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Backpacking trip to the Rockwall area of Kootenay National Park


Experience one of the best backpacking expeditions in the Rockies on this trek into Kootenay National Park. This sublime backpacking tour encapsulates much of the unique ambiance of the southern Canadian Rockies. Representative landscapes are revealed to you along the way as you crest each pass and enter each valley: Primeval forests, flower-strewn meadows, turquoise lakes reflecting rugged peaks and glaciers.

Walking is never boring in this wonderland with unbelievable flowers in July and August to be followed in September by the blazing fall colors of the larches which punctuate and define the alpine meadows.

You and your hiking companions will be another attraction. The relaxed ambiance on the trail and around the campfire will add a whole new dimension to your holiday in the mountains. With its mostly moderate distances and opportunities for ridge hiking, the tour can be a great first time backpacking experience in the Canadian Rockies. Not only is there exquisite scenery but you will also be sharing the trail with like-minded people from around the globe. It all adds up to an active and exhilarating mountain holiday.

STARTING AT
$1595.00 CAD
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TRIP DETAILS
DESTINATION
EQUIPMENT/CLOTHING
ACCOMMODATIONS
MEALS & DINING
DATES & PRICING
ITINERARY
TRIP TYPE
Backpacking
SEASON

July to September

DIFFICULTY
Moderate
MAXIMUM GROUP SIZE
8
GUIDE INFORMATION

There will be a maximum of nine guests and a minimum of four. Your guide will be a fully-trained professional, licensed by Parks Canada.

 

RESTRICTIONS

No prior hiking experience is needed for this hike but participants  will be carrying backpacks of as much as 16 kg (35 lbs) for as long as six hours.

Participants must be in good physical condition and able to carry a backpack over hilly terrain for a succession of days. The trails are generally good. By using a food drops at Tumbling Creek, backpack weights are moderate. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Requirements: Sleeping bag, backpack, sleeping pad, hiking boots, plate spoon and large mug, flashlight, water bottle.

TRANSPORTATION

Trips originate and end in Canmore, Alberta.

WEATHER

Summer temperatures average 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

REGION
Southern Rocky Mountains
PROVIDED EQUIPMENT

Group camping and cooking gear, tents, park permits, transfers from Canmore.

SUGGESTED CLOTHING

Rain gear, fleece or wool underclothes, hat, hiking boots, running shoes, shorts, wool socks, warm pants.  A full clothing list will be supplied upon booking. We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allow for fast and easy adjustment to best suit fast changing temperature conditions.  We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet. 

SUGGESTED ITEMS

Camera, daypack, sunglasses, sunscreen, first aid kit, lip balm.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Accommodations are in tent camps along the trail.  

MEALS & DINING

MEALS & DINING

Your guides supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 7. Groups generally go out for dinner in Canmore on the final evening (own cost).

Trail cuisine is prepared from lightweight wholesome ingredients including custom-made dehydrated dinners. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs.  

7 day tour, available July - September
$1595.00 / per person - CAD
July 27-August 2, September 1-7, September 22-28, 2018.
PAYMENT INFORMATION
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A 35% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.
CANCELLATION POLICY & DETAILS
You have 24 hours from when you make your booking to change or cancel with no charge to you (provided your booking does not depart within 15 days). If cancelling your program up to 8 weeks before the program start, $105 will be withheld. Higher amounts are withheld if cancelling Semesters or Expeditions (details on request). Between 8 and 6 weeks before the program start, the deposit is forfeited. Cancellation less than 6 weeks before the program start and during the program results in loss of entire amount paid. We will gladly accept a substitute guest should you not be able to attend provided they meet the prerequisites for the program. Cancellations must be received in writing (letter, fax or email).

7 day tour, available July - September

Day 1

At 7.30pm we meet at the office in Canmore. We'll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted.

Day 2

Paint Pots - Helmet Falls
We start from the Paint Pots just off the Radium Highway (75km from Canmore), a source of red ochre clay, used for body paint by the indigenous people. Following first Ochre then Helmet Creeks, a gradually ascending trail leads us through mature forests of spruce and fir which open up as we arrive at the campsite.  Here we find ourselves at the base of a spectacular cirque dominated by one of the largest waterfalls in the Rockies... 352m Helmet Falls. Looking carefully we may spot mountain goats grazing the precipitous slopes that rim the cirque. Distance, 14.6km. Elevation gain 330m.

Day 3

Day Hike - Goodsir Pass
Today and for the rest of the trip we are never too far from the lush sub-alpine meadows that this trail is famous for. With light packs we head the short distance to Goodsir Pass and its magnificent mountain vistas and rock-garden like meadows. From there we can climb higher through the larch forests bordering the pass to walk along the easy mountain ridges above. Distance 6 - 10km. Elevation gain 450m-650m.

Day 4

Helmet Falls - Tumbling Creek
Get ready for a heady dose of beautiful alpine scenery! Today the trail takes us to the base of Limestone Peak and the northern end of the 'Rockwall', our point of reference for the remainder of the trip. Before us lies a huge area of meadows that follow the Rockwall south. A five minute side trip takes us to Wolverine Pass, a giant cleft in the Rockwall. From here we look over the Beaverfoot Valley to the spectacular spires of the Bugaboos some 70 kilometers away to the west. After this we drop a short distance into the head of Tumbling Creek and our camp. Distance 12.4km. Elevation gain 700m., loss 560m.

Day 5

Tumbling Pass - Numa Creek
Today is relatively easy involving a scenic climb to Tumbling Pass with the Tumbling Glacier not far to the side. Tumbling Pass is a narrow cleft and the meadows are dotted with larches that seem to be designed for our aesthetic pleasure. From the pass we have the opportunity to do some ridge walking in order to enlarge the already marvellous vistas. Then it's a long descent into Numa Creek where we camp once more. Distance 7.1km. Elevation gain 330m, loss 715m.

Day 6

Numa Creek - Floe Lake
Today's objective is Floe Lake, one of the most beautiful spots in the Rockies and a highlight of this trip. We reach it via Numa Pass, the highest point on the trail. Here, we are surrounded by high peaks whilst meadows and forests drop into the valleys below. Amazingly the view gets better as we descend, for below us appears Floe Lake, its blue waters speckled with ice that fell from the glacier above. The hard work is behind us now as we settle into this spectacular lakeside camp. Distance 10.2km. Elevation gain 860m, loss 315m.

Day 7

Floe Lake - Radium Highway
In the summer of 2003 the valley below the campsite was burnt out in a large forest fire. This provides us with the unique opportunity to hike in a forest in its regenerative phase. We descend for 10km through the burnt forest to the  Radium Highway, surrounded by flowering perennials taking advantage of the extra sunlight. Hiking in this valley we come to understand how fire is a positive force of regeneration! Transportation is awaiting us at the trailhead and we head back to Canmore for hot showers and an evening of reminiscence and celebration! Distance 10.7km. Elevation loss 690m.