway, a family-run property that can be your gateway to Kootenay National Park and the surrounding Kootenay-Rockies mountain region.

Here’s the scoop:

The Gateway, Radium Hot Springs BC Canada

The Alpine-style Gateway is a gateway to Kootenay National Park

The Gateway, Radium Hot Springs

At this simple roadside motel, the well-maintained guest rooms feel like mountain cabins, with pine paneled walls, white bedding, reading lights over the bed, wall-mounted flat-screen TVs, Wi-Fi, and mini fridges. Bathrooms aren’t huge, but they’ve been updated with modern fixtures and cherry red tile.

Room options include standard one- or two-bedded units, as well as a kitchenette room with a hide-a-bed and kitchen facilities and a larger two-bedroom suite with a full kitchen.

Guest room, The Gateway, Radium Hot Springs BC Canada

A queen-bedded guest room at The Gateway

During my recent stay, The Gateway was offering guests a grab-and-go breakfast that you could eat on the terrace or in your room. Billed as a light Continental meal, it included quiche, yogurt, oranges, and a slice of excellent chocolate chip banana bread, which the staff said comes from the ovens of the nearby Big Horn Café, along with coffee or tea. It was definitely hearty enough to fuel a morning of outdoor adventures.

On the property are BBQs if you want to prep a meal, as well as a rustic barrel sauna.

What’s Nearby?

Paint Pots, Kootenay National Park, BC Canada

On the trail to the Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park

Most visitors to the region come for hiking in Kootenay National Park, which has more than 140 miles (230 km) of walking trails. Popular short hiking routes take you to the Paint Pots, mineral pools surround by orange ocher beds; Marble Canyon, where you can cross a turquoise-hued creek as you hike through a narrow gorge; and Dog Lake, which leads over two suspension bridges and through the woods to a serene lakeshore.

You can go whitewater rafting in the nearby town of Golden, or enjoy a guided kayak excursion with Columbia River Paddle, starting a short drive south of Radium in Invermere, where you might explore the wetlands, beaver dams, and birds along the river.

Kayaking in Invermere, BC Canada

Touring the wetlands on a kayak tour with Columbia River Paddle

Of course, you should leave time for a soak in the namesake hot springs. And if you’re headed for Banff National Park, it’s only a 90-minute drive from Radium Hot Springs, where The Gateway can be your gateway to mountain adventures.


Double room rates at The Gateway start at CAD$115-145 per night, including breakfast. You can compare rates at Priceline, Expedia or other booking sites and see if you can get a better deal.

For other lodgings in the vicinity of Kootenay National Park, check out our reviews of Bighorn Meadows Resort in Radium and the off-the-grid Cross River Wilderness Centre.

Hotel feature by Vancouver-based travel, food, and feature writer Carolyn B. Heller. Photos © Carolyn B. Heller. Destination British Columbia, Kootenay-Rockies Tourism, and Tourism Radium, in partnership with The Gateway, provided support for my Kootenay region research trip.

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