The David Thompson Highway: A Hiking Guide - The Book


'The David Thompson Highway: A Hiking Guide' by Jane Ross and Daniel Kyba has been released.


Crescent Falls, David Thompson Country, Bighorn Backcountry, Alberta, Canada


Arguably, the definitive hiking guide book for Bighorn Backcountry, also referred to as David Thompson Country, is the 2002 title: 'The David Thompson Highway: A Hiking Guide' authored by Jane Ross and Daniel Kyba and published by Fitzhenry and Whiteside.

On a recent trip to hike in David Thompson Country, there was an opportunity to reference the desk copy of the excellent at David Thompson Resort.

A subsequent 2nd edition of the upgraded and revised guide has been released in 2016.  

An older alternative, which may be worth acquiring is the second edition of: 'Hiking Alberta's David Thompson Country' by Pat Kariel and Eric Schneider published in 1995 by Greenways Press with permission from Lone Pine Publishing.

The book contains an inspiring dedication to Bonnie, and a meaningful quotation which catches the attention as follows:

We did not think of the great open places, the rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth as 'wild'.  Only to the white man [sic: person] was nature a 'wilderness' infested with 'wild' animals and savage people.  To us it was tame.  Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the great mystery. 

- Luther Standing Bear








Thank you for your comment, Elaine. Welcome to Calgary. You chose a magnificent day to hike Heart Creek. It would have been very crowded. There are several bolted and anchored walls for rock climbing along Heart Creek. The short answer to your question is 'Yes'. People hike year round however the weather can be dynamic and an assortment of gear is necessary to enjoy a wide variety of different situations. The most important ally is common sense. Snowshoeing and skiing are very popular winter sports. Local clubs can help with the learning process. The University of Calgary Outdoor Centre offers a wide variety of educational outdoor experiences. It would be worth your time to check those out.

You can still find copies of The David Thompson: A Hiking Guide through (used books) for a reasonable price. I bought a second-hand copy that is in great shape.

My family and I have recently moved to Calgary. Yesterday we hiked at Lac Des Arcs, Heart Creek Trail. We were amazed by the beauty, as well as by the many different groups hiking. One lady hiked with her very young baby on her back. Others came with huge backpacks and ropes. Some families with a number of different aged children. This was our first hike in AB and we loved it. My question is do people hike year round in the Calgary outskirts near the mountains? Thanks for your blog.

Outdoor Village had a "thing" on FB about this, I forget about that area. I see CPL has copies so I put one on hold.

It is a good guide, Gord.  Some of the 2013 flood damage is not covered (e.g. Tershishner Falls) but there is excellent and very unique hiking opportunity in David Thompson Country, Bighorn Backcountry which is getting better organized and attended.  Definitely worth the time and less frantic, so far.  Castle is beginning to get better organized and protected as well.