Category Archives: backpacking

Backpacking to Maligne with Mary

Five intrepid backpackers celebrate the end of a hot, smoky summer with a soggy ten-day trek from the North Saskatchewan River to Maligne Lake on the Great Divide Trail. Fog, drizzle, rain, sleet, snow! Jim Shipley and his buddies did something this summer that I never managed. Backpacking 10 days in the wilderness without seeing more than a few flashes of blue sky and sunshine. And this following one of […]

Finding the trail to Castleguard Meadows

The old trail to Castleguard Meadows via the Alexandra and Castleguard Rivers is a tough slog. But those who make it there, either by the fading trail or over the Saskatchewan Glacier, will never forget this remarkable region. Finding the way on this remote route, unmaintained track in Banff Park’s northern reaches is not a walk in the park. Any signage on the route dates to the dark ages, and […]

Canada Day—Take a hike, eh!

Last July 1st, blog correspondent Jim Shipley and his buddy Frank hiked to the top of The Nub in Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park to celebrate Canada 150. As Jim’s photo attests, it was a little bit snowy backpacking into the park via Bryant Creek and Wonder Pass at that time of year. But what a great way to celebrate the country’s birthday! If you went somewhere special this Canada Day, […]

Reserving campsites at Mt Assiniboine

Assiniboine Provincial Park visitation has increased steadily over the past several years, prompting one backpacking friend of ours to refer to the summer camping scene at Magog Lake as “Burning Man in the Mountains.” While clearly hyperbole, the comparison does point to a growing problem: how do you maintain order when you have more campers than campsites queued up at a first-come, first-served campground 20-plus kilometres from the nearest trailhead? […]

Online Backcountry Booking Comes to Banff, Yoho and Kootenay

Building on the online backcountry reservation system unveiled for Jasper two years ago, Parks Canada is expanding the system to include Banff, Yoho and Kootenay in 2018. The system will become fully operational at 8:00 am MST on March 1st, providing an online means of reserving all backcountry campsites in the three parks, as well as Jasper, for the duration of the year. The new system launches at a good […]

Backpacking Banff’s remote Front Ranges

  Each summer, Calgary hiker Jim Shipley organizes a multi-day backpacking trip into the remote valleys and passes of Banff or Jasper Park, exploring country that he and his buddies haven’t visited before. While Jim contacts us for pre-trip tips, we always receive more information than we provide. Following his trek, he composes a detailed report with photos and sends it along for use in this blog—reports that always provide revisions for […]

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 […]