10 Great Hikes in Glacier National Park, Canada, BC

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

The Glacier National Park offers a wide range of activities, including wildlife viewing, camping, cycling, and hiking, so you can meet all of your outdoor recreation needs in one trip. It’s a wonderful way to appreciate Canada’s unadulterated beauty.

Some of the most well-known tourist attractions in British Columbia, such as Tofino, Whistler, and Vancouver Island, may have already been visited by outdoor enthusiasts. The Canadian Rockies’ grandeur, on the other hand, must not be overlooked.

One of the most popular things to do in the park is hiking. Easy, moderate, and difficult are the three levels of difficulty available. It’s best to begin with a simpler hike for beginners to avoid becoming discouraged.

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 best trails in BC are the subject of this article.

Here are some of the best hiking trails in Glacier National Park and the best times to visit if you’re ready to conquer mountains.


1.   Abbott Ridge

Abbott Ridge, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
The Illecillewaet névé from the Abbot Ridge trail in Glacier National Park

Abbott Ridge is a moderate hike that 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 that leaves participants breathless in every conceivable way.  Mountain vistas are indelibly memorable. 

Abbott Ridge offers amazing glacier views.

The Abbott Ridge hike from Glacier House Monument is about 12 KM (7½ miles) return, using both trail options, with an elevation gain of 1,040 m (3,412 ft) to a maximum elevation near 2,290 m (7,513 ft).

Abbott Ridge is a fairly strenuous hike through a wide variety of terrain culminating in spectacular, sweeping views of many principal features in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

2.   Asulkan Valley

Asulkan Valley, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
The view back through the Asulkan Valley in Glacier National Park

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 many amazing and indelibly memorable natural attractions through the forest, sub-alpine, and alpine terrain.

Asulkan Valley is a long, rewarding day hike.

The Asulkan Valley hike is 15 kilometers (9⅜ miles) return with a net elevation gain of 925 meters (3,035 ft) to the end of the trail near Asulkan Hut.

This hike can be saved for your final day because many great reports about the Asulkan Valley experience may leave a lasting legacy.  The Falcon Hiking Guide for Glacier National Park justifiably rates it as one of the Top Ten Hikes in the area based on Best Overall Views.

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

The Asulkan Valley hike is, hands down, one of the best day hikes ever achieved in my lifetime. The use of good, protective gear is important. It is not a first hike for new hikers. 

3.   Mount Sir Donald

Mount Sir Donald, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
The Vaux Glacier on Mount Sir Donald in Glacier National Park

Mount Sir Donald is a world-class rock climbing destination.  The approach is a steep, rocky, and sustained elevation gain trail that branches 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.

This day hike to the Vaux Glacier (pronounced Vox) is an aggressive hike on Mount Sir Donald in Glacier National Park, British Columbia, Canada.

Mount Sir Donald bears the name of the Canadian Pacific Railway Director, Sir Donald A. Smith, who drove the last spike in the rail line that linked Canada from coast to coast for the first time in 1885.  The ceremony took place at Craigellachie, British Columbia, Canada.

The Mount Sir Donald trail is 4.3 KM (2¾ miles) one way and gains 915 meters (3,002 ft) of net elevation.  The trail was originally constructed by the railway as a recreational access route for mountain climbers who chose to tackle this classic climb. 

4.   Abandoned Rails Trail

Abandoned Rails Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
Remains of snow shed on the Abandoned Rails Trail in Glacier National Park

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 punctuates 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.


5.   Balu Pass

Balu Pass, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
The Illecillewaet névé from Balu Pass in Glacier National Park

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.

This adventure will require one-way hiking of 7 KM (4⅜ miles) up to and over Balu Pass and down the other side into Cougar Brook Valley for exploration of the Nakimu Caves complex for a few hours, followed by a return hike on the same route.

This diverse and exciting adventure will consume a long and physically demanding day.  Cougar Brook Valley and Nakimu Caves are protected areas accessible only by special permit from Parks Canada. The trail-head for Balu Pass is directly behind Glacier Park Lodge and the Parks Canada Rogers Pass Discovery

6.   Avalanche Crest

Avalanche Crest Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
View to the Asulkan Glacier from Avalanche Crest in Glacier National Park

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 a rugged trail.

The Avalanche Crest Trail is a 4.2 KM (2⅝ mile) hike, one way, gaining 800 meters (2,625 ft) of elevation to a ridge cairn at about 2,050 meters (6,726 ft). From the Illecillewaet Campground parking area, the Avalanche Crest Trail begins directly across the 1885 Rails Trail, bearing left and north through the cedar-hemlock forest on a steady climb through moss and fern aprons bordering good trail.

Consult your hiking guide and map. 

7.    Great Glacier Trail

Great Glacier Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
Glacial recession along Great Glacier trail in Glacier National Park

The Great Glacier Trail provides a barometer for a glacial recession at Glacier National Park at Rogers Pass in British Columbia, Canada.  When Glacier House thrived in the early 1900s, 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 forests along their courses.

