Yoho National Park was created in 1920 and covers 1,403 square kilometres (543 sq miles) and follows the
Kootenay River down from the Continental Divide.
This highway was the first gravel road through the Rockies, and was an early trekking route for "Tin Lizzies."
This park straddles 105 kilometres of highway 93 from the Castle Junction (formerly Eisenhower Junction) (between Banff & Lake Louise) and heads southwest to Radium Hot Springs. The highway climbs over Vermillion Pass (coming east, you get great views of the heights around Castle Mountain as the highway descends inside Alberta), which at 1637 metres crosses the continental divide. As you drop into BC, the river at the side is the Vermillion River, which later flows into the Kootenay River. The park has several herds of bighorn sheep as well as numbers of bear, moose, elk and mountain goat. They tend to migrate from their summer range in the north (east) part of the park, and head to the lower and drier areas in the south during the winter.
After the highway bends to head southeast, you are presented views of Mount Assiniboine, nestled in its own provincial park on the BC-Alberta border between Yoho National Park and Banff National Park. The highway climbs once more and descends into the Kootenay River valley and the Vermillion Crossin. The 780 kilometre-long Kootenay River starts near Field, and flows south across the Idaho border, and then recrosses the Canada-US border 100 km to the west, flowing into Kootenay Lake at Castlegar. The name comes from the Blackfoot pronunciation of the Kootenai linguistic group, whose name means "water people". The River was originally named McGillivray's River by geographer and explorer David Thompson in 1808, after the North West Company's fur tradering brothers Duncan and William McGillivray.
Afer following the Kootenay River wouth for a while, the highway takes a bend west, heading up a rise over the Sinclair Pass (elevation 1486m) before rapidly descending down to Radium, passing several truck runouts. You pass through Sinclair Canyon and are presented vast open views of the Columbia River Valley and the Purcell Mountains to the west, famed for their world-class helicopter skiing. The highway zips past the Radium Hot Springs, on the left side, before you arrive in Radium.
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