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Canadian Rockies

Adventure  Destinations

Canadian Rockies Adventure Destinations

The Canadian Rockies are the best place to begin your backcountry backpacking adventure. With so many trails and destinations, you can explore all year long. No matter what season it is, you’re bound to find the adventure of a lifetime.

Whether you’re snowshoeing, skiing, ice climbing or backpacking in the backcountry, your adventure will be unique and something to be cherished forever.

A complete listing of rental Huts, communal and exclusive, throughout the Rockies, summer and winter, see Alpine Club of Canada

See Canadian Rockies Ski Tours for some amazing winter trips.

Below is a resource of popular backpacking spots in the Canadian Rockies. Hopefully this will narrow down your choices and make your Trip Planning much easier.

Click on Learn More to be taken to a more detailed page of the desired area of interest. I’ve included links to each of the Parks Canada locations you see below, but narrowed your search down to the pertinent information on travel information, RV parks, camping reservations, required permits, lodging, and a lot of other helpful information.

You will also find links to 10Adventures providing guided tours of your favorite Canadian Rockies Backpacking Adventures.

Get outfitted with the best Gear.

Have a limited amount of time to visit, then check this out.

Alltrails is an excellent free option. The Pro version is also a very affordable app to have on your phone.

Alltrails website will offer you detailed information and pictures on most of the individual hiking trails of all caliber ranging from several hours to several days throughout the Canadian Rockies, and beyond. With the Alltrails app on your phone you take detailed maps into the wild with you. You can see photos of the areas so that you know what to expect and better help you decide upon your journey.

Alltrails Pro allows you to set your hiking trip start and estimated finish times. Alltrails Lifeline feature will Alert your Emergency Contact if you go overdue. And if you happen to start following a goat trail by accident rather than the hiking trail, Alltrails will alert you when you go off-trail, before you end up on the side of a cliff wondering why in the world the trail would lead you there.

Get the Alltrails App.

Suggested that you do not rely solely on one app for guidance on the trails.

Another great option is Gaia GPS.

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Canadian Rockies

Lake O'Hara

Lake O’Hara

This area may be one of the best places to begin your backpacking adventure. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced backpacker, Lake O’Hara offers a myriad of trails and destinations for everyone.

Lake O’Hara is located 3 hours west of Banff and 17 kms away from the Lake Louise village. It can only be accessed by a $15.00 shuttle bus with reservations.

Camping for up to 3 nights at a time opens up in June. If you intend on hiking the alpine trails it would be best after most of the snow has melted away. From mid July to the end of September.

Learn More

Tonquin Valley

Tonquin Valley

Banff National Park offers dozens of day hiking and backpacking trails for hikers and backpackers to explore.

Tonquin Valley is one of the best hiking and backpacking areas in Banff and Jasper National Parks. The trail begins at the junction with the Whistlers Summit trail and winds 29.5 km to a junction with Marjorie Lake trail.

Best times to visit this area are from mid August to late September otherwise you will be devoured by mosquitoes and get bogged down in muddy trails. There are a lot of wildlife in this area with frequent sightings of Caribou, Deer, Moose and Grizzly Bears.

Protection From Wildlife

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Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park is Banff National Park’s closest backpacking destination. The park offers a wide array of trails and backcountry camping sites. The park offers 33kms of trails that vary from easy to difficult. Mt. Assiniboine, popularly called “The Matterhorn of the Canadian Rockies” for its resemblance to the famous Swiss mountain, is a 3600m peak located in the southern end of the park.

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Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park

Maligne Lake

A Paddler’s Dream

Maligne Lake is 22km’s long and is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies, famous for its brilliant aqua colors and the surrounding craggy peaks and glaciers. Bring your own canoe or kayak or rent them as you wish, and paddle your way to your choice of three backcountry campsites.

Learn More


Maligne Lake- Spirit Island

Emerald Lake

Emerald Lake is one of Banff’s most popular backpacking destinations. Emerald Lake is at the end of Emerald Lake Rd, 9km off of Highway 1, the Trans Canada Highway, about 2 kms west of Field, BC, which also translates to a half hour west of Lake Louise or an just over an hour from Banff.

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Emerald Lake


Wapta Falls

Yoho National Park, AB Canada

The trail to Wapta Falls begins in the Yoho Valley and offers a short hike with spectacular scenery.

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Ben-den-Engelsen-Wapta Falls-unsplash

Kananaskis Country

The Kananaskis, or K-Country as it’s known to the locals, is directly accessible just west of Calgary. Only a short drive of about 30 mins down the Trans Canada Highway you enter K-Country, the foothills of the Canadian Rockies, offering up 1500 square miles of incredible scenery. One could stay busy here while staying in Calgary with a wide range of activities like backpacking, rock climbing, white water rafting, horseback riding, and kayaking.

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Haley-Truong-Barrier Lake-unsplash


Mount Robson

Mount Robson Provincial Park, BC Canada. Appox 2,250 sq kms.

Mount Robson is the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies at 3,954 meters or 12,972 ft. Neighbor to Jasper National Park, this area has vehicle accessible camping and a large array of trails that can take you to the highest peak in the Rockies or through the fauna rich valleys below. Wildlife of the park includes Mule and Whitetail Deer, Moose, Elk and Black Bear in the lowlands and Grizzly Bear, Mountain Goat, Bighorn Sheep, and Caribou in the highlands. Over 182 species of birds thrive in the park.

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Mount Robson Provincial Park


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