The Un-Canadian Sport of Backpacking

With countless backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies, it is astounding to locate more international vacationers than Canadians citizens enjoying an outdoor adventure.

The Rocky Mountains of British Columbia and Alberta present spectacular scenery and memorable treks. Just a few hours from Calgary, backpackers can go additional in to the wilds, remain longer in nature and be one of many few to witness the ever changing beauty with the back-country.

“Maybe we’ve turn into as well accustomed to possessing all of this organic beauty so close to property,” says Greg Lynch, an avid hiker and outside enthusiast with Scenic Travel Canada. “Perhaps which is why much more Canadians never venture into our personal back yard.” Here are a handful of backpacking trips he recommends:

Backpacking to Elbow Lake in Kananaskis, Alberta

K-country is a mountain playground just outdoors of Calgary & Banff and offers backpacking trips for people of all fitness levels. Elbow Lake is a short but steep hike that offers a well maintained campground along the shores of a small, green lake at the base of two mountains. This is the entrance to the Elbow Valley that leads to glacier hikes, waterfalls and high-altitude camping. The beauty and quiet from the area is incredible.

Exploring the Upper Kananaskis Loop Trail – Alberta

Day hikers can take this 15 kilometer walking hiking tour around this turquoise lake. Backpackers can extend the trip into a 2-3 day trek to explore secluded valleys, towering waterfalls and other mountain lakes at higher elevations. The continental divide, which marks the eastern or western flow of water as well as the provincial border, is never out of view.

Camping above the tree-line leaves backpackers potentially exposed to high winds, especially as Pacific weather systems move in from the coast. Camping within the forest, amongst 400 year old trees, provides a lot more shelter and safety.

Hiking along Iceline Trail in Yoho National Park, BC

Exploring the glacier-scoured terrain inside the BC Rockies is magical. Mornings are cold, even within the summer. As you emerge from your tent, inside the shadow of a towering peak, the distant valleys present a mountainous invitation to all those true adventure-lovers.

This 2-3 day trek gives hikers a far more intimate view of Takakkaw Falls, a popular tourist destination near Field, BC. During the day, you’ll hike through terrain on well-trodden wildlife paths and ascend mountain ridges that few people ever get to see (bear training is recommended). The nights are best when the moon is full. With a clear sky, the Milky Way seems close enough to touch.

Backpacking in Canada isn’t just for tourists. Consider exploring your personal backyard and discover the beauty that countless people from around the world have known for years.