Open year round and located only 4-hour drive from Calgary and 6.5-hour drive from Vancouver, Glacier National Park is an easy visit on the TransCanada Highway!
It is impossible to separate Glacier National Park from Canadian history; it was after all a vital piece in the completion of the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) and the Trans-Canada Highway. Professional mountaineers could not resist its dramatic peaks, introducing North Americans to recreational mountain climbing. Do not miss the views of Illecillewaet, Asulkan and Swiss Glaciers.
1. Rogers Pass Discovery Centre
Rogers Pass Discovery Centre reveals the park’s past and present. Animal mounts stare down at you as you delve into the science of avalanches. And the role of Rogers Pass in the unifying of the nation is intricately described. This is also the only front-country facility that is open for much of the year and the best place to start your visit of the Park.
2. Hemlock Grove Boardwalk
There is a heartwarming story to the creation of this short barrier-free boardwalk. It is has everything to do with Rick Hansen and his search for a cure for spinal cord injury. The boardwalk not only provides an amazing view of the rainforest but also allows those with reduced mobility to share the experience. 15 minutes 350 m loop.
3. Rockgarden Trail
How about a peek into the last Ice Age? This trail features moss-covered boulders that survived the erosive effects of massive glaciers and their melting waters. You will go up a flight of rock staircases and catch your breath at a picturesque viewpoint as you enjoy a birds-eye view of Rogers Pass.
4. Glacier Crest Trail
You haven’t seen the best of this park’s glaciers until you hike the Glacier Crest Trail. It may be a 3-hour uphill trek but you will be rewarded with a panoramic view of the Illecillewaet’s tongue and the Asulkan Glacier’s erratic walls. Who knew rocks and ice could look this majestic!
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At the top of Glacier Crest Trail staring down the west face of Sir Donald. Just ridiculous hiking in this park! My new Swiss buddy Alain does some scrambling for the waterfall views pouring straight out of Illicilliwaet Glacier. Love this place and its space! #explorebc #glaciernationalpark #neverstopexploring #glaciercresttrail
5. Meeting of the Waters Trail
6. If all you want is a stress-free stroll along a fir-scented path then you should be looking for this trail. In less than an hour, you will have been introduced to the conifers of Glacier National Park in addition to watching the waters of the Asulkan Brook merge into the Illecillewaet River.
6. Asulkan Valley Trail
Early explorers were spell-bound by the views in the Asulkan Valley. Waterfalls gave way to forests and glacial vistas were interrupted by mountain scenery. Unpredictable vegetation and basking hoary marmots will captivate you as you make your way to the Asulkan Cabin that lies at the end of the trail.
7. Loop Brook Trail
Imagine a majestic steam locomotive thundering across Rogers Pass on a railway that was propped on stone pillars. The trains may have gone silent but the pillars still remain. They are now some of the oldest man-made structures in this part of the country and you can see them on the Loop Brook Trail..
8. Mount Sir Donald Picnic Area
In keeping with the historical theme, this picnic area shows you what Major Albert Bowman Rogers saw when he first faced the Selkirk Mountains. The peaks look so gorgeous yet forbidding to anyone who doesn’t have the drive of this military man. Luckily, you are only here for the view and a great meal.
9. Beaver River Valley
This one is for the backpacker who must spend a few days in the wilderness. You can hike the lower Beaver Valley trail in summer and return in winter to ski on the Grizzly Creek to Twenty Mile section. Your route-finding, creek-crossing and general self-reliance skills will be put to the test.
10. Avalanche Crest
Glacier National Park is famous for its avalanches some of which come tumbling down this crest. See for yourself what their brute power has done to the landscape. You will also have an unmatched view of Rogers Pass and the original route of the Canadian Pacific Railway. Every once in a while a hoary marmot, porcupine or pika may catch your eye.
If you are somebody who doesn’t hibernate in winter – Ski tour the park!