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Canadian Rockies Hiking Guides
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Photos 2,4: Brad Braun

Canadian Rockies Backpacking Trip

Highlights

  •   Stunning mountain views
  •   Glaciers and waterfalls
  •   Alpine lakes & high mountain passes
  •   Opportunities to see wildlife
  •   Extended 6-day mountain adventure
  •   All-inclusive package with expert guides
  •   Small group adventure tour

Description

Our Canadian Rockies backpacking trip is an outstanding adventure in Kootenay National Park that takes us beneath towering limestone walls and majestic hanging glaciers. This outstanding hike rides the landscape like a rollercoaster, ascending three alpine passes before plunging into deep glacially-carved valleys. Specific highlights of the trip include stretches of red and yellow clay called ochre beds, stunning glacial-fed waterfalls including Kootenay’s largest waterfall - Helmet Falls, massive alpine peaks, meadows carpeted with wildflowers, incredible views and a layover day for a long hike to explore these stunning mountains.

This trip utilizes designated backcountry campsites with a limited number of mandatory-use tent platforms. To accommodate full groups, and to reduce pack weights for solo travelers, we combine same-gender solo guests in 2-person backpacking tents. In certain cases it may be possible for someone to have their own tent, but this information is not fully known until less then 2 weeks prior to the trip start date and cannot be promised or confirmed before the pre-trip orientation meeting. If you would rather join a trip on which you can have your own tent, we recommend checking out any of our USA backpacking trips.

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Backpacking Trip
Difficulty:
Solitude:
Canmore, Alberta
6 days
41mi / 67km
$2300 Per Person

Travel to Canmore

Minimum Guests

  Private Trips

  See Trip Dates


Trip Dates & Booking

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
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  • Request a Reservation
Don't see your dates? Call us!
We may be able to add new trip dates.
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Pre-trip Arrival

You will need to arrive the day before your trip in time to attend the orientation meeting at 7pm at Holiday Inn Canmore, 1 Silvertip Trail, Canmore. Your guide will cover introductions, a thorough briefing of your route, hand out group and personal gear and answer any last minute questions you may have. Your guide will let you know what time they will pick you up from your hotel. Dinner is on your own and make sure you have a hearty one as tomorrow we hit the trail!

Day 1
  • Driving Duration: 1 hour
  • Hiking Mileage: 8.8 miles (14.3 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 935 feet (285 m)

This Canadian Rockies backpacking trip begins in an area consisting of red and yellow ochre clays, which were a source of body paint by indigenous peoples. Soon after the ochre beds we’ll join a pristine mountain creek and begin a gradual ascent through beautiful spruce and fir forests. The trail opens up near our campsite for the evening as we find ourselves at the base of a spectacular waterfall. At a whopping 352 meters (1,150 feet) it is one of the highest waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies.

Day 2
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles (11.2 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1400 feet (430 m)

Today is a layover day to explore the beautiful sub-alpine terrain around our campsite. Or you are welcome to relax in camp. Your guide(s) will lead a relaxing hike with day packs to a high mountain pass with magnificent views. From the pass the group will have the option of a climb through larch forests to walk along mountain ridges above the pass.

Day 3
  • Hiking Mileage: 7.2 miles (11.6 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 3200 feet (975 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1900 feet (580 m)

Day three consists almost entirely of incredible alpine scenery. The trail will skirt the base of Limestone Peak and the northern end of the Rockwall, our point of reference for the remainder of the trip. An expansive series of wildflower-filled meadows follow the Rockwall south. Later in the day we’ll take a 5-minute side jaunt to Wolverine Pass. The pass is a massive cleft in the Rockwall with views down the Beaverfoot Valley to the towers and spires of the Bugaboo Range 70 kilometers to the west. After this it is a short hike into upper Tumbling Creek and our campsite for the evening.

Day 4
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles (8 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 1300 feet (400 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 2200 feet (670 m)

After departing camp it is a 400-meter climb to Tumbling Pass. From the pass there are incredible views of the Tumbling Glacier and surrounding meadows and valleys. From the pass it is a long descent into Numa Creek for our next camp.

Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 6 miles (9.5 km)
  • Elevation Gain: 2700 feet (825 m)
  • Elevation Loss: 1410 feet (430 m)

Our final day of climbing will be rewarded by our arrival at one of the most beautiful lakes in the Rockies: Floe Lake. The lake is reached via the highest point on the trail: Numa Pass (2,350 meters or 7,710 feet above sea level). Floe Lake’s cobalt blue waters are speckled with fallen ice from glaciers above the lake. With dramatically high peaks surrounding the lake, it is truly a magnificent setting.

