Hiking in the Canadian Rockies
The National Parks of the Canadian Rockies may best be expressed through the native Cree word "Yoho," meaning truly magnificent or awesome. It is within Yoho National Park, Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park that we bring to you our Mountain Series of the Canadian Rockies. The Canadian Rockies possess some of the worlds most magnificent peaks that careen vertically out of lush river valleys; crystal clear lakes that magnify the emerald and turquoise colors of the stone below; glaciers and icefields so massive that one can visualize the formation of this wild landscape in action. The beauty and scale of the Canadian Rockies is seemingly endless, with awe-inspiring natural grandeur literally everywhere you turn.
Our journey through the Canadian Rockies begins at the picturesque village of Lake Louise in Banff National Park. At a mere 5,052 feet in elevation, you will have no problem exploring the plethora of short hiking trails that surround this idyllic mountain town on our first day in the park. On day two, we will hike through Paradise Valley to Moraine Lake in Banff National Park. Day three, we explore the vastness of Jasper National Park. Day four begins our overnight trek to a backcountry cabin via the classic Yoho Valley trail. We culminate our hiking journey on day five by traversing the world-famous Iceline Trail to stunning Emerald Lake. Day six is a travel day and farewell to a truly "Yoho" journey. We will have two Discover Outdoors guides to assist with any contingency plans, and to uphold our singular goal for you to have an amazing and safe experience.
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As you explore the Canadian Rockies, you will be led by professional trail guides dedicated to providing safe and educational experiences. Our guides are trained in wilderness medicine and are seasoned leaders, demonstrating good judgement, technical expertise, and environmental consciousness. Our guides are ever aware of your needs and work hard to make your trip successful.
Each evening you will retire to our exclusive boutique-style hostel in the picturesque village of Field, B.C. Tucked away in the Kicking Horse Valley and surrounded by magnificent peaks, lakes and rivers, Field is the ideal launching point for this week-long adventure. Our exclusive access to the hostel ensures a comfortable experience with ample room to kick back, relax and discuss the conquests of the day. Bedrooms are shared, with single beds as well as bunks and pillow-top mattresses with cotton sheets. Amenities include a wood burning stove, outdoor deck and grill, shared bathrooms with showers, full kitchen and dining room, a comfy lounge and individual storage lockers.
We will spend one night at a backcountry cabin, seven miles up the Yoho Valley by foot. The cabin, while rustic, is spacious and cozy and above all, situated in the middle of the Yoho wilderness and surrounded by massive mountains, glaciers and streams. Bedrooms here are also shared, with single beds as well as bunks. Bathrooms are outdoor composting toilets and there are no showers. Amenities include a wood burning stove, full kitchen with propane oven & range, and propane lights. Our water comes from a nearby stream.
We will have the hostel fully stocked with food and drinks for the entire week. Your guides will prepare a delicious dinner each night and a hearty breakfast every morning. The kitchen will be open at all times and stocked with everything you need to pack a nutritious trail lunch. Meals at the backcountry cabin are the same, however you will be expected to carry a portion of the food into the cabin. The only meals not included are during your travel days, however dinner at the hut will be included the first night and breakfast on the last morning.
DOES NOT INCLUDE
Hiking the Canadian Rockies does not require technical climbing skills or experience. It does, however, require a minimum level of physical fitness. We strongly encourage our hikers to experience hiking on rugged trails, particularly up and down steep hills, since this is much of what you will experience in the Rockies. Those who are in good shape are more likely to enjoy the views along the trail. Those who engage in regular exercise before hiking long miles in unknown terrain do just fine on the ascent. Give yourself adequate time to prepare, particularly if this form and intensity of exercise is new. For three days a week, focus on an hour or more of aerobic exercise such as running, cycling, swimming, etc. Gym equipment such as stairmasters and rowing machines can supplement cardiovascular training. Day hikes or other longer endeavors will help you prepare for the endurance required in the Rockies. Carrying a 20 to 30 pound pack uphill on trails or stadium steps will simulate the real climb better than anything. Lifting moderate weights to increase core body, leg, and arm strength is also a good idea. Focus on quads and hamstrings—legs need strength and endurance. Being generally fit and having some solid stamina for long days is the overall goal.
While elevations are not as consistently high as other Discover Outdoors trips, high altitude considerations are necessary to ensure a successful trip in the Canadian Rockies. We will be sleeping at an elevation of 4,134 feet in Field and 6,742 feet at the Stanly Mitchell Cabin. Our highest point of the week is a mountain pass at an elevation of 10,062 feet. To help your body adjust to the thinner and drier air, you must first hydrate. Drinking enough water markedly improves athletic performance and helps to prevent acute mountain sickness. Before and during your hike, aim for 3 liters of water a day. Make sure your water is readily accessible. During the ascent, hydration systems like Camelbacks, or a water bottle on your hip will provide easy access to your water. Sport drink mixes like Gatorade are recommended; they promote drinking and help replenish electrolytes. Avoid too much alcohol and caffeine, as these have the effect of dehydrating your body. If you have never been to high altitude before, do not worry, everyone has a first time. Keep your guide posted on any physical symptoms you may be experiencing. If you have had trouble with altitude in the past, please let us know ahead of time and consult with your physician before you come.
WEATHER AND CLIMATE
The high mountain areas have extremely variable weather. The evenings can turn cold and the days can warm up substantially, even in the alpine environment. Strong winds, rain, hail, even summer snow showers may be encountered.
All breakfasts and dinners will be provided including coffee, teas, and hot chocolate. If you have food intolerances or allergies, please notify our office. Lunch ingredients will be laid out in the morning for you to make your own, perfect sandwich or wrap. Plan for a half pound of trail food per day with a variety of many small snacks. Delicious dinners will be prepared for you in the evenings.
GENERAL INFORMATION AND CANCELLATION POLICY
Please read our terms and conditions and call us with any questions you may have about the trip before booking. A gear and departure check-list will be sent to you upon booking confirmation. Cancellations before 45 days of departure are eligible for a full refund (minus 5% deposit). Trip credit only will be given for cancellations at least three weeks from the date of departure. No credit or refund will be given for cancellations within three weeks of your multi-day adventure.
If you are unsure of what to bring, give us a call or send us an email! Our staff is happy to help ensure you are comfortably outfitted for your trip. To prepare yourself for the activities, join Discover Outdoors on any of our local day trips. Our trained guides will coach you and offer helpful tips in preparing for your big adventure. Below is a list of equipment for this trip. The specific gear considerations are designed to prepare you for all possible conditions. For questions about the gear list, please contact our office at 212-579-4568 or [email protected]