Posted by: cherylyoung | June 2, 2010


Hiking in Glacier National Park is far more extensive

 and at higher elevation than in Revelstoke National Park.

 Glaciers cover much of the challenging terrain in the

 park, which is dominated by 10 peaks ranging from

 8,530 to 11,120 feet (2600 to 3390 m) in height.

 By comparison, the highest peak in Mount Revelstoke

 National Park, Mount Coursier (elevation 8,681 feet

/2646 m), is hard pressed to compete.

 Illecillewaet Glacier on the Great Glacier Trail

 (moderate; 6 miles/9.5 km return) has been a

 ‘must-see’ destination for over a century.

The trailhead is located behind the Illecillewaet

 campground on the east side of the Illecillewaet River.

 Cross the bridge next to the campground to reach the

 trailhead, which is located a short distance farther on

 the left.

Over a half-dozen other hiking routes lead through the

 park from the Illecillewaet campground, including the

 Avalanche Crest Trail (moderate; 5 miles/8 km return),

 which offers some of the most dramatic views in this

region of the park overlooking Rogers Pass. Icefields

 forever is the scenic byword here.

The Mount Sir Donald Trail (strenuous; 5 miles/8 km return)

 and the Perley Rock Trail (strenuous; 7 miles/11 km return)

 begin from the same trailhead but diverge after 1.5 miles

 (2.5 km).

The Sir Donald Trail brings hikers close to Vaux Glacier,

 while the Perley Rock Trail leads to the summit of Perley

 Rock from where hikers look out in awe at the crevassed

 expanse of the Illecillewaet Neve.

 Other trails in this area include the Asulkan Valley Trail

 (strenuous; 8 miles/13 km return), the Glacier Crest Trail

 (strenuous; 6 miles/9.5 km return), Meeting of the Waters

 Trail (easy; 1.2 miles/2 km return), and the Marion Lake

 Trail (easy; 2.7 miles/4.5 km return).

The Abbot Ridge Trail (strenuous; 6 miles/10 km return)

 is an extension of the Marion Lake Trail and provides

experienced hikers with some of the most challenging

 alpine trekking in the park short of donning crampons.

Glacier National Park is the acknowledged birthplace of

mountaineering in North America. In 1888, two British

mountaineers, Rev. William Spotswood Green and

 Rev. Henry Swanzy, completed the first recreational

 technical climbs in the Selkirks.

 Eleven years later, the services of Swiss guides were

 provided for guests at the Glacier House hotel in

 Rogers Pass.

 Those guides created the network of trails, providing

 access to local peaks, that has remained to this day.

Prior to the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway

 through Rogers Pass in 1962, climbers accessed Glacier

National Park by train.

 Tied to the railway as it was, mountaineering became an

 integral part of the history of the park, and continues

 to be a major attraction for backcountry recreationalists,

whose numbers have quadrupled in the past ten years.

Peaks of the Hermit Range, the Bonney and Bostock

 Groups, the Van Horne Range, Purity Range, Dawson

 Range, and the especially challenging Sir Donald Range

 all lie wholly or in part within Glacier National Park.

Generally, entry into caves is not permitted. Cavers must

 apply to the Superintendent for entry into any cave.

 The Nakimu Caves lie between upper and lower Cougar

 Valley in the Selkirk Mountains, just west of Rogers Pass

 on the Trans-Canada Highway.

The Caves are reached by hiking three to four hours up

 and over a mountain pass from the highway, an

 elevation gain of over 800 metres.

 Visitors’ efforts will be rewarded by the unique

 experience of descending, by the light of headlamps, into

 the dark labyrinth of the caves.

 Numerous passageways and grottos, totalling 5.9km in

 length, contain intriguing natural features such as

soda straws, rock fluting and moon milk.

Short steep scrambles and uncertain footing are

 characteristic of the cave experience.

 Park visitors can access the caves by either joining a

 commercially led trip, or apply to the Park


The Loop Brook, Hemlock Grove, Abandoned Rails and

 Bear Falls trails located along the Trans Canada

 Highway section of Glacier National Park, are opened as

 early in the year as the snowpack allows.

 Delays in trail openings may occur when bears are

 present  in the area or when snow has caused damage

 to trail  structures.

 Generally these trails are open by mid-June and remain

 open until the autumn snowfall.

The Rogers Pass Centre is open year-round except for

 Christmas Day, and the month of November.

 The Centre is the only frontcountry facility open during

 the spring and winter, while the campgrounds, picnic

 areas and trails lie under a two metre blanket of snow.

Located near the summit of Rogers Pass, the Centre

 includes a theatre, an exhibit hall with railway models,

 natural history displays and wildlife specimens, and the

 Glacier Circle Bookstore.

The Parks Canada office in Revelstoke is open year-round

 from Monday to Friday, 8:30 till noon and 1 p.m.

 until 4:30.

 It is located in the Post Office building at 300 – 3rd Street

 West in Revelstoke.

For more information on Glacier National Park, contact

 Parks Canada’s office: (250) 837-7500, or visit the Rogers

 Pass Information Centre, located at the park’s west gate.

Nearby Regions & Towns

Rogers Pass







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