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Backpacking expedition on Mount Assiniboine

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Explore the backcountry of the Canadian Rockies on this backpacking expedition to Mount Assiniboine


From Mount Assiniboine, the 'Matterhorn of the Rockies', vast alpine meadows stretches far to the south. Add forested valleys and rocky peaks and you have a world-famous hiking area which we look forward to sharing with you.


  • Mount Assiniboine
  • Canadian Rockies
  • Valley of the Rocks
  • Citadel Pass
  • Sunshine Village
  • Assiniboine Meadows

This hike is designed specifically for backpackers who want to avoid more difficult itineraries whilst still preserving a true backcountry experience. From the vast park-like Assiniboine Meadows you drop into the eerie rockscape of the aptly named "Valley of the Rocks". From here you climb to Citadel Pass and back to beautiful meadows which will lead us to the trip's conclusion at Sunshine Village.

Join our guides in July and August when the alpine wildflowers are in full bloom or in September when the whole landscape blazes yellow and orange as the larches change color before winter.  If great scenery, healthy exercise and good company sound like a great outdoor holiday then come and join our guides for an unforgettable mountain experience.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability July - Sept
Duration 5 days
Departs From Canmore, AB
Difficulty Moderate
Group maximum 8 people
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up Yes
Region Alberta


1 453
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):
July 12-16
August 11-15
September 6-10

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What's Included

Find out what is included and what to bring.


  • Group camping and cooking gear
  • Park permits
  • Tents (accommodations are in tent camps along the trail)
  • Transfers from Canmore
  • Helicopter shuttle to and from Mt. Assiniboine
  • All meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5

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

What to bring

  • Sleeping bag (required)
  • Backpack (required)
  • Sleeping pad (required)
  • Hiking boots (required)
  • Plate spoon & large mug (required)
  • Water bottle (required)
  • Flashlight (required)
  • Camera
  • Daypack
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • First aid kit
  • Lip balm

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


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.


Prior hiking experience is not a prerequisite but is recommended. Participants must be in the good physical condition and able to carry a backpack over hilly terrain for three days. You will be carrying backpacks of as much as 14 kg (32 lbs) on the final three days of hiking. The trails are generally excellent and there is not too much climbing involved. 

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Canmore, Alberta.

Weather: Summer temperatures average 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Meals & Dining: 

The guides will supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 5. 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. 

aerial view in Assiniboine Provincial Park in canada

At 8.00 am we meet at the office in Canmore. We'll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted before packing and heading to the helipad at 10:30 am.

Twenty-eight kilometers and a twelve-minute helicopter flight leave us a world away in a land of lush meadows, turquoise lakes, snow-covered glaciers, and rocky peaks. We fly from Spray Lakes in Kananaskis Country (50km south of Canmore) to British Columbia's Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, landing right beside the historic Assiniboine Lodge. We will be based at the Lake Magog camping area which is 2km away. Once we have set up our tents we are free to go for a walk to nearby Sunburst and Cerulean Lakes. Their names give a testament to their beauty.

Mount Assiniboine view in summer in canada

There are many options: the meadows and views are gorgeous. An enjoyable day which allows us to gradually acclimatize to the altitude and get used to hiking. We can finish off with tea and cake at the Lodge.

og lake near mount assiniboine in canada

Now the backpacking begins and we embark upon the most scenic hiking route out of Assiniboine, to Sunshine Meadows via Citadel Pass. Today we head south across the meadows to Og Lake from where the trail descends among the eerie formations of the Valley of the Rocks. Dropping further we enter the Golden Valley to reach our campsite below Citadel Pass for a welcome cup of tea. Distance 16km, elevation gain 250m, elevation loss 565m.

happy man near assiniboine mountain in canada

A steady climb of 430m brings us to the summit of Citadel Pass. Hiking upwards we may be distracted by bighorn sheep at a "mineral lick" not 200m from the trail or by the profusion of wildflowers in the slide paths. Halfway to Citadel Pass we emerge back into the meadows and stop above an alpine lake for a break. Soon after we will be able to see far across the meadows to Sunshine Village, tomorrow's destination. Behind us rises Mount Assiniboine, still dominating the skyline. We continue for another 3.5km to our campsite which is nestled in the trees by Howard Douglas Lake. An optional hike up Quartz Hill provides views in all directions and will finish the day off nicely. Distance 7.5km, elevation gain 500m.

sunshine village ski resort in winter

The last leg of our journey takes us 6km across the famous Sunshine Meadows to the Sunshine Village ski area and an optional side trip to Rock Isle Lake. It's all downhill from here with a shuttle bus to the valley floor where transport to Canmore awaits. This allows us to finish up 3 pm. After hot showers and a rest, head out to celebrate our adventure at one of the excellent local restaurants. Distance 6km, elevation gain 250m, elevation loss 400m.

Payment Details

Deposit and taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 35% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 57 days before trip commencement.

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 canceling your public or private program anytime between the time of booking and up to 57 days before the program start, you will receive a full refund less a $100.00 (plus tax) administration fee and less a 4% service fee.  The 4% service fee is calculated on the total amount being refunded for the canceled program. This includes the program fee, any program add-ons (such as gear rental) and taxes.

Cancellation less than 42 days before the program start and during the program results in a loss of the 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.

Between 56 days and 42 days before the program start, 60% of the program cost will be refunded.

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).