Following the 5 KM (3⅛ mile) drive from accommodation at Glacier Park Lodge to parking at the Illecillewaet (pronounced illy-silly-watt) Campground, hiking begins at  with the traditional trail across the Illecillewaet River Bridge at Meeting of the Waters where Asulkan Brook flows into the Illecillewaet River.  It is a very beautiful place of roaring, contrasted, milky-blue glacial water.

The Great Glacier Trail is a short, easy hike of 4.8 KM (3.0 miles) one-way with an elevation gain of 330 meters (1,083 ft).   

8.   Hermit Trail

Hermit Trail, Glacier National Park, British Columbia, BC, Canada
French Glacier from beyond The Hermit Trail in Glacier National Park.

The Hermit Trail is named for silhouette figurines at the top of the ridge across the valley, which resembles a man standing beside his dog.  The trailhead 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 the 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.

9.   Perley Rock

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

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 a loss of the will to live on a hot day.  The powerful Illecillewaet River gains momentum from the 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 splendor 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.


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

On Mount Revelstoke overlooking Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada

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 the Giant Cedars Boardwalk and Skunk Cabbage Boardwalk, which are fascinating short walks west of Glacier National Park.  Both boardwalks are actually in Mount Revelstoke National Park, British Columbia, Canada.  Each short hike offers a diverse and remarkably unique interpretive ecological wilderness adventure.

Historically, Glacier National Park

We can thank the Canadian Pacific Railway for realizing the potential of the glacier national park in western Canada, which was founded in 1886. The area’s natural beauty was a major draw for tourists for a long time. The railroad company set up hotels and lodges as soon as possible to keep travelers happy and on their journeys.

Rogers Pass, possibly the most well-known location in the park, is named for Major A.B. Rogers, who served as its chief engineer. The Pass has been a National Historic Site for a very long time, and the influence of the railroad can still be seen in many of the local features.

Best season to visit the park

The best season to visit Glacier National Park is from late June to early September during the summer. This is the drier season so you can expect lovely, sunny days with fewer hours of darkness at night and safer hiking terrain.

The entire park can be covered in up to two meters of dense snow during the winter and into the early spring. Campsites, trails, and day-use areas fall under this category.

Where to stay

In Montana, there are many guides for finding lodging, but what about on the Canadian side? Finding places in the area or within Glacier National Park itself can be difficult. Near Glacier National Park, there are many choices, including camping, cabins, and hotels.

Budget considerations are among the first to be made when deciding where to stay in Glacier National Park. The cheapest lodging options are likely to be campgrounds and more basic lodges, though if you have more money to spend, staying in one of the nicer lodges might be a smart move. Consider location after determining the kind of lodging that fits your budget.

When reserving a room at Glacier National Park, there are numerous factors to consider. Your decision might be made easier if you are aware of the amenities that you would find useful or essential. Where should you stay in Glacier National Park? We’ll discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each type of lodging, from budget to deluxe.

A. Some options if you prefer Camping

In Glacier National Park, there are a few excellent campgrounds if you enjoy camping. As you relax by the fire and sip your favorite beverages, you’ll be able to take in the natural beauty of the park.

1. Illecillewaet Campground

This campsite has a fantastic location if you’re looking for the best one. The closest campground to the trailhead for hikers is Illecillewaet Campground. Many of Western Canada’s top hiking trails begin here, which is only a few kilometers from the summit of Rogers Pass.

Illecillewaet Campground offers a ton of amenities to keep tent campers happy. Two highlights include flush toilets and potable water, and nice sites in a prime location make it ideal for family camping. Get there early on summer weekends or holidays because it’s first-come, first-served.

You’ll need your own power and water, but most sites are big enough for RVs or tent trailers. From early July to mid-September, you can stay here and camp.

2. Loop Brook Campground

If you like to plan ahead and the Illecillewaet Campground in Glacier National Park seems too large, Loop Brook Campground might be a better option. Between the end of July and the end of September, 20 sites are available.

Illecillewaet is a little closer to the summit than Loop Brook, but Loop Brook has more amenities and historical significance for railroad enthusiasts. When you visit the campgrounds, you can take a stroll along interpretive trails with a railroad theme, like those found in former railroad pillars. It is simple to access the campgrounds through a gap in the former rail lines.

3.Kinbasket Lake Resort

Kinbasket Lake Resort is an additional recommended lodging option close to Glacier National Park. It is situated on a lovely lake that is great for swimming and fishing, as you might have guessed from the name. It provides views of the lakeside and is located close to Golden’s park.

