“Since 1971 the most trusted source of Canadian Rockies hiking information”

Canadian Rockies Trail Guide

About Us

Author Brian Patton stands in front of the original Banff Book & Art Den, 1968.

Author Brian Patton stands in front of the original Banff Book & Art Den, 1968.

The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide  is published by Summerthought Publishing. Based in Banff, Canada, since 1971, Summerthought is a family-run, independent publisher committed to producing Canadian Rockies non-fiction books. For our main website, click here: Summerthought Publishing. For information about buying our books, go to our Bookstores and Retailers page.

The story of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide starts in 1965, when Peter and Barbara Steiner opened the Banff Book & Art Den, Banff’s first bookstore. Five years later, when bookstore employees Brian Patton and Bart Robinson set out to compile the first comprehensive hiking book to the Canadian Rockies, Peter Steiner and bookstore manager Jon Whyte agreed to form a company that would publish the guidebook and, perhaps, other books about the Canadian Rockies. Since summer was the only busy season in those days, most business ideas were hatched during winter, hence “Summerthought” as the name for their publishing company.

In 2006, the Steiner family sold Summerthought to Andrew and Dianne Hempstead, who have kept the time-honoured spirit of independent book publishing alive by increasing the title list to around 30 books in print, including the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, which as of 2023 has now sold over 280,000 copies.

Click on this link for the complete Canadian Rockies Trail Guide history.

About the Authors

Brian Patton

Brian PattonFor the past 50 years, Brian Patton has interpreted the natural and human history of the Canadian Rockies in books, on film and through presentations. His books include the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, Best Day Hikes in Banff National Park, Parkways of the Canadian Rockies, Icefields Parkway, Tales from the Canadian Rockies, Mountain Chronicles: Jon Whyte and Bear Tales from the Canadian Rockies. He continues to work on a variety projects from his home in Invermere, British Columbia.


Bart Robinson

Bart RobinsonFollowing the publication of the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide, of which he co-authored, Bart Robinson authored several other books on the Canadian Rockies: Banff Springs: The Story of a Hotel, Columbia Icefield: A Solitude of Ice Great Days in the Rockies: The Photographs of Byron Harmon, and Castle in the Wilderness. Subsequently, he has enjoyed a long career as a journalist, editor, and conservationist. He currently lives in Canmore, Alberta.