Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies

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2017 at Waterton Lakes National Park

We are delighted to announce our members will be celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in an area of the Canadian Rockies that Skyline Hikers has never visited. Waterton Lakes National Park is unique in the panoramic view of the Rockies as they rise magnificently out of the prairie, and hikers who have been there offer glowing reports of the hikes in the park.

Please view the video of various scenes from in and around the park taken by our hikers (duration about 2 minutes).

What happened to Sunset Pass?  Typically, the process takes 24 months to plan and deliver successful, safe, and environmentally sustainable camps, working closely with our longstanding outfitter, Brewster Mountain Pack Train Ltd. Unfortunately, we have been unable to finalize our outfitter contract for Sunset Pass 2017, and so we had to cancel and cancel and have re-scheduled returning to this marquee location until 2019.

We are excited to report that with the change in venue to Waterton, we will be able to plan for an additional day of hiking, as we will leave Calgary on Sunday, making Monday a full hiking day. Consider this our unique and novel Canada 150 adventure as along with the usual challenging hiking and fun friendship time, we are also planning some historic experiences en route that will enrich our Canada 150 experience, and we are waiving the membership fee as a Canada 150 birthday present to our members.

Photo courtesy of Robert VanderzweerdeWe look forward to celebrating Canada’s 150th birthday in Waterton. We expect that all of us will be more than satisfied with the hiking choices available and return home once again in 2017 thrilled with the Skyline Experience! After all, as long as there are Skyline friends celebrating in the majestic Canadian Rockies, we will have a great time!!

Key logistical information (the bus pick-up location and time, hotel bookings, and more) and key questions about how Waterton Lakes is unique can be found on the Getting There and FAQ pages.

This year's camp dates are:
  • July 16 to 22
  • July 23 to 29
  • July 30 to August 5
  • August 6 to 12
  • August 13 to 19

Registration is open. Book Now!

With the departure from Calgary on Sunday, we will be touring the historic Bar U Ranch as we travel down the Cowboy Trail (highway 22) to our camp. On the return trip, we will touring at Fort MacLeod, original home of the North-West Mounted Police, and Head-Smashed-In-Buffalo-Jump, a world heritage site.

 

For the next five days, a choice of several group hikes will be offered each day. Each day hike is led by a volunteer leader. Hikers should be prepared to hike over rough trails (many above the tree line) for 5 to 25 km per day with elevation gains of 200 to 1000 meters. Hike times average 6 to 7 hours per day including stops. Because of the location of the camp, shuttle buses will be used to deliver hikers to the trailheads in the morning and pick them up each evening.

Photo coutesy of Doreen Vanderstoop  Photo courtesy of Doreen Vanderstoop

Camp life provides an interesting contrast to the peacefulness of the trail. Meal times in the dining tent are happy, noisy affairs. The camp is located at the Waterton Springs Campground (see map below). We will be using one corner of their overflow camping area with flat grassy campsites. Because this is a commercial campground, there will be other campers in the area, however, we are in a remote corner beside a pond and will be installing our electric fence to keep our camp separate and secure. One of the advantages is that the campground does have flush toilets and hot showers, a luxury not available in our usual back-country camps. We have hired a company to bring in a portable kitchen to the camp to offer the full meal service. The camp is within range of cell phone service.

The camaraderie continues around the evening campfire where a description of hikes planned for the following day are given. It is also a time for singing, recounting of the day's events and telling of tall tales.

  Photo courtesy of Robert Vanderzweerde

Maps

Gem Trek map reference:

  • Waterton Lakes National Park, Scale 1:50,000

Shown below is a map from the Waterton Lakes National Park's website. Click on the map to see a larger image.


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