Canadian Rockies Hiking Blog

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...

Jasper’s backcountry trail crisis

      Washed out bridges that aren’t replaced. Deteriorating backcountry campsites with grotty outhouses. Landslides and fires wiping out sections of trails, some permanently. Tracks over alpine passes awash and churned into muddy soup. Numerous trails...

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...

A case for park trailminders

The recent citation issued to a civilian trailminder in Kootenay Park has brought national attention to a question I've been asking for quite sometime. Why is it that provincial parks, lands & forest agencies, and municipalities can work with volunteer groups to...

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...

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...

Bug Wars: The Death of DEET?

For over 50 years outdoor folk have been using insect repellents containing DEET (N,N-diethyl-m-toluamide). In concentrations of 15% or more, it has been the most effective and reliable barrier against mosquitoes, ticks, and other blood-sucking critters. Now there are...

Sunshine Village gondola opens for summer

After an absence of 20 years, the Sunshine Village gondola will once again transport hikers to the Sunshine Meadows on weekends and holidays for the 2016 season. The gondola will commence its summer operation on July 1st with the bonus of a free ride on the Standish...

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...