Bato


home           portfolio            about            contact           top 100 hikes



Where are the best hikes in The Rocky Mountains? There are hundreds of trails and destinations to choose from and itís hard to know where to start. Thatís why Iíve assembled this list of the Top 100 Hikes after 30 years of traversing these mountains. They range from an easy few kilometers stroll to a difficult backpacking trip. All of them are great hikes with incredible views, diverse landscapes including turquoise lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, summits, wildlife, and wildflowers. Any of the trails you embark upon feels like a trip into an enchanted realm.  Through the words and stunning pictures of this correspondence, you will find all the information you may need, as well as help you plan, prepare and pack smart for adventures you'll remember for the rest of your life. Enjoy!

Bato

Warm Ups

Beauty Creek - Black Prince - Blue Rock - Bow Summit Lookout - Emerald Basin - Fortress Lake - Fullerton Loop - Ptarmigan Cirque - Sundance Canyon - Siffleur Falls - Stoney Squaw - Troll Falls - Tunnel Mountain



  • Location - Jasper National Park, Alberta  

  • Distance - 5 km  

  • Elevation gain - 150 m

  • Trailhead elevation - 1,560 m

  • Stanly Falls elevation - 1,665 m

  • Time - 1.5 hours

  • Difficulty - easy


Highlights

Most people drive past this hike as it is tucked away along the side of  the Icefields Parkway highway. However, if youíre looking for a short and pleasant hike after a long drive, Beauty Creek trail is the one for you. This trail mingles beside a green colored creek and it includes several beautiful waterfalls until the last and biggest of all - Stanley Falls.

Trailhead

The trailhead is clearly marked with a sign indicating Beauty Creek trail on right side of the Icefields Parkway in the river flats, just a 10 minute drive north of the Columbia Icefields.

Hiking

Beauty Creek is a major drainage between Tangle Ridge (3,001 m) to the south and Sunwapta Peak (3,315 m) to the north. To start the trail, leave the parking lot and head through the trees before connecting with an old road. This old road is the remnant of the original Icefields Parkway highway. To continue onto Beauty Creek Trail, turn right and follow this road up to the missing bridge site over Beauty Creek. Once you reach this junction, turn left and follow the trail as it ascents up the creek. In a few short minutes, you will find yourself in a canyon full of waterfalls. There are many gorges where it is easy to descend into the creek where you can enjoy the frigid waters. The official trail end is Stanley Falls, a picturesque waterfall roaring into a round pool, but if you love waterfalls, then you may continue another 2 km using the not so well defined trail and the creek bed. The goal of this slippery path are three waterfalls, each a glory into of itself, cascading down from the very tall mountains. Do this, and you will come upon many physical challenges, something that Beauty Creek trail, for better or worse, lacks. 

  Perks of the Trail

  • The trail is short and very pleasant any time of the year.

  • This is a must do if you are traveling along the Icefields Parkway!

       


  • Location - Yoho National Park, BC  

  • Distance - 9 km 

  • Elevation gain - 290 m

  • Trailhead elevation - 1,310 m

  • Max elevation - 1,600 m

  • Time - 3 hours

  • Difficulty - easy

Highlights

The most impressive sight awaiting you is the south wall of the President Range (3,138 m), towering 800 m above two waterfalls which appear resist gravity.

Trailhead

From Emerald Lake parking lot take trail on left side of the lake and keep going to the left end of the lake. Follow the trail beside a creek bed next to the established trail.

Hiking

The excitement starts immediately upon arrival at the parking lot just by looking at color of  Emerald Lake. The trail goes around the lake with number spots to take amazing pictures of the lake itself. At the far end of the lake the trail is marked to the left where it climbs quite steeply through a subalpine forest and takes about an hour to get to the top. The trail then levels out in a basin with a large waterfalls and glacier high above you. The basin is an excellent place to explore. Follow dried-up creek through the scree up to a pair of waterfalls tumbling from a col between Mount Marpole and the President. The hard rock in the cliff does not allow water to fall vertically down, so the water goes sideways which appears to make  this waterfall quite unusual to others. This area is very rough, carved with water and snow avalanches that are occurring even in summer time, so be careful  when exploring. Take the some way back. You will be surprised at how quickly you will rich the shores of Emerald Lake. From there enjoy the amazing views of the President, (the large triangular peak, although that is not the true summit), Vice President, Wapta Mountain, Mount Stephan, and Burgess.

Perks of the Trail

  • Well worth the effort.

  • Walking beside Emerald Lake is always fantastic.

  


  • Location - Banff National Park, Alberta  

  • Distance - 8 km  

  • Elevation gain - 300 m

  • Trailhead elevation - 2,060 m

  • Lookout elevation - 2,360 m

  • Time - 3 hours

  • Difficulty - easy

Highlights

The trail winds its way up in the shadow of Mount Jimmy Simpson (2,915 m) with stunning views of Bow Lake and a sea of peaks in the surrounding. It is an all season hike where many try their ski skills in early and late season when there is still a lot of snow.

Trailhead

Park at the Peyto Lake parking lot located on the west side of the Icefields Parkway road, approximately 41 km north of Lake Louise at continental divide.

Hiking

The hike starts with an easy ascent on a paved trail to the Peyto Lake lookout. The wooden platform at the top offers views of ice-capped mountains soaring above the beautiful Peyto Lake. From the lookout, follow the short loop trail leading to your left until it flattens out. To continue onto to Bow Summit lookout, look for a trail that slightly leads up to an old fire road. To make this hike more interesting, follow the fire road a short distance, then on the right side hike up a steep slope. From this peak you can take in stunning pictures of Peyto Lake as well as spend some time enjoying the unforgettable views. When you're finished with your photography, head back down to the old fire road and continue on until you reach the Bow Lake lookout. This is another famous lookout that offers nice views of the Icefields Parkway, Bow Lake, Bow Summit and many other peaks. Donít forget, you are on the continental divide and water from Bow Lake heads to the  Atlantic Ocean, and from Peyto Lake to the Pacific Ocean. Keep your eyes open for grizzly bears, you are in prime bear territory. Take the same way back.

Perks of the Trail

  • The view on Bow Lake from this angle is highlights for itself.

  • Looking at turquoise color of Peyto Lake will stay in your mind for life.  

   

Copyrights © 2020, Bato. All Rights Reserved.