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CANADA: Canadian Rockies & Columbia Mountains parks

Canadian Rockies and Columbia Mountains park photo galleries

The Canadian Rockies rival any mountains in the world for breathtaking beauty. Use this article to plan for great hikes and sights as follows:

CANADA: mountain park favorite photos (Rockies, Columbia Mountains, plus Coast Range)

Above are favorite Canadian mountain images (Rockies, Columbia Mountains, plus Coast Range) automatically played in a show. Below, view more extensive galleries. (PAUSE || or START SLIDESHOW as desired with buttons at lower right.) But mobile devices just display a fixed image, so click center to enlarge as a set of images with full captions in GALLERIES mode (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos). See wild animal photos in their natural home: wapiti (elk), osprey, Mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus), Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep (Ovis canadensis canadensis), black bear, grizzly bear, Columbian Ground Squirrel (Spermophilus columbianus), and Golden Mantled Ground Squirrel.

Enjoy these wonderful Canadian parks by camper, bicycle, feet, and canoe.

Mountain hiking+climbing weather forecasts for the Canadian Rockies, listed by peak and range:

www.mountain-forecast.com/mountain_ranges/canadian-rockies/subranges

Rockies: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, and Yoho National Parks: photo gallery

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos).

Rockies: Recommended hikes and tips for Banff National Park, Alberta

Rockies: Hikes and sights in Jasper National Park, Alberta

Rockies: Yoho National Park, British Columbia

Rockies: Kootenary National Park, British Columbia

The Rockwall’s east-facing cliffs form the backbone of the Vermilion Range, which stretches nearly 40 kilometers (24 miles), hikeable via athletic loops or traverses. The Rockwall soars 1000 meters (3300 feet) over Floe Lake, an excellent backpacking destination, 10.7 km one way.

Rockies: Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park, British Columbia

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos). Photos include Lake Magog, Sunburst Lake, Cerulean Lake, Nub Peak trail, and a Columbian Ground Squirrel. Hike from Banff National Park to Rock Isle Lake via Sunshine Meadows.

Assiniboine Lodge and Naiset Huts

A helicopter can optionally carry you and/or your backpack to Assiniboine Lodge in the remote wilderness at Lake Magog with great views of Mount Assiniboine (11,871 feet, the “Matterhorn of Canada”). Comfortable private rooms in the Lodge are pricey. A cheaper option is to book your group into the dormitory-style Naiset Huts and use their Wonder Lodge Cooking Shelter for comfortable indoor communal cooking (gas cookers provided) and socializing. Or carry a tent and camping gear about 25 minutes further to Lake Magog Campground.

Mount Assiniboine backpacking trip

The optional Citadel Pass route to Mount Assiniboine starts at Sunshine Village (7200’), reached via bus in in Banff NP. Hike 8.7 miles to Porcupine Campground, then 9.5 miles to Assiniboine Lodge Naiset Huts (at 7100′ elevation). The hardest part is a steep descent from Citadel Pass (7740’) to Porcupine Campground (6000’).

Rockies: Mount Robson Provincial Park, British Columbia

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos).

Camping near Mount Robson trailhead
Berg Lake, Mt Robson backpacking

In 2008, Carol and I fondly revisited Berg Lake, our first international backpacking destination together (1995), plus other parks, with a group of friends. Backpacking to Berg Lake is 22 kilometers (13 miles) one way. All campsites have bear poles, pit toilets, washbasins and grey-water pits. Reserve backcountry sites at 1-877-737-3783, change at 1-800-689-9025, 7am-7pm.

Rockies: Kananaskis Country, Alberta: Peter Lougheed Provincial Park & more

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos). Images include: golden larch trees, grizzly bear (brown bear), pica, ptarmigan, Upper Kananaskis Lake, Chester Lake Trail & Three Lakes Valley, Galatea Creek Trail to Lillian Lake & Galatea Lakes, Mount Kidd reflecting in Kananaskis River, Rawson Lake trail, Mari Lake reflections, and Sarrail Creek waterfall.

The many parks of Kananaskis Country rival the splendor of neighboring national parks but without the crowds. Kananaskis Country is an improvement district (rural municipal administration) in the front ranges of the Canadian Rockies west of Calgary, in Alberta.

Detailed hiking book with maps: Gillean Daffern’s Kananaskis Country Trail Guide – 4th Edition: Volume 1: Kananaskis Valley, Kananaskis Lakes, Elk Lakes, The Smith-Dorrien (2010).

