Canada is home to some of the best places to backpack in the world - combining sublime mountain scenery with untamed lowlands of unparalleled beauty. Explore the globe's second-biggest country from coast to coast on one of our epic backpacking adventures. Travel into the heart of the Canadian wilderness and discover hidden treasures that can’t be accessed by road. Accompanied by our experienced guides, you’ll hike and camp in some of Canada's most scenic and remote areas. There are trips available for all skill levels - ideal for anyone with a sense of adventure.

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Backpacking in Canada

Backpacking - more than just hiking

Simply put, backpacking is adventuring in the backcountry with a backpack on your shoulders. Backpackers comfortably carry everything they need for several days on their backs, following a route and making progress each day. In other words, it’s escaping the fast pace and bustle of society and getting back to nature, with nothing but a backpack full of life’s necessities.

When backpacking, you should expect to carry your hiking clothes, personal gear, sleeping bag/pad, water, and other essentials. We provide backpacking gear such as tents, cooking stoves, eating utensils, etc.

During these guided backpacking tours, we’ll be hiking and camping in some of Canada’s most unspoiled wild areas. We also offer gentler options such as backpacking trips from our base camps. This means we’ll be going on day hikes from a home camp with lightweight backpacks.

"We need the tonic of wildness... We can never have enough of nature," said Henry David Thoreau. It’s true--you can never get enough of Canada's sigh-inducing landscapes. Welcome to the land of sky-high mountaintops, the swathe of boreal forests, and mind-bending Arctic landscapes.

With its fabulous natural scenery and great wildlife watching opportunities, Canada is a spectacular destination for backpacking. Outdoor enthusiasts will find some of the world's best backpacking trails and sights in this wonderful country.

Whether it's trekking along glaciers in the Arctic, traversing rainforests along the coast of British Columbia or hiking up to alpine vistas in Canada's Rocky Mountains - Canada has all the backpacking adventures you could ever ask for!

Canada is a big country, with unlimited camping and hiking opportunities, making it a bit tricky to pick just one! To make it simple, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places to backpack in Canada.

Located off Canada’s West Coast, Vancouver Island boasts numerous spectacular hiking trails but is best known for one of the world’s most famous backpacking routes - the West Coast Trail. Each year, adventurers from all across the globe are drawn here by the spectacular scenery, covering everything from sandy beaches and rainforests to rugged cliffs and bogs.

The challenging 75-km (47-mi) backpacking trail is open only from May to September. Hikers on the West Coast Trail are required to have a hiking permit, but fortunately all of our tour packages prepare these in advance for our guests.  

Few places in the world are as untouched and uncrowded as the Yukon Territory in northwestern Canada. Located next to Alaska, this tightly populated pristine wilderness is home to the historic Chilkoot Trail. The path was used by the Gold Rush pioneers and is a historical wonderland, overflowing with relics from this fascinating period.

The iconic trail is 53-km (33-mi) long and spans both Yukon and Alaska. The hiking season lasts from early June to early September.

Containing Canada’s most northerly lands, Nunavut is chock-full of mind-bending Arctic landscapes and awe-inspiring moments. If you ever wanted to know what it feels like to trek in some of the world’s most remote places, there is no better place than Nunavut.

Here you’ll have the opportunity to backpack in Canada’s northernmost national park, Quttinirpaaq National Park or be immersed in the wilderness of Auyuittuq National Park. Not to mention the endless backpacking possibilities in Sirmilik National Park, where ice-capped mountains, glaciers and eroded land formations, known as hoodoos, reign supreme.

Located in the western part of Canada, Alberta is home to some of the best backpacking trails in the Canadian Rockies. Each year backpackers from every corner of the world flock to Alberta for some epic backpacking experiences.

There are endless backpacking opportunities but Banff and Jasper, two of the world’s oldest national parks, should be on all hikers’ bucket lists. These pristine parklands encompass everything from wind-scoured peaks and glaciers to turquoise lakes and alpine meadows.

British Columbia is the westernmost province of Canada and one of the best places for backpacking in North America. Filled with forested landscapes, towering mountains, and excellent hiking trails, this region is an adventurer’s paradise.

B.C. is also home to the mighty Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Witness its majesty on a backpacking trip in Mount Robson Provincial Park. Another of B.C.’s major attractions is Kootenay National Park, dotted with accessible backpacking trails for every skill level.

Which backpacking tour is right for me?

Choose Your Backpacking Adventure

Since there are so many backpacking tours to choose from, you might wonder which one is the best fit for you. Here is a quick questionnaire to help you find your next destination.

FAQ - FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Still got questions about Backpacking? Find the answer here!

All of our trips are graded in four levels so you can better identify which level of difficulty you prefer. These levels are based on the length of the trip, elevation change, duration of day hikes, terrain type, and how physically demanding the itinerary is.

Easy - Suitable for most people in fair condition. You have to be able to walk on an uneven surface and hike for at least 2-3 hours at a slow pace, with breaks. Trails are generally of good quality and glacier travel is at a relatively low angle.

Intermediate - Suitable for those in good condition who are able to walk for about 4 hours at a low or moderate pace. Trails are generally of good quality and glacier travel is at a relatively low angle.

Challenging - For someone in good hiking condition and with experience of hiking. Trails are generally in fair condition but some parts of the tour might be off track. Glacier/snow travel can be on uneven ground with challenging sections. Increased distance. We recommend guests have the ability to cover 12 km (7 mi) a day on rugged trails and snow.

Demanding - For someone in very good hiking condition. Trails generally in fair conditions but large sections of the tour might be off track. Glacier/snow travel on uneven ground with some challenging sections. Increased distance. We recommend guests have the ability to cover 20 km (12 mi) a day on uneven trails and snow. A significant increase in elevation and some technical difficulty should be expected.

Your safety is our number one priority. We provide you with top-notch gear to ensure your safety and comfort during the trip. Your guide will give you safety instructions and answer any questions you might have before embarking on one of our backpacking adventures.

We also provide you with essential first aid supplies, emergency radio or satellite phone.

When embarking on a backpacking adventure, be prepared for various weather conditions. Make sure that you bring hiking boots, warm socks, warm clothing, rainwear, hat, water bottle, and first aid kit. Other recommended equipment list includes gloves, fleece or wool underclothes, sneakers, sunscreen, swimsuit and towel (if applied to the tour).

We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allows for fast and easy adjustment to the changing weather conditions. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet.

A full clothing list will be supplied upon booking.  

The age limit varies according to location. Before booking the tour, please check it on the tour description page.

We provide all the group gear including tents, tarps, cooking gear, camp stoves, eating utensils. However, some tours might ask you to bring a plate spoon and large mug, so do make sure to check it in the tour description page.

Make sure that you bring a sleeping bag/pad (some tours provide a sleeping pad, but please check it on the tour description page), and a backpack. A recommended packing list will be provided upon booking.

A correctly packed backpack will be much lighter than an incorrectly packed backpack. How you pack your bag depends on its size and organizational pockets but here are some tricks and tips to make things easier for you.

The key to alleviating back pain to properly distribute the weight. Firstly, pack your sleeping bag to avoid heaviness on your lower back. On top of the sleeping bag pack all the heavier and bulkier items to give a good center point to your back. Around the heavy gear pack lighter items such as clothes and other essentials.

Finally, pack frequently used items such as water bottle or map on the top of your backpack within easy reach.

Mosquitos and other bug populations might vary depending on the location, weather, and season of the year. We try hard to find bug-free camping locations but sometimes mosquitoes are unavoidable. We recommended bringing bug repellent and any other protection you find effective.