I remember being four years old and gazing out toward the mountains, imagining what it would be like to visit such an incredible place. Hiking became a big part of my life years later and I’ve had the opportunity to explore many parts of the Canadian Rockies. I even walked most of the popular sections of the Great Divide Trail over the years but never thought of hiking the entire trail. One day I woke up and that child-like fascination returned. What would it be like to hike the whole GDT? What secret, hidden places might it reveal? I had to find out. Continue reading “Great Divide Trail – A Walk Through the Canadian Rockies”
Miette River to Blueberry Lake – 135km
July 19 – A Wet Walk in the Woods
I awoke to a wet world in Jasper. The trail starts off quite gently as it follows the Miette River up toward its headwaters. I knew I was in for a soggy few days when even the initial bit of road was saturated with water and muddy. Continue reading “GDT – Crossing Glacial Rivers”
Maligne Lake to Miette River – 87km
July 11 – Jasper Skyline Trail
I have great memories of hiking the Jasper Skyline Trail with good friends a few years ago. We did it the hard way, starting at the low end of the trail and then dipping down into the Watchtower Basin for a night. Now, as part of my GDT hike, I managed to snag a last-minute spot at Curator Campground. Such good luck. Continue reading “GDT – Jasper Skyline Trail”
I first cycled the Icefield Parkway three years ago with a great group of friends. It was a really fun and memorable trip. We stayed together in hostels and shared delicious meals every night. There were lots of stories and laughter. That trip was at the end of summer and I’ve been thinking about returning to see this famous scenic road in spring ever since. I finally had the chance this year. Continue reading “Cycling the Icefield Parkway”
After a wonderfully relaxing time paddling Alberta’s only canoe circuit in Lakeland Provincial Park, Sil and I decided to head to Jasper’s Maligne Lake for yet more canoeing. The two couldn’t be more different! Maligne Lake is a striking turquoise colour and it’s surrounded by spectacular snowy mountains. You paddle beneath lush avalanche slopes (where you might spot a bear if you’re lucky!) and relax around campfires as you watch the sunset illuminate glaciers high above.
One of my favourite things about summer is big backpacking adventures. The Brazeau Loop, an 80-km long alpine traverse in Jasper National Park, is one of the best. But if it’s summer, you’d never know it on this trip. Here’s how it all happened… Continue reading “Backpacking Jasper’s Brazeau Loop”
In 1811, explorer David Thompson went in search of a new route across the high Canadian Rockies. Hostile Peigan natives blocked Howse Pass (which now connects Mistaya Canyon with Golden) and the North West Company, for which Thompson worked, desperately needed an alternate route to ship furs across the mountain range. In January of that year, braving -30 temperatures, five meter deep snow, and perilous river crossings, Thompson reached Athabasca Pass. This route, connecting the Athabasca River (which flows out to the Arctic Ocean) and the Columbia River (which reaches the Pacific), became the main artery for shipping furs across Canada until the 1850s. Continue reading “Following the Fur Traders”
National Geographic describes Tonquin Valley as one of the World’s top 15 hikes. We’re so lucky to have it in our own backyard. The local guidebook “Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies” calls it outstanding and says “not only is the valley girded by tumultuous topography, it’s broad, with enough meadowy viewpoints to allow frequent gazing – an ineffable joy on a clear day.” Some places just inspire poetic words.
Continue reading “The Amazing Tonquin Valley”