Hiking gems in the Canadian Rockies

The Canadian Rockies is one of my favourite places to hike.

I’ve travelled to the Canadian Rockies on two occasions and spent about four weeks exploring the region. On my first visit, I went backpacking with a friend and we did some adventurous overnight treks. We even encountered a grizzly bear, but that’s another story. The second time, it was a family affair, as I travelled with two brothers, two nephews and one niece. But, we still managed some strenuous hikes, as in the photo above of the Sulphur Skyline hike in Jasper National Park.

I’m sure you could spend a lifetime here and still not discover all the remarkable trails, so this is just a list of my personal favourites (so far). If you can recommend other great hikes in the Canadian Rockies, I’d welcome your suggestions. I do hope to get back there one day and discover more of the trails.

JOHNSTON CANYON & THE INK POTS – BANFF NATIONAL PARK

A caption at Johnston Canyon reads: Nothing lasts forever, not cliffs, not creeks, not canyons. Follow the boardwalk to see water surging through tunnels and over cliffs. Crowds dispense as you continue to the Ink Pots, which are colourful spring-fed pools, as in the photo above. Trail information.

CONSOLATION LAKES – BANFF NATIONAL PARK

Mountaineer Ross Peacock suggested that since the Valley of Ten Peaks was called Desolation Valley, this area should be called Consolation Valley for its great beauty. It’s a short and spectacular hike starting at the breathtaking Moraine Lake. Trail information.

CRYPT LAKE – WATERTON LAKES NATIONAL PARK

Do you suffer from seasickness, claustrophobia or vertigo? This hike has boat trips, forests, waterfalls, sheer cliffs and narrow tunnels. Snow-capped peaks rise majestically above the emerald Crypt Lake. You can even cross the border into Montana. To read more about this hike check out my blog – Awesome hikes: Crypt Lake.

WILCOX PASS – JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Named for climber Walter Wilcox, this trail was a bypass in the late 19th century when Athabasca Glacier choked the valley below. For those wanting to avoid ‘Snocoach’ tourists this trail offers panoramic views of the glacier and surrounding peaks. Trail information.

SULPHUR SKYLINE – JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Sulphur Skyline is a strenuous uphill hike, but there are two great rewards. First, the view of saw-toothed mountain ranges and remote wilderness valleys is phenomenal. Second, you can soak your weary body in the Miette hot springs after the hike. Trail information.

CAVELL MEADOWS – JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Spectacular Mt Edith Cavell is named for a brave nurse executed during WWI for helping Allied soldiers. The Path of the Glacier leads to a blue lake at the foot of Angel Glacier. At the top of the glacier ice spreads, resembling wings of an angel. Trail information.

TONQUIN VALLEY – JASPER NATIONAL PARK

Overnight backpacking is the best way to see the remote wilderness areas of Jasper National Park. Hike to Surprise Point campground via forests and alongside raging rivers. Here the peaks of the inhospitable Ramparts reflect on Amethyst Lakes and, if you’re lucky, you might see a grizzly bear (as this is where we saw one). Trail information.

Do you have a favourite hike in the Canadian Rockies? What is it and why do you love it?

Links: Banff National Park, Jasper National Park, Waterton Lakes National Park

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7 thoughts on “Hiking gems in the Canadian Rockies

  1. Wow, you have some amazing photos! We love spending time in the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately, we haven’t had much time to do any hiking but many of your suggestions look like ones we should try. Hopefully, we will get there soon.

    • Thanks Tracy. I’d really love to get back to the Canadian Rockies too & I’m sure I will one day. It definitely helps that I have a brother living in Vancouver, so I get over there more frequently than I might otherwise have done.

  2. Pingback: Reminiscing Canada | kgrahamjourneys

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