Backcountry campers and hikers visit remote valleys and high altitude passes that connect the valleys. These are the same routes wildlife use to travel through this rugged Rocky Mountain landscape. For us, it’s recreation; for animals, it’s everyday survival, the pursuit of meeting life’s basic needs: food, mates, secure space and cover. Parks Canada staff issue necessary permits; can assist with route planning; and provide advice on how to safely enjoy the backcountry with minimum impact.
Two backpackers in wilderness
© Parks Canada/JNP CD 1073 #80
Backcountry Trip Planning: three important information sources
- Park web sites
Check out the Wilderness Trip Planning pages on our park web sites. Important wildlife safety information can also be found on our sites, along with a current trail report that include any bear related warnings, restrictions or closures affecting trails and/or backcountry campgrounds.
Most of our backcountry publications can be downloaded off our web sites.
- Visitor Centres
Drop into or call our park visitor centres or our Parks’ office in Calgary for the most up-to-date trail and bear reports.
Knowledgeable, friendly staff can address any questions or concerns you may have regarding a visit to the backcountry.
Park publications such as backcountry guides and bear safety brochures are also available.
Take the time to read signs and notices at the trailhead; they contain important information about the backcountry area you are about to enter. Special notices such as current bear warnings, restrictions, or closures are also posted.
Recreational courses and guided trips
Are you interested in backcountry hiking and camping, but lack the skills and knowledge you need to venture out on your own?
The Calgary Area Outdoor Council can help you connect with organizations that offer short courses and recreation trips.
Commercial interpretive guides can be hired through private companies licenced to operate in the mountain national parks. Check for certification by the Mountain Parks Heritage Interpretation Association to guarantee a high quality experience.