10 Great Hikes in Glacier National Park, Canada

 

Glacier National Park straddles the TransCanada Highway in the Selkirk Mountains above Rogers Pass west of Golden in British Columbia, Canada.

 

Bear Falls, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

Hiking at Bear Creek Falls in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

Not to be confused with Glacier National Park in Montana, USACanada's Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass in British Columbia compares very favorably with the rugged features of Many Glacier in its American counterpart.

The vast majority of trails in Canada's Glacier National Park require serious hiking footwear.

 

 


1.   Abbott Ridge


 

Abbott Ridge is a moderate hike which begins near the ruins of Glacier House Monument before ascent past Marion Lake to lofty and spectacular views of surrounding massive glaciers, Illecillewaet névé, mountains and valleys in Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, Canada

A rapid, more vertical, ascent route is complemented by a longer, more scenic descent route past a potentially tricky snow patch.  Abbott Ridge is a hike which leaves participants breathless in every conceivable way.  Mountain vistas are indelibly memorable.

 

Abbott Ridge, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

The Illecillewaet névé from the Abbot Ridge trail in Glacier National Park  

 

 


2.   Asulkan Valley


 

The Asulkan Valley was created by, and hosts the outflow from the massive Asulkan Glacier.  This incredible hike in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada features a host of amazing and indelibly memorable natural attractions through forest, sub-alpine and alpine terrain. 

An early start is mandatory.  Distance and elevation gain are significant like most alpine hikes in the region.  Asulkan Hut is a focal point which provides reserved accommodation and access to many additional high altitude alpine adventures.  Breathtaking!

 

Asulkan Valley, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

The view back through the Asulkan Valley in Glacier National Park

 

 


3.   Mount Sir Donald


 

Mount Sir Donald is a world-class rock climbing destination.  The approach is a steep, rocky, and sustained elevation gain trail which branches left from the trail to Perley Rock.  After ascent on the rugged surface of an ancient lateral moraine near waterfalls there is easy access to the toe of the Vaux Glacier.  This hike is special and best done in fair weather. Allow for compromised  trail surface.

 

Mount Sir Donald, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

The Vaux Glacier on Mount Sir Donald in Glacier National Park

 

 


4.   Abandoned Rails Trail


 

The Abandoned Rails Trail is a short, flat trail between the Parks Canada Discovery Centre and the Rogers Pass National Historic Site of Canada.  Interpretive plaques along this short hike document the disaster which occurred here on March 4, 1910.  Remnants of railroad ties remain embedded along the abandoned trail and rubble from old snow sheds punctuate the 1.6 KM (1 mile) trail to picnic tables at either end.  The historical immensity of the trail's significance makes it worthy of attention.  It is an easy walk.

 

Abandoned Rails Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

Remains of a snow shed on the Abandoned Rails Trail in Glacier National Park

 

 


5.   Balu Pass


 

The excellent quality trail from the Parks Canada Discovery Centre at Rogers Pass to Balu Pass leads through an amazing variety of diverse terrain to incredible views of glaciers and Icefields on nearby mountains.  The Balu Pass trail ends at Cougar Brook Valley.  Restricted access past Balu Pass leads into Cougar Brook Valley and Nakimu Caves.  A limited number of guided tours are available.  Substantially advanced reservations are advisable.

 

Balu Pass, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

The Illecillewaet névé from Balu Pass in Glacier National Park

 

 


6.   Avalanche Crest


 

The Avalanche Crest trail is a rugged hike with significant and aggressive elevation gain to lofty locations where original railroad surveyors identified the route for the Transcontinental Railroad to pass through the Selkirk Mountains.  Vistas from Avalanche Crest are incredible.  Allow for rugged trail.

 

Avalanche Crest Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

View to the Asulkan Glacier from Avalanche Crest in Glacier National Park

 

 


7.    Great Glacier Trail


 

The Great Glacier Trail provides a barometer for glacial recession at Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, Canada.  During the time Glacier House was thriving in the early 1900's, guides would escort railway lodge guests to the nearby Great Glacier.  Within a hundred years the Great Glacier has receded up the valley to a point where the massive glacier is no longer visible from the trail. 

This interesting walk along lateral moraines reveals the colorful, smooth rock in the valley created by the weight of the massive glacier grinding against it.  Reverberating sound from rushing water echoes through the valley as melt from remaining massive glaciers create mighty rivers and lush forest along their courses. 

 

Great Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

Glacial recession along Great Glacier trail in Glacier National Park

 

 


8.   Hermit Trail


 

The Hermit Trail is named for silhouette figurines at the top of the ridge across the valley which resemble a man standing beside his dog.  The trail-head is obvious on the north side of the TransCanada Highway near the east end of Glacier National Park in British Columbia, Canada.  The trail starts in a civilized manner through lush forest then abruptly changes to an aggressive and unrelenting uphill grind into fascinating and complex alpine terrain.  The goal is worthy of the effort.  There are several opportunities to continue further to spectacular mountain and glacier vistas. 

 

Hermit Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

    French Glacier from beyond The Hermit Trail in Glacier National Park.       Photo credit to Mélanie Jeanne Martin ©

 

 


9.   Perley Rock


 

If you love switchbacks, distance, elevation gain and rugged, spectacular terrain overlooking phenomenal natural features, this trail is for you.  Within the approach from Illecillewaet Campground and right past the branch to Mount Sir Donald there are about 80 unrelenting switchbacks which may cause loss of the will to live on a hot day.  The powerful Illecillewaet River gains momentum from glacial melt as the day warms. 

Perley Rock offers views of mountain tops as far as the eye can see and the opportunities for many other hikes like Abbott Ridge and Asulkan Valley are laid out in visual splendour on the other side of the valley.  There is a quick route from Perley Rock around and down to crystal-clear emerald water ponds of glacial melt at the edge of the massive Illecillewaet Névé.  This hike is fascinating, diverse and indelibly memorable on a long, fair weather day.

 

Perley Rock, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

Lofty views at Perley Rock in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

 


10.   Bear Creek Falls, Giant Cedars Boardwalk and Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk 


 

These three short hikes/fascinating walks are quick and spectacular.  They can all be easily done on the same day or stretched out to complement other hikes.  Bear Creek Falls is a short, easy hike down a short hill to a beautiful little waterfall fed by Connaught CreekBear Creek Falls is at the east side of Glacier National Park in British Columbia, Canada.

Parking areas along the TransCanada Highway provide convenient parking for Giant Cedars Boardwalk and Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk which are fascinating short walks west of Glacier National ParkBoth boardwalks are actually in Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.  Each short hike offers a diverse and remarkably unique interpretive, ecological, wilderness adventure.

  

Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada

Hiking Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk in Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada

 

Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass along the TransCanada Highway at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, Canada offers a diverse range of hiking experiences to unique and fascinating locations.  High quality hiking footwear is wise for protection on frequently rugged and rocky trail.  In the mountains it is always wise to be prepared for dynamically changing weather.  It is always sensible to check in at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre for current trail conditions and advice from Parks Canada

 

 

 

 

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