Canadian Rockies

Rock Slide Lake in Idaho's southern Sawtooth Mountains.

Photo Gallery: 30 Gorgeous Backcountry Lakes

By Michael Lanza Water makes up about 60 percent of our bodies—and, I suspect, 100 percent of our hearts. We crave it not only physically, for survival, but emotionally, for spiritual rejuvenation. We love playing in it for hours as children and we paddle and swim in it as adults. We’re drawn by the calming effects of sitting beside a …

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A backpacker on the Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park, Canada.

Best of the Canadian Rockies: Backpacking the Rockwall Trail

By Michael Lanza A few hours into our hike’s first day, we round a bend in the trail to a sight that can stop you in your tracks: a pair of skyscraping stone monoliths rising thousands of feet above the treetops. Silhouetted by the sun arcing toward the west, the peaks resemble nothing less than a pair of El Capitans …

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A backpacker on the Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park, Canada.

Photo Gallery: The Rockwall Trail in the Canadian Rockies

By Michael Lanza

A few hours into our hike’s first day, we came around a bend in the trail to a sight that stopped us cold: a pair of skyscraping stone monoliths rising thousands of feet above the treetops. Silhouetted by the sun arcing toward the west, the peaks resembled a pair of El Capitans standing shoulder to shoulder. A little while later, one of the tallest waterfalls in the Rocky Mountains came into view: Helmet Falls, plunging 1,154 feet (352m) over a cliff.

After that, the scenery really got good.

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Rockwall Trail, Kootenay National Park, Canada.

Ask Me: Where Should We Dayhike or Backpack in the Canadian Rockies?

Michael,

I hope you are well. I thoroughly enjoy your site and it has become one of my first destinations for trip planning. Any suggestions for Banff and Jasper national parks in the Canadian Rockies? We’ll be heading there this summer. My wife and I are fit and can easily cover 10-12 miles a day, more if needed.

Thank you much,

Joshua
Bella Vista, AR

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Iceline Trail view of the Emerald Glacier, Yoho National Park, Canada.

Great Hike: Iceline Trail, Yoho National Park

By Michael Lanza

The hike begins with a short walk to the base of Takakkaw Falls, which plummets thunderously more than 1,100 feet (350m) over a cliff, raining mist on hikers below. Fed by the Daly Glacier and Waputik Icefield, the waterfall takes its name from the Cree word meaning “it is magnificent.” You won’t contest the claim. Beyond, you begin a long, steady ascent, first through forest, but soon with expansive views of the Yoho Valley in the Canadian Rockies, where sprawling icefields cap the mountains. A bit over two miles from the trailhead, traversing an ice-ravaged, open landscape of rock, dirt, and a few tiny but hardy plants and wildflowers, you get your first view of the thick, severely cracked Emerald Glacier, pouring off of 10,000-foot peaks in the President Range.

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