Camping here differs greatly from camping in the wild. If you don’t like to rough it or are only traveling with your RV, no worries; all of the campgrounds provide showers, flush toilets, and RV hookups. In addition, they rent out lakeside homes so that people can still experience camping while also having their own

B. For those that prefer a Cabin

The cabins in Canada’s Glacier National Park are nothing like what you might imagine when you hear the word “cabin,” despite the fact that you might picture cozy couches, fireplaces, and other amenities that make a cabin so cozy and charming. They can only be reached by hiking because they are all in outlying areas. Simply a roof over your head and minimal amenities are all they provide.

The park’s backcountry cabins must be reserved in advance. Please be prepared when traveling to this wild area, which is vulnerable to avalanches in the winter and isolated even in the summer.

1. Asulkan Cabin

This log cabin, which is close to the Asulkan Trail’s terminus, is worth the 6.5 km ascent up the mountain to reach it.  This cabin offers the essentials like electricity, a stove, sleeping mats, and a toilet and can accommodate up to 12 people.

The views of the nearby mountain and conservation area make up for the campsite’s unusual location, which may require some navigational expertise.

2. Glacier Circle Cabin

As it is remote and requires a hike through the Illecillewaet campground, this cabin will be an excellent choice for seasoned hikers. It’s over 14 km from the campground, so getting there will require you to be in good shape. Hikers must be outfitted with the proper hiking gear and clothing.

The lantern, wood stove, and white gas stove in this cabin, which can house up to 8 people, are all the necessities you’ll require. To avoid having to pack more than is necessary, it is advised that you bring your own fuel.
For portability reasons, you sgould choose white gas over a pack of wood.

C. for those that prefer Lodges and Hotels

The hotels and lodges in Glacier National Park are better than the cabins you’ve seen so far. You get a decent bed and perhaps a private bathroom, but being close to nature, which can be had for less money, is missing.

1. Heather Mountain Lodge

This 3-star hotel has a ton of amenities and is less than 2 kilometers from the park’s edge. Free Wi-Fi access, a fitness center, parking, and a shared hot tub are all available to you. You can also stay connected online. And when is it time to go to bed? The beds are very cozy!

This location, complete with comfort and amenities, is surrounded by beautiful mountain views. As expected, there is a cost associated with it, particularly during the busiest summer months. There is at least that to keep in mind—you get a lot for your money.

2. Purcell Mountain Lodge

This lodge is a helicopter-only destination close to Golden, British Columbia. In a serene backcountry setting, you will have all the comforts of a rustic lodge.

Skiing and hiking guides are available from the lodge. Although you might be tempted, a guide is really your best bet since you’ll be in the middle of nowhere.

There are warm, cozy rooms here, and the meals are always top-notch. You can also take part in their guided tours, where you can discover all of the amazing features the mountain has to offer.
Ten places to stay and three shared bathrooms mean there are good chances of finding one when you need it.


What should I bring with me on my hikes in Glacier National Park?

It is important to remember that most of the trails in this park are considered totally wild. This means there are no stores or restaurants where you can go for help in a jam.

Pack water and snacks for your trip, as well as a Glacier National Park hiking map printed offline since cell reception is poor in the park. Cellphone connectivity is unreliable, especially on remote trails.

Another recommendation is to download a useful app for hiking. Make sure you pick the correct Glacier National Park, and don’t confuse it with the one in Montana!

Tips for hiking in Glacier National Park

Hiking is all about having fun, so plan ahead to make sure you stay safe!

  • Always tell someone where you’re going and when you’ll be back. They’ll know to expect you at certain times and can go to help if the need arises.

  • The most important piece of equipment for people who spend a significant amount of time on their feet is their shoes. Wearing a pair that is both comfortable and supportive will make all the difference—that is, it won’t break inwards or outwards. Choose a suitable pair of shoes to wear at work.

  • It is essential to pack as lightly as possible.

  • Did you check the weather forecast before heading out? To get into the spirit of being prepared, you may want to bring a couple of options in your wardrobe because the high mountains can have very unpredictable weather.

  • If you don’t want to pitch your tent in the park, we recommend staying in the cities of either Golden or Revelstoke.

  • Illecillewaet Campground is the perfect place for campers interested in hiking. Many of the most interesting hikes in Glacier National Park start and end there.

  • Bear awareness is paramount in this part of the country. There are safety tips at some trailheads and the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre.


Glacier National Park is home to some of the most arresting landscapes and untouched wilderness you can find in Canada today. For all skill levels, from leisurely hikes to punishing summits, there are trails for you.

Alberta is a hotspot for tourist attractions like Banff, so why not travel just a little bit east to experience BC’s untouched nature instead?

If you don’t want to risk camping in the Canadian Rockies, there are rustic-chic cabins and lodges at the Heather Mountain Lodge.

The Heather Mountain Lodge staff have been busy this year, clearing a walking trail on the resort. It’s a gorgeous walk, and you don’t have to drive to an established trailhead in order to enjoy it.

You can explore some of the best trails of Glacier National Park this summer. They’re Canada’s best-kept secret and a great way to see nature in its truest form.


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