Canadian Rockies Hiking Blog

Lake O’Hara bus schedule changes for 2015

Getting a seat on the bus to Lake O'Hara has always been a challenge, with keen hikers marking their calendars three months in advance to ensure they call on the correct day and ensure themselves access to this very special place. As of 2015, the process has changed...

Low snowpack south of Jasper

Normally during the first week of spring, I would be talking about another long winter coming to an end and looking towards the first hike of the season. This year is different, particularly in the southern half of the Canadian Rockies. A month ago I was hiking up a...

Jasper National Park – decommissioned trails

For anyone who purchased Gem Trek’s “Jasper & Maligne Lake” or National Geographic’s “Jasper South” and “Jasper North” maps recently, some old, well-worn trails are conspicuously absent. No, these omissions aren’t typos but rather a reflection of trails that will...

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...

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...

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...

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...

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...