The Rockwall
A leisurely 5-day trip through a Rockies classic in Kootenay National Park

I've had my eye on this trail since I saw a photo of Floe Lake in my first year of hiking. This year, I finally made it happen.
Day 3 on this page. See also pre-trip, day 1, day 2, day 4, and day 5.


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Distance - ~9km
Elevation change - 350m gain, 700m loss
3 hours, 45 minutes

This day is a shorter one, which made a nice mid-trip break.
Most people tack this distance on to one of the days on either side, but we enjoyed taking it a little slower.
The minimal uphill gave the muscles a break, though at the expense of a long knee-crushing descent.

After crossing the creek and approaching, we again start with a steep uphill climb.
This one is pretty short though, with a total elevation gain for the day of only 350m.
The view of the Tumbling Glacier (the most aptly-named I've seen) is excellent all day, and quite close along the pass.

Laurier and Chinook play at breakfast.

Grrrrrrrrrr.

Bridge over Tumbling Creek.

Milky Tumbling Creek in the morning.

Jason, Axel, and Laurier hike out.

Erin heads up the slope.

Tumbling Glacier sprawls along the Rockwall.

The beautiful Tumbling Glacier.

Hiking along Tumbling Pass.

Bright flowered meadows in Tumbling Pass.

We took a short break, then continued through the meadows of the pass, and on to the descent.
The south side of 2175m Tumbling Pass is insanely graded, with a sudden drop of 700m.
We were quite glad we didn't have to slog up this in the sun, as it was bad enough.
There are a few streams flowing down from the Tumbling Glacier, which were great for cooling along the way.
A couple big ones required a more involved crossing, and we stopped by one of these for lunch.

The trail winds towards the Numa Valley.

Jeff, Erin, and Scott navigate the switchbacks.

Scott, Jeff, and Erin cross the lower plateau.

Scott: "Seven hundred metres looks a lot like 'holy shit'."

Streamlets book it for the valley bottom.

Raging flow from the Tumbling Glacier.

Jeff hikes up fo a better crossing.

Scott charges on across the stream.

Jeff hikes down the other side of the stream.

I switched to sandals to cross the torrent, and would have kept them on for another couple streams if I'd known, but others were doable.
Near the bottom, we switch from barren scree, to practically rain forest.
I failed to get a decent photo of this - because it's so thick around the trail that you can't see anything.
This trail could really stand to have someone come through with a hedgetrimmer or something to cut back the level of bushwhacking.
Since it was such a short day, we arrived at Numa Creek campground fairly early, and could enjoy a swim in the fairly clear creek

The start to the jungle section of the trail merely hints at what's to come.

Makeshift bridge across Numa Creek.

Axel goes creek-surfing.

A little evening fun - sneaking up and tying Jeff into the hammock.

Next time we'll be more thorough...

I'd been warned about Numa Creek Campground's bug problem, but other than the pervasive afternoon horseflies, it wasn't too bad.
I did manage to get stung by a wasp as we walked into the campground, which was one unfotunatey to the day.
My rapidly swelling calf added to the blood blister and chest cold to my woes for the next day...
Numa Creek Campground is also the only one that allows fires, so we enjoyed a leisurely dinner and evening around the fire.

Photos taken by Rachel.

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