Day 6
  • Hiking Mileage: 6.5 miles (10.5 km)
  • Elevation Loss: 2350 feet (716 m)
  • Shuttle: 1 hour

After leaving camp we’ll hike nearly 10 kilometers through a large forest fire from 2003. It is a great opportunity to witness a forest regenerating from the natural effects of fire. By day’s end we’ll return to the Radium Highway and the satisfaction of a successful trip. Because of the fire there are incredible views of numerous surrounding peaks.




Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however occasionally trips are subject to itinerary changes based on a variety of circumstances, including but not limited to: extreme weather, political or bureaucratic obstacles, earthquakes, fires, flooding and more.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • A detailed trip packet that takes the guesswork out of your travel, training, packing, and preparing for the trip
  • Access to our Adventure Consultant team 7 days a week
  • Transportation for the duration of the tour starting on Day 1 and ending on the last day in Canmore
  • Gear including multi-day backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles and more
  • All meals from breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Professional, certified Wildland Canadian Rockies backpacking guides
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Transportation to Canmore, Alberta
  • Trip insurance that includes medical coverage and at least $200,000 in evacuation and repatriation coverage (strongly encouraged)
  • All expenses due to unavoidable events e.g. flight cancellation, personal illness, strikes, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these variables)
  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Gratuity for guide(s) and crew (industry recommendation is 10-20% of total trip cost; please tip your lead guide and they will distribute responsibly to the crew. USD or local currency is acceptable.)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear spray cannisters and food-hanging gear
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($100).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Canmore, Alberta for an orientation meeting at 7:00 PM the evening before the trip begins at Holiday Inn Canmore, 1 Silvertip Trail, Canmore.

Your guide will be in contact approximately 45 days before your trip and will specify the exact time & location of the orientation meeting at that point. The next morning we'll pick you up at your hotel for transport to the trailhead.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. This trek is led by professional hiking guides along with additional support staff. All of our guides are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and all tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) for more information.

In the interest of your safety, it's important to refer to the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date recommendations on immunizations before your trip.


Guides

Your tour will be led by trained, experienced professionals with solid guiding backgrounds, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Guide Working Parameters

Guides are required to take 8 hours off each 24-hour period to sleep, recuperate, take personal/down time...etc. In addition, as part of the 8 hours off they must sleep/rest or be in their tents/rooms uninterrupted for a minimum of 5 hours each night. We ask guests to respect these requirements and to not interrupt guides' off time and sleep time unless there is a true emergency.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on this hiking tour is 6 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum group size of 8 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-888-966-TREK (8735) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Trip Insurance

For your protection, we strongly recommend the purchase of field evacuation, repatriation, and medical trip insurance. International travel is expensive, and the modest cost of trip insurance is a sound investment in an uncertain world.

If you wish to purchase trip insurance, we recommend IMG/iTravelinsured. They are one of the world’s leading providers of travel insurance.

For information on recommended IMG/iTravelinsured policies please click here.

For even greater information, or if you simply prefer communicating with a real, live person, feel free to contact our exclusive agent Michael Bennett. Michael will help you identify the best product for your needs, and there is no cost associated with his assistance. You may contact him at:

Email: WildLandTrekking@EasyToInsureME.com
US by Phone: 877-305-9083
Direct/International by Phone: 702-448-3664
If you already have insurance or wish to purchase from anyone other than IMG/iTravelinsured, we recommend careful consultation with the provider to ensure appropriate coverage. This is because many providers have a number of policy exclusions.

If you secure an insurance policy please bring a copy of it to provide to your guides at the orientation meeting.


Weather in the Canadian Rockies

The weather in the Canadian Rockies is typical of high mountain climates with sunny weather, summer thunderstorms, and radical and abrupt temperature changes. We recommend being prepared for a range of conditions by packing layered, non-cotton clothing, and having high quality waterproof and breathable rain gear (jackets and pants). Always expect 4 seasons in the Rockies. Whilst we hope it does not, it can snow in every month of the year. For a more comprehensive packing list, please refer to the detailed trip packet that you can download from this page and receive it when you register.

Month Hi Low Precip
June 66° F 41° F 58.4 mm
July 71° F 45° F 51.1 mm
August 70° F 44° F 51.2 mm
September 60° F 38° F 37.7 mm

Camping on Backpacking Trips

backpacking tent

Backcountry Sleeping

Tent Camping

Sleeping on this trip is in premier 2-person, 3-person or 4-person backcountry tents. This trip has double occupancy camping. Solo travelers will share a tent with another same-gender solo guest. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

backpacking meals

Backcountry Cuisine

Fresh & Delicious

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

backpacking campsites

Amazing Campsites

In the Action

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

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