Posted by: cherylyoung | March 9, 2012

Few places on earth offer such a geographically diverse and naturally preserved outdoor experience


Three national parks, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, and

Yoho, present themselves in succession beside Hwy 1

in the eastern reaches of the Southern Interior,


Being national parks, they are big, and you’ll find

much to do in each.

Few places on earth offer such geographically diverse

and naturally preserved outdoor experiences all

within the borders of one great province.


Glacier National Park offers wilderness camping,

hiking, mountaineering, and Nordic and alpine



Experience a hike through the valleys below the

Illecillewaet and Asulkan glaciers.


It’s rugged and challenging for the intrepid visitor

with a sense of adventure.


It is a world of primitive wilderness, where it is easy

to forget the intrusions of modern culture.

More than 400 glaciers continue to sculpt the

landscape, carving the Columbia Mountains and

feeding crystal-clear rivers.


Explorations range from a simple wooden boardwalk

to a multi-day glacier crossing trek.


Until recently, there were three campgrounds in

Glacier National Park, but now there are only two.


Mountain Creek Campground has been closed as a

result of widespread root rot in the trees; so severe

is the damage that the area may have to be clear-cut.


Illecillewaet Campground (60 vehicle/tent sites) is

centrally located near Hwy 1 and has kitchen shelters

and washrooms with flush toilets (no electrical

hookups or RV sani-station).


Loop Brook Campground (20 vehicle/tent sites) is

farther west than Illecillewaet and has similar


The interpretive program of Glacier and Mount

evelstokeNational Parks, located in the Rogers Pass

Visitors Centreat the summit of Rogers Pass on

Hwy 1, depicts the human history of the region through

fascinating accounts of firstclimbs, last spikes,

lives lost, and railway lines laid.


Hwy 1 winds for more than 27 miles (44 km) through

Glacier  National Park.


The park’s west gate is about 30 miles (48 km) east of

Revelstoke, while its east gate is 24 miles (40 km) west

of Golden.


Backcountry Camping – Glacier has three designated

backcountry campsites on the Bald Hills, above the

Copperstain Trail: Copperstain Pass, Caribou Pass

and 20-mile.


Each has tent pads and food storage poles to place

food out of reach of bears.


Open fires are not permitted in the backcountry.

Backcountry campers require a Wilderness Pass .

There is no formally maintained winter campsite

in Glacier National Park.


Road access to our summer campgrounds

is unploughed and unmaintained during winter.


Anyone wishing to camp in winter should check at the

Rogers Pass Centre.


Glacier National Park has three backcountry huts

available on a first-come, first-served basis, at

various costs per  person per night.


A wilderness pass is considered to be part of the

hut fee.

Reservations are not mandatory but, by reserving

space,users can reliably plan for backcountry tours

using  these shelters.


Access to these huts is not only arduous, but also,

in the cases of Sapphire Col and Glacier Circle huts,

requires mountaineering expertise.


Visit the Rogers Pass Centre (250-814-5232), or the

Parks Canada office in Revelstoke (250-837-7500) for

details or  to reserve space.


Asulkan Cabin, located 6.5km up the Asulkan Brook,

300 metres beyond the end of the Asulkan Trail at an

elevation of 2100 metres.


Accommodates up to 12 people. Equipped with

propane stove and heater, lights, loft and foam

sleeping pads, basic cooking and eating utensils, c

leaning supplies, toilet and grey water systems.


Glacier Circle Cabin, located west of the Beaver

River Valley and southwest of Mt. Macoun, this

one-room hut  accommodates 8 people.


There are basic cooking and eating utensiles, a  gas

stove, sleeping loft and toilet system.


Water supply is nearby.


Sapphire Col Hut, located at Sapphire Col between

The Dome and Castor Peaks.


This metal bivouac shelter sleeps 4 people.

Apart from a few utensils and a toilet system, it is



Water is obtained from a nearby melt pond or by

melting snow.

Hiking in Glacier National Park is far more extensive

and at higher elevation than in Revelstoke National


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.


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



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 sodastraws, 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 fromMonday 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

This Blog is brought to you courtesy of

Cheryl Young, Realtor




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