Glacier National Park
Find your own special place in Canada’s second oldest national park. Picnic in an avalanche path in summer or gaze at the 360 degree vista of peaks from Glacier Circle. Hike to the toe of the Illecillewaet Glacier or ski some of the continent’s deepest powder snow. Stand where a Prime Minister added the last shovel of asphalt to the Trans-Canada Highway.
If you only have an hour
If you only visit for an hour, there are great opportunities to take a break from driving and experience the scenery beyond the edge of the highway.
The Rockgarden Trail is a 20 minute trail offering an intimate view of the diminutive nature of the park, nestled among sweeping views of the Selkirk Mountains wilderness.
At the summit of Rogers Pass, the Memory Garden and Summit Monument tell the story of the triumphs and tragedies behind Canada’s first trans-continental railway and highway.
© Parks Canada / Rob Buchanan
If you only have a day
If you only have one day, you can still see a lot of Mount Revelstoke and Glacier national parks. Here’s a day-long itinerary that lets you experience the stories behind the scenery.
Rogers Pass Discovery Centre in Glacier (allow 45 minutes)
An essential place to start or end your day – exhibits, theatre programs and friendly staff.
Slide Path Picnic Area in Glacier (allow 15 minutes)
Ever wondered what it feels like at the bottom of the Grand Canyon? The view at Slide Path stretches 1500 metres (5000 ft), from the valley floor up to the very gates of the Selkirk Mountains.
Glacier House in Glacier (allow 40 minutes)
It’s easy to imagine the adventures that began here at this Victorian-era mountain resort hotel as you wander among the stone ruins.
Hemlock Grove Boardwalk in Glacier (allow 20 minutes)
Built to honour Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion world tour 25 years ago, this is the most barrier-free trail in Glacier and Mount Revelstoke.
Giant Cedars and Skunk Cabbage Boardwalks in Mount Revelstoke (allow an hour for both)
Gather your family and circle the trunk of an ancient tree at Giant Cedars. Skunk cabbage plants tower over children, and devil’s club plants guard the sides of these boardwalk trails.
Meadows in the Sky Parkway in Mount Revelstoke (allow three hours)
Almost 2000 metres (6000 ft) above the Columbia River, you can stroll through the subalpine meadows that explode into colour every August. This is the only place in Canada’s national park system that you can summit a mountain just a short walk from a vehicle. (While the lower parkway is open from late May until October, the Summit Area is open from July to September.)
If you only have a long weekend
If you have a long weekend, you can explore our unique nature on historic walking and hiking routes while enjoying an overnight stay in the parks or our neighbouring communities.
Eva and Miller Lakes in Mount Revelstoke (allow seven hours round-trip – or overnight camping)
After a scenic drive up the Meadows in the Sky Parkway, Miller and Eva Lakes are a 6 km walk through rolling subalpine wildflower meadows. There is a backcountry campground at Eva Lake.
Illecillewaet, Loop Brook and Mount Sir Donald Campgrounds in Glacier (overnight camping)
Glacier National Park’s wilderness-oriented, rustic overnight experience is one of the few places in Canada offering camping in a national historic site. In July and August, Parks Canada staff share the natural and cultural history of Rogers Pass on interpretive strolls through Glacier House and evening campfire talks at Illecillewaet and Loop Brook.
Asulkan Trail in Glacier (allow seven hours round-trip – or an overnight stay in a backcountry cabin)
Known for its stunning mountain scenery and views of waterfalls and glaciers, this trail is suitable for new and experienced hikers. You can choose to complete the first few kilometres of valley bottom trail for a hike with minimal elevation – or follow the entire 13 km (roundtrip) trail to the Asulkan Cabin, available for overnight stays (reserve your space through the Alpine Club of Canada).
Balu Pass in Glacier (allow five hours round-trip)
A 10 km (roundtrip) hike that leads through forest and alpine meadows to spectacular views of glaciers and icefields.
Avalanche Crest in Glacier (allow six hours round-trip)
On this 4 km hike, you’ll experience Major A. B. Rogers’ 1881 first view of what would become Rogers Pass – the first route through the Selkirk Mountains. A year later, he struggled up into the pass again from the east side and proved that he had found a route through the “impenetrable” Selkirks.
The Glacier Highcountry experience
Push yourself to the limit with an exhilarating high-country experience.
Straddling the crest of the Selkirk Range, Glacier National Park is legendary for its snowfall, attracting ski-touring enthusiasts from around the world. Skiers and snowboarders alike are treated to an array of glades, alpine bowls and icefields, with descents of more than 1,500 metres.
Glacier Park introduced mountain climbing to North America in 1888, when two British mountaineers explored the Selkirks. Intrepid climbers today can conquer the pyramidal peak of Mount Sir Donald or the jagged spires atop Mount Tupper by following paths laid down by legendary 19th-century Swiss guides.
The Asulkan Valley provides the setting for an epic, 14-kilometre trail run. Glaciers, waterfalls and rainforest are all part of the scenery along the way.
Young park visitors can get an early introduction to the mountain lifestyle at Glacier courtesy of the Glacier Adventure Stewardship Program. Fundamental backcountry skills are imparted by seasoned professionals.
The Major Rogers Route experience
Relive the past as several of Canada’s defining historical moments come to life at Rogers Pass National Historic Site.
Whether planning your adventure or relaxing after a day’s hike, settle into an armchair at the Rogers Pass Discovery Centre. Here an array of interactive exhibits and film presentations immerse you in the triumphs and tragedies behind the building of Canada’s first trans-continental railway.
The Summit Monument and Memory Garden offers an irresistible opportunity for a picnic and a selfie at the monument commemorating the completion of the Trans-Canada Highway in 1962.
Spend the night at a Glacier campground, where staff bring the ghosts of the Pass to life with tales told round the campfire. Guided interpretive walks will take you past remnants of the rail line that brought the first trains over Rogers Pass in 1885 and through the stone ruins of western Canada’s first mountain resort hotel.
The Amazing Forests experience
Family-friendly hikes in Glacier National Park and the surrounding area lead visitors through valleys of towering trees and into alpine meadows offering breathtaking views.
Experience B.C.’s famous old-growth forests with a leisurely stroll around Hemlock Grove Boardwalk, a barