Summer is short up here in the north and having a game plan for where you want to go + what you want to experience ahead of time means more room in your schedule to make the most of the season! To help you with future planning, we went over all the fun things we did this summer and narrowed it down to our top 5! Take a seat, grab a warm drink and get cozy; we hope you’ll be inspired to hit up some of these adventures next year!
No. 1: Backpacking Berg Lake Trail + Area – Mount Robson Prov. Park B.C
What happens when twelve Hike365 friends decide to spend Canada Day backpacking? We hit the road to Mount Robson Provincial Park and set up camp at Berg Lake!
The Berg Lake Trail is long, especially when you are carrying a heavy pack (over 20km each way), so we decided to break up the distance on the way in by staying at the Emperor Falls Campground on day one (16km) and then making our way to the Berg Lake Campground for 2 nights.
After getting settled in at our Berg Lake campsites, we got back to hitting the trail with our packs substantially lightened! First up was the Mumm Basin loop via Toboggan Falls which offered amazing up high views of the lake, glaciers and peaks.
We made a quick visit to the toe of the Robson Glacier with its jaw dropping bright blue ice, and celebrated Canada Day with some inquisitive marmots on Snowbird Pass! Each night we enjoyed warm and hearty group meals followed by watching the sunset over Mt. Robson + the lake. By the time we made it back to our cars we had logged over 80-kilometres throughout the weekend!
One question we are frequently asked via email + social media is “what brand of packs do you girls use?” Hike365’er and professional photographer A.V of North Birch Grove knows firsthand how arduous an 80-kilometre multi night backpacking + hiking trip can be, especially when your pack is heavier due to the addition of photography gear. Comfort is key to happily completing a multi day adventure and a while back she introduced us to Osprey’s line of women’s specific packs. A few of us were looking to either upgrade our current overnight packs or purchase our first one. With extra padding on the shoulders and waist, as well as adjustable sizing for both the hips + back with the help of a simple Velcro system to comfortably accommodate any size of hiker, we found that almost all of our girls on this trip use Osprey as their primary overnight backpack!
No. 2: Watching Sunrise at Moraine Lake Banff National Park
We’re pretty sure Moraine Lake is one of the most photographed spots in all of Alberta’s Rocky Mountains (52K #morainelake tags and counting!) A group of Hike365 pals decided to take part in sunrise over this iconic piece of Canadiana before hitting the trail in nearby Yoho National Park!
The end of May is a perfect time to catch the sun rising over crisp snow capped peaks. Be prepared for an early wake up though, we were on site before 5am!
“Getting up for sunrise near the height of summer solstice may seem slightly crazy, but catching the sun as it touched the tops of the Ten Peaks soaring high above Moraine Lake was every bit worth the 4am wake up and sleepy drive along the winding main road. The calmness of first morning light over the still water was like nothing I have ever experienced.” – Lee Ferrier
Natalie is a morning person and hits the trail regularly, but watching a sunrise over a lake was a new adventure for her. She is now hooked on watching the world wake up in the mountains!
Pop on over to TravelAlberta.com for full details on how to get to Moraine Lake + experience an epic sunrise for yourself!
No.3: Hut Trip in Yoho National Park
In true northern style, September brought an early snowfall to the Rockies including the historic Abbott Pass Hut resting high at an elevation of almost 3,000m in Yoho National Park British Columbia. Together twelve Hike365 girls participated this one night adventure of a lifetime!
Abbot Pass Hut is rich in Rocky Mountain history, and we recommend checking out its story. Originally built in 1922 it is available for overnight stays by reservation. Situated between Mount Victoria + Mount Leroy it rests on the Continental Divide, defining the boundary between Banff National Park (Alberta) and Yoho National Park (British Columbia).
The trail to the hut leads you through a variety of terrain loaded with vibrant colours where majestic blue lakes, waterfalls and tarns are sheltered by peaks soaring high above dusted with snow. From a well trodden path the trail then makes it way into a moderate scramble to the pass. A front of gloomy weather rolled in as we hit this point making it a slog as each step felt like we were walking an escalator that was unfortunately going down. Reaching the pass (and hut) after enduring this gloomy weather was cause for major celebration!
Hike365 ambassador Courtney Crowe (@thebanffdiaries) looks back on this trip with a huge smile thinking about the many laughs, support, encourage and empowerment that was shared between herself and her 11 peers who have bonded over their mutual passion for the outdoors. With an additional 12 hikers/climbers from all over the globe at the hut for the evening, it was something to behold: a group of 24 bodies all crammed into a tiny stone hut enthusiastically chatting, cooking and making new friends.
“The hut and surrounding Lake O’Hara area are a must-do from now on when I am asked for recommendations on experiences in the Rocky Mountains. Together they make up one of those adventures that when you return to your day to day you do so with a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment thanks to the journey.” – Courtney Crowe
For more information on the hut itself and for booking information, please visit the Alpine Club of Canada.
No. 4: Whitewater Rafting the Bow River + Horseshoe Canyon with Chinook Rafting
“The water is nice and refreshing, you’ll love it” – Chinook Rafting Guide Marshall, moments before he made sure we hit our first big wave.
Chinook Rafting has been around longer than a lot of us have been adventuring in the mountains for and with over 30 years of experience they know their rivers well and how to have loads of fun!
We hit the river with a bus full of thirty some odd water loving adventurers after getting properly suited up (it’s best to throw any ideas your have on fashion out the door when you go rafting, everyone winds up looking like a blue + red Oompa Loompa!). It was a crisp bluebird morning in July, and we knew it was going to be great day! During the course of the 30-minute or so ride to the river the guides were bursting with energy, one liners, and keeping the excitement levels high!
Each river guide at Chinook Rafting possesses the Professional Rivers Outfitters Association of Alberta rafting license, along with First Aid, CPR & River Rescue qualifications as minimum standards, yet they know how to incorporate just the right amount of fun so that learning all of the important safety information for being on the water doesn’t seem so overwhelming!
We brought along a couple of go pros that we mounted to our helmets to document the adventure (no cameras or selfie sticks for us, as we were worried something might go overboard!). Instead of writing about how our day went, we have a little video of the fun so you can see for yourself right HERE!
At the end of our adventure we changed into dry cloths and enjoyed watermelon, cookies and hot chocolate, compliments of Chinook Rafting. We quickly got to laughing out loud when we saw the photographs their in-house photographer took from the river bank of us on the water. We had some seriously big smiles and excited faces in every shot!
“The Horseshoe Canyon tour we experienced was an awesome way to start my day! Rapids are pretty cool in my books and the guides were so much fun and very knowledgeable! The scenery when we were floating along was stunning and the addition of a cliff jump opportunity was unexpected and super refreshing!” – Beth
“I had a blast rafting down the Bow River! The rapids were a ton of fun (and very, very refreshing) Our guide Marshall played a large role in making the experience unique with both his humour and quick wit. I can’t wait to hit the Kicking Horse River with Chinook Rafting next season!” – Andrea
No. 5: Jumbo Pass Day Hike – Purcell Mountains British Columbia
A short drive west of the breathtaking but crowded Canadian Rockies are the magnificent Purcell Mountains of British Columbia. Located just outside of the protected Purcell Wilderness Conservancy is the stunning Jumbo Pass + Hut which look out across the valley onto a number of beautiful glaciers nestled among numerous peaks.
25 years ago a developer proposed his plans to turn this wild area into a year round ski resort. The local community immediately rallied together showing their support to Keep Jumbo Wild and to this day the debate continues as organizations like Wildsight, a leader in large scale conservation, sustainable community initiatives + environmental education in Canada’s Columbia + Southern Rocky Mountain regions have dedicated an entire chapter to Keeping Jumbo Wild!
Accessed via Radium British Columbia, getting to this trailhead is an adventure in itself. All of the hikes in the Purcells are accessed via forest service roads. We here at Hike365 have adventured to some pretty unreal places together over the years, and a number of us return season after season to the breathtakingly rugged landscape of these particular mountains. The experiences we’ve had within this largely unprotected area have inspired us to give back through environmental stewardship opportunities with non-profit organizations like Wildsight based in Kimberley B.C
This summer we partnered with the crew at Wildsight hosting a hike to rally support to Keep Jumbo Wild Forever! This was our first event that included guys hitting the trail with us and we had over 20 Hike365 guys + gals hit join in the event! Eddie Petryshen, Wildsight’s Conservation Assistant accompanied us, sharing loads of information not just on the Keep Jumbo Wild Initiative but also on the Purcell Mountains area as whole.
Wild places like Jumbo Pass have endless stories + lessons to share with us. We here at Hike365 advocate the protecting and strengthening of these beautiful places for generations to come, may they too share in moments of pure stillness high above it all like we did alongside an amazing group of fellow outdoor enthusiasts.