Category Archives: canadian rockies trail guide

Castleguard Meadows revisited

The trail to the Castleguard Meadows via Alexandra and Castleguard Rivers has never been easy. But since we first included it in the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, there has been no maintenance and things have only gotten worse. A few intrepid backpackers make the journey each summer, either via the 35-km trail or cross-country over the Saskatchewan Glacier. Here is a current look at the entire route, trail and glacier, as travelled […]

New eBook guides to National Park trails

A new series of trail guides in eBook format has been published by Summerthought. Designed for Kindle readers, tablets and iPhones, and utilizing the free Kindle app, the series works as an affordable alternative or supplement to the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide. Each guide includes trail summaries, descriptions, and km-by-km distance outlines from the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide plus two features lacking in the print edition—a colour photo and  map for each […]

A hiker’s bucket list

      Despite what many people believe, Bart and I haven’t hiked all the trails in the Canadian Rockies. There are still trails we’ve missed and would dearly like to hike before we get too creaky to manage them. When I was making up a “bucket list” for myself, I suddenly realized there aren’t many day hikes in the mountain parks that I haven’t done at least once. Most of my […]

Park wardens: past and present

When we published the 2nd edition of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide in 1978, Jim Thorsell provided the cover photo of two park wardens in wool knickers packing from Floe Lake to Numa Pass. When Jim revisited Floe Lake last month, he discovered two very different park wardens. They’re still packin’ (a bit differently), but they smile a lot more these days.  

Remembering Mel Hurtig

Mel Hurtig passed away last week at age 84 after a brief illness, and a myriad of articles have been published across Canada lauding his achievements and devotion to Canada. But I also remember him as a friend and an enthusiastic walker who loved the mountains of western Canada. Mel was always an active golfer, but after he married Kay Studer in 1981, he became a very serious hiker. He frequently […]

New Gem Trek maps

Gem Trek has just released a batch of revised titles. And as usual, these colourful recreational maps provide the latest and best information for several popular hiking areas in the Mountain Parks. Kootenay National Park-5th edition. This 1:100,000 scale map is printed on waterproof material and, like most other maps in the series, provides both contour lines and attractive colour relief shading. This map is particularly useful since it not only covers Kootenay National […]

Akamina Parkway closure

Hikers bound for several of Waterton Lakes National Park’s most popular trails won’t have the luxury of driving to trailheads on the Akamina Parkway this summer. Parks Canada has closed the popular 16-kilometre roadway from Waterton Townsite to Cameron Lake while crews replace facilities at the Cameron Lake Day Use Area. The closure, which applies to pedestrians and cyclists as well as vehicles, is scheduled to last until November. In […]

Howse Pass: The disappearing trail

Of a number of trails that have disappeared since the first edition of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, Howse Pass may be the most famous. The trail up the Howse River to Howse Pass and the Columbia Valley beyond was first travelled by North West Company fur trader David Thompson in June 1807. Over the next three years, the trail was used as the first transcontinental trade route to the Columbia […]

Measuring the length of Canadian Rockies hiking trails

When we set out to create the first edition of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, we needed a way of accurately measuring the trails, many of which had never been measured before. Professional surveying wheels with their small wheels and substantial weight were out of the question; we required a wheel large enough to roll over rocks, roots and other trail obstacles wed to an accurate odometer. That’s when we came up […]

Jasper’s South Boundary Trail revisited

We originally hiked and measured Jasper Park’s South Boundary Trail many years ago, but a lot has changed since then. Wildfires, floods, rampaging grizzly bears (well, we did have a rampaging grizzly bear). The only way we can keep the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide up-to-date for long, remote backpacks, like the South Boundary, is through updates from our readers. Jim Shipley is one of those contributors. Every summer, Jim and […]