Monthly Archives: October 2014

Banff National Park: 9 days in the backcountry

  One of the pleasures of writing this blog is receiving queries from backpackers seeking advice on trips into remote reaches of the Mountain Parks. I received a couple of these this spring, including one from a Jim Shipley of Calgary, who was planning a two-week trip through the eastern Front Ranges of Banff National Park. After checking out his proposed route, and conferring with Parks Canada’s Don Gorrie, I […]

New hiking bridges in Kootenay National Park

Kootenay National Park’s Paint Pots and Stanley Glacier trails are fully operational again thanks to the installation of two bridges. Spring washouts in recent years have been hard on bridges throughout the Mountain Parks. One of the most popular of these was the span over the Vermilion River to the Paint Pots in Kootenay National Park. (See Paint Pots and Rockwall Trail detour, July 24, 2013 blog posting.) A new bridge […]

Autumn Road Closures in the Mountain Parks

As happens every year following the Thanksgiving weekend, Parks Canada has closed all the side roads in Banff, Jasper and Yoho National Parks for the season. The week or two following these closures is always bittersweet—sad to see the end of summer but a great time to bike dry, traffic-free roads to some of the best hiking areas in the Mountain Parks. There is a great weather forecast for the coming […]

A virtual trek to Devon Lakes in Banff National Park

Time was that planning a hike in the mountain parks was limited to a few lines in a park brochure, maybe a map, or at best a trail guide description illustrated with one or two photographs. Not so today. Google the name of any trail in the Canadian Rockies and you’ll discover scores of websites overflowing with photos and even videos. It’s no longer a mystery what you’re going to […]

Where the bears are in the Canadian Rockies

There are certain trails in the mountain parks where I always think about bears. But I always think about them more, and somewhat nervously, when hiking alone in the autumn. The incidence of serious grizzly encounters always seems to rise in the fall. Bears are at lower elevations and might be a bit more aggressive in their search for pre-hibernation food. People just get in the way. There are some trails I […]