Sunrise at the Lloyd MacKay Hut, Jasper National ParkRampartsHelen LakeHiking Below Cataract PassSouth Boundary Trail

Multiday Options

There are many reasons to travel with an ACMG certified guide for multi-day backpacking trips.  Even on maintained trails there can be many hazards and complications in the alpine environments.  By traveling with a guide you can make the most of your time in the Rockies.  Group camping equipment is provided so all you have to bring is personal items (sleeping bag, toiletries, see below) and a sense of adventure!

Travelling in a guided party takes guesswork out of routefinding and logistics

Guided backpacking trips in the Mountain National Parks can vary from overnight excursions to multi-week expeditions.  Trips can be either self catered or fully catered (for an additional charge).  

 

Mount Edith Cavell seen from the Maccarib Pass Trail in Jasper National Park

 

Options for accomomdations include: tenting in backcountry campgrounds, and backcountry huts (both user-maintained as well as fully-inclusive lodges).  While not allowed in the National Parks, helicopter-assisted backpacking can be arranged on custom trips in neighboring Provincial Park and unprotected areas (fill out a contact form for further information).

Fall colors with larches near Fish Lake in Banff National Park

 

Multiday Trek Types

Tent-based backpacking offers the most flexibility in terms of destinations and trip length.  In the Mountain National Parks, Parks Canada backcountry campgrounds can be found on every main trail and allow backpackers to directly experience the great outdoors.  While quality and size of campgrounds varies, every site has some form of tent pad, cooking area, and waste disposal method.

 

A scenic camp in the White Goat Wilderness Area, near Jasper National Park.

Many campgrounds (with notable exceptions such as the Tonquin Valley in Jasper National Park) also allow campfires, a cozy way to wind down after a day on the trail. 

Parks Canada classifies campgrounds as semi-primitive or primitive based on level of amenities.  Check the description for each individual backpacking adventure for the specifics.

 

Campgrounds like Geraldine Lakes (semi-primative) can be qute comfortable bases for hiking adventures.

Note: Popular backcountry campgrounds can be booked months in advance and may be difficult to reserve on short notice.  For information about a specific trail or trip be sure to fill out our Contact Form.

The Canadian Rockies are home to a broad network of backcountry huts and backcountry lodges which offer a more comfortable overnight experience than traditional tenting.  Many backcountry huts are operated by the Alpine Club of Canada (ACC), and range from large outposts like the Wates-Gibson Hut in Jasper National Park to more 'cozy' shelters such as the Lloyd MacKay Hut in Jasper National Park.  

The Wates-Gibson Hut in Jasper National Park, shown here, is very well-equipped and spacious.

ACC huts are ripe with history of famous climbs and expeditions in the range and are well worth a visit.  These huts are largely user-maintained and include group cooking and sleeping areas.  Many huts are heated with wood stoves and can be quite comfortable year-round. 

The Fryatt Valley (Sydney Vallance) Hut, Jasper National Park, is a cozy oasis of warmth when a chilly wind is blowing.

Recommended Hut Based Backpacking Trips:

  • Wates-Gibson Hut, Jasper National Park
  • Fryatt Valley Hut, Jasper National Park

 

Equipment:

When travelling in the Rockies you can experience all four seasons in a trip (or even a single afternoon!).  It is highly recommended that guests bring clothing that can be layered to allow for changing conditions.  Cotton clothing is not well-suited to hiking in the Rockies.  Coming prepared with appropriate clothing and gear will make your trip much more enjoyable! 

Recommended clothing includes:

  • Sturdy hiking boots
  • Hat or toque
  • Light synthetic shirt
  • Hiking pants or shorts
  • Waterproof-breathable jacket
  • Waterproof-breathable pants
  • Light mitts or gloves
  • Comfortable hiking socks (and a spare pair to change into at camp)

Recommended gear includes:

  • Trekking pole/poles
  • Multiday backpack (50 - 70 L) for storing gear and clothing
  • Backpack rain cover
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Water bottle
  • Headlamp
  • Sleeping bag (a bag rated to 0C to -5C is recommended even in summer)
  • Compression sack (a bag to compress your sleeping bag)
  • Sleeping mat (a "thermarest" inflatable or foam mattress)
  • Personal first aid/blister kit
  • Personal toiletries

​Each trip has a specific list of recommended clothing and equipment.  If you have any questions, Contact Us.