Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies

Skyline Hikers

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In the 1920's. John Gibbon was head of publicity for the Canadian Pacific Railway, which had several hotels and lodges in the National Parks. In order to lure tourists into the parks, Gibbon felt it necessary to offer them something other than just food and lodging. The Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies came into existence in 1923 (horse riding in the backcountry).

In the beginning...

There were a number of outdoor enthusiasts who either lived in Banff or came to the Rockies every summer, who felt the need for some organization which would do for hikers what the Trail Riders was doing so successfully for those who traveled the trail on horseback. Gibbon came up with the Sky Line Trail Hikers of the Canadian Rockies, which held its first outing in 1933.

For the first three summers, one four-day outing was offered to over 50 international hikers, who traveled between lodges in the parks. But the moving of camp materials on a daily basis was a problem, so starting in 1936, camps were set up at a single location each summer.


From 1933 to 1935, hikers traveled between lodges in the mountains. From 1936 to 1969, hikers stayed in tepees, as shown below. By 1970, prospector style tents were adopted by Skyline. For some time these were considered "six person" tents; they are now more comfortably shared by up to four hikers.


The number of interested hikers has grown throughout the years. In 1961, CPR terminated its sponsorship of the Hiking Club. However, through the hard work of interested individuals, the Skyline Hikers of the Canadian Rockies became a non-profit organization that now offers five one-week camps each summer in various locations in the Rockies.


Letterhead used in the 1970s and 1980s is shown below. Note the use of the word "Trail" in the organizations name. This was a legacy from the days when the Skyline Hikers was sponsored by the Canadian Pacific Railway, along with its sister organizations the Trail Riders of the Canadian Rockies (est. 1923) and the Ski Runners of the Canadian Rockies (est. 1931), as a way to draw clients for its hotels in Banff and Lake Louise.

Past Camps

The first few years had traveling camps in the Banff and Lake Louise area. Since then the hikes have been at fixed locations in and around Banff Park, sometimes exploring new areas and other times returning to old favourites.  Here is the full list of camps and locations:

1933: Lake Louise, Lake O'Hara
1934: Emerald Lake, Yoho
1935: Healy, Egypt, Shadow, Castle Mt.
1936: Lake O'Hara
1937: Larch Valley
1938: Yoho
1939: Skoki
1940: Egypt Lake
1941: Prolific Meadows
1942: Sunshine
1943: Spray River
1944: Sunshine
1945: Lake O'Hara
1946: Yoho
1947: Egypt Lake
1948: Quartz Lake
1949: Skoki
1950: Assiniboine
1951: Aylmer Pass
1952: Healy Creek
1953: Skoki
1954: Spray River
1955: Lake O'Hara
1956: Paradise Valley
1957: Snow Creek
1958: Yoho
1959: Egypt Lake
1960: Assiniboine
1961: Helmut Creek
1962: Skoki
1963: Egypt Lake
1964: Palliser Pass
1965: Yoho
1966: Tonquin Valley
1967: Egypt Lake
1968: Assiniboine
1969: Pulsatilla Pass
1970: Lake O'Hara
1971: Skoki
1972: Egypt Lake
1973: Assiniboine
1974: South Molar Pass
1975: Palliser Pass
1976: Owl Lake
1977: Sunset Pass
1978: Baker Creek
1979: South Molar Pass
1980: Nigel Pass
1981: Owl Lake
1982: Sunset Pass
1983: Baker Creek
1984: Allenby Pass
1985: Molar Pass
1986: Nigel Pass
1987: Owl Lake
1988: Sunset Pass
1989: Baker Creek
1990: Molar Pass
1991: Bryant Creek
1992: Tombstone Mountains
1993: Sunset Pass
1994: Owl Lake
1995: Baker Creek
1996: Molar Pass
1997: Allenby Pass
1998: Sunset Pass
1999: Head Creek
2000: Owl Lake
2001: Molar Pass
2002: Bryant Creek
2003: Whiteman Pass
2004: Johnston Creek
2005: Baril Creek
2006: Palliser Pass
2007: Sunset Pass
2008: Tall Timbers
2009: Whiteman Pass
2010: Molar Pass
2011: Odlum Creek
2012: Sunset Pass
2013: South Ram River
2014: Johnston Creek
2015: Palliser Pass
2016: Whiteman Pass
2017: Waterton Lakes
2018: Tall Timbers
2019: Sunset Pass
2020: Molar Pass (Cancelled)
2021: Strathcona Park
2022: Talus Lodge

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