Stanley Glacier | Walcott Quarry | Mount Stephen | What to bring on a guided hike

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Join a Parks Canada Heritage Interpreter for a fun guided hike to the first Kootenay National Park Burgess Shale fossil site. This family-oriented hike provides an excellent introduction to the Burgess Shale on a relatively easy trail. Beginning in an expansive fire swept forest with lodgepole pines and a profusion of wildflowers, this hike crosses a turquoise river, passes by waterfalls and gives close-up views of the Stanley Glacier. Hidden at the base of Mount Stanley are trilobites, hyolithids, brachiopods, sponges and algaes from the Eldon formation. The lock box is chock full of real Burgess Shale fossils for you to hold. You’ll even see the “Stan animal,” a 505 million year old predator recently discovered here!

Note: This hike does not go to the recently excavated Marble Canyon quarry site and access to the Burgess Shale area in Kootenay is not restricted to participants on approved guided hikes. 

Guided hike to Stanley Glacier
Difficulty Distance
Elevation Gain Duration
moderate 10 km (6.3 miles) 450 metres
(1,476 feet)
7.5 hours
8 a.m. to ~3:30 p.m.

Is this hike right for me?

The Stanley Glacier hike is moderate in difficulty. The first 4 km (2.4 miles) of the trail is excellent and well maintained. The final sections to the fossil site include 800 m (874 yards) of rough trail and 200 metres (218 yards) of walking on rough rocks. It is equivalent to climbing all the stairs up and down again in a 110 story building over 10 km (6.3 mile) in distance.

Ensure you are equipped for all weather conditions, including wind, heavy rains and snow.

Children under eight not recommended. Hike not suitable for strollers or child carrying-backpacks.

We want you to enjoy your day. If you are unsure if this hike is right for you, please call us to discuss. For safety reasons, we reserve the right to decline service to clients who may be unprepared to complete the hike safely. No refunds.

Stanley Glacier hike

Schedule - 2018 Stanley Glacier Hikes

June 16 to June 29 - Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays
June 29 to July 12 -  Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays
July 12 to August 25 - Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays
August 27 to September 3 - Mondays

Meet at 8 a.m. Mountain Time

Time zones in British Columbia: When travelling east from Vancouver, the time changes from the Pacific Time Zone to the Mountain Time Zone at Glacier National Park’s eastern boundary. Please note that all hike times are in the Mountain Daylight Time Zone, similar to Calgary.


Meet at the Stanley Glacier trailhead in Kootenay National Park. The Stanley Glacier parking lot is 15 km (9.3 miles) south of Castle Junction on Highway 93 South in Kootenay National Park. It is 95 km (59 miles) from Radium Hot Springs, 45 km (28 miles) from Banff and 40 km (25 miles) from Lake Louise. Hike ends at same location. 

Map of the Stanley Glacier hike trailhead and route
Stanley Glacier guided hike. 


Groups that reserve all 12 available spaces at the same time for the same hike receive a 10% discount.

Participant Guided Hike Online Reservations
Phone Reservations
Adults (17-64 years) $55.00 $11.00 / party $13.50 / party
Youth (8-16 years) $27.50
Seniors (65+ years) $46.75


  • Children under 8 are not allowed on the Walcott Quarry and Mount Stephen hikes. 
  • Children 0 to 5 years are not allowed on the Stanley Glacier hike. 
  • Youth under 8 are not recommended on the Stanley Glacier hike due to trip length and difficulty. 
  • Children and youth up to 16 years of age must be accompanied by an adult.
  • Parent or guardian of participants17-19 years of age must sign a waiver at the trailhead.
  • No exceptions.

*Fees are subject to change without notice.

All participants on the Burgess Shale Guided Hikes require a valid national park permit. Acquire your Park Pass the day before your guided hike; the park gates and visitor centres are not open in the early morning, and the guides do not sell park passes.