Recommended hikes in Kananaskis Country:

Local comforts in the wilderness:

Rockies: Waterton Lakes National Park, Alberta

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos). Images include: A stream flowing through colorful sedimentary geology in Red Rock Canyon, and mountains reflected in Waterton Lake.

Recommended hikes in Waterton Lakes NP:

Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta, Canada and Glacier National Park in Montana, USA comprise Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park, which is honored by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. See related articles:

Columbia Mountains, Purcell Range: The Bugaboos, British Columbia

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos).

Bugaboo Provincial Park lies in the Purcell Range of the Columbia Mountains south of Golden, British Columbia. Most tourists are distracted by nearby Canadian Rockies parks along fast paved highways and skip gravel logging roads, thereby leaving the stunning “Bugaboos” as a quiet retreat for hikers, climbers, and helicopter guests of luxury CMH Bugaboo Lodge. Hike in late September to see the glow of golden fall colors of tamarack larch, whose deciduous needles turn from green to bright yellow-orange. Stay in expensive accommodation at CMH Bugaboo Lodge and CMH Bobby Burns Lodge just outside the park, or camp free at 4 primitive sites in Bugaboo Septet Recreation Area. The following view hikes are best on a sunny day:

Geology of the Bugaboos and Purcell Mountain Range

The ancient Purcell Mountains (a subrange of the Columbia Mountains) formed from sediments around 1.5 billion years ago, a time on earth when only algae grew. Not until the age of the dinosaurs did the much younger Rockies appear east of the Rocky Mountain Trench. Near the end of the Rocky Mountains creation, masses of molten rock pierced the old metamorphic rocks of the Purcells and cooled into hard crystalline granodiorite batholiths of the Bugaboos, 135 to 70 million years ago. Glaciers and water chiseled away weak overlying rock and revealed spectacular granite spires of the Bugaboos. Mining peaked in nearby Bugaboo Falls around 1906 — miners described a deadend mineral lead as a “bugaboo,” the park’s namesake. (Some USA maps label the “Percell Mountains” where their southern limit protrudes into the states of Idaho and Montana.)

Columbia Mountains, Purcell Range: Lake of the Hanging Glacier, British Columbia

South of the Bugaboos and west of Kootenay NP, hike to spectacular Lake of the Hanging Glacier (see Google maps) 11 miles/2400 ft RT. Drive to the trailhead from Radium Hot Springs, 1.5 hours one-way mostly on gravel road (click for an external PDF guide to this hike).

Columbia Mountains: Revelstoke and Glacier National Parks, British Columbia

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos).

Columbia Mountains: Bowron Lake Provincial Park, British Columbia

Above, browse the gallery and thumbnails easiest with a mouse device. But mobile devices display just a fixed picture, so please touch (click) to enlarge as a set of images with full captions (where Add to Cart button lets you buy photos).

See my article “Pardon Me, I’ll Run to my Ambulance Now.” This true story from Bowron Lake Provincial Park recounts my group’s adventurous 73-mile canoe trip paddling a rectangular circuit of wilderness lakes, where we portaged by rolling canoes on wheels.

See related articles

Recommended Canada and Montana guidebooks from Amazon.com:

Search for latest “Canada Rockies travel books” at Amazon.com. Search for latest “Montana travel books” at Amazon.com.

2003: 2011: 2010: 2010:

2012: 2011: 2011: 2010:

The following Canadian Rocky Mountains parks comprise a spectacular World Heritage Area listed by UNESCO in 1984:

One thought on “CANADA: Canadian Rockies & Columbia Mountains parks

  1. Dona McAdam says:

    Really nice website. After many trips to Mt. Robson and Berg Lake when I was young, I have many happy memories. My Dad worked at Kodak and he and my Mom travelled in a “Colonist Car” (Canadian National Railway) to Mt. Robson for the first time in 1956 with the Genesee Valley Hiking Club. He was so excited about the trip he and some folks from the Appalachian Hiking Club repeated the trip in 1957. I was included this time and had the best time of my life. I feel that I was very lucky to have had such wonderful times in the Mt. Robson area. One of my closest friends I met there–Alice Wright who had visited there from the ’30s and owned the ranch where we stayed prior to the horse ride and hike to the Berg Lake cabins. From there we took day hikes to places such as Snowbird Pass, Mural Gllacier and Mt. Anne-Alice. My Dad and I photographed everything. We hiked on the Robson Glacier which was a new experience for us–we had previously had many years hiking in the Adirondacks, a very different experience.

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