In the United States, Glacier National Park is arguably the jewel of the Rockies but it doesn't hold a candle to it's northern neighbors in Alberta and British Columbia. I plan to spend another July (the 6th year in a row) hiking and peakbagging in spectacular alpine terrain, enjoying the cool and wet weather, turquoise lakes, fast moving creeks and rivers, snow, glaciers, verdant meadows and hillsides, challenging terrain, and some of the best looking mountains in North America. The purpose of this trip is to climb peaks, which I would like to do on a daily basis. Backpacking trips (most likely a trip along the Berg Trail at Mt. Robson Provincial Park) will be to a basecamp where we can bag a peak or two. My itinerary isn't set at the moment (it will be by mid April) but I plan to hike in the following National and Provincial Parks: Yoho, Kootenay, Banff, Jasper, and the Kananaskis. It's possible that some time may be spent hiking in the Purcell and Selkirk ranges which lie just west of the Rockies across the Columbia Trench. I am hitting the road for my annual summer road trip before the end of May. If you want to join me you will need to arrange a way to meet and get there (don't forget your passport). You can join me on every hike or do your own thing if you find climbing a mountain every day too strenuous. My objective for July is to summit at least 30 peaks so don't expect me to change my plans to accommodate you. If you are interested leave a contact number and I will contact you in April. You must have hiked with me if you plan to attend this adventure.
The photo on top was taken on the summit of Observation Peak in Banff National Park; the picture below was taken at Jumbo Pass in the Purcell Mountains. I plan to revisit both peaks.
Here's the itinerary as far as where I will be staying. What I (we) will do in the area remains open.
July 2-9 Kootenay National Park, British Columbia: Redstreak Campground Site B-15. It's a seven hour drive from Sandpoint, Idaho to the campsite at the Rocky Mountain gateway town of Radium Hot Springs, B.C. I couldn't get the permit that I wanted for the backpacking trip along the Berg Trail, within Mt. Robson Provincial Park, so decided to spend 8 days here instead. I plan to use a good chunk of this time hiking across the valley in the Purcell and Selkirk Mountains. There are some outstanding spots in the area including the Bugaboos.
July 10-16 Jasper National Park, Alberta: Wapti Campground Site D-1 If the weather is okay, plan on spending a few days scrambling up peaks near the Columbia Icefield.
July 17-23 Banff National Park, Albert: Lake Louise Campground Site D-1 Would like to reserve a permit to hike in the Lake O'Hara area of Yoho, National Park. Day and overnight permits are issued 3 months in advance. The earliest I can order them is April 18. If you want to join me on this leg of the trip let me know soon, as I plan to attempt to get one for the 18th and 19th. Permits go quick, within an hour, so if you snooze, you lose. If my back is feeling strong may want to do a backpack to the Assiniboine or Skokie area.
July 24-31 Kananaskis Country, Alberta (Peter Lougheed Provincial Park): Boulton Creek Campground A-3 There are some spectacular hikes in the area and may do an overnighter as well as a few scrambles near the towns of Banff and Canmore. A backpacking trip in the area is a possibility.
A short hike on August 1 and a 8 hour drive back to Sandpoint, Idaho.
I can share my site with 1 other car, at most sites. You may have to park nearby in one of the areas. I have a large tent and since I went to the trouble to pay for and reserve each space, I get first choice when it comes to where the tents are distributed. To share a site with me will cost you about $15.00 a night. If you want your own space, I suggest you reserve one in advance with Parks Canada ASAP. Campsites are about $30.00 a night. There are showers at all the campgrounds. It is not a good idea to show up without a reservation as the campgrounds fill up quickly. Camping at Boulton Creek is by reservation only.
Important things to be aware of if you want to go:
Make sure you have a passport!!!! You cannot cross the border without one.
Quality rain protection and gear that will keep you and your backpack dry. Don't skimp on quality, you will regret it in the long run. It rains pretty frequently in the Canadian Rockies during July, from light sprinkles to multi-day downpours, and even snow. You will like having gear that has heat vents and breaths. Be prepared for anything on any hike we do.If we do a backpack, you'll be glad if you bring a tarp. I will have a large tarp set-up at all the car camping sites.
Bug protection. I find spraying my clothes with Permethrin works pretty well.
Bear Spray. The only proven method to help protect you from a charging grizzly. Screw the bells, bears can't hear them and they are annoying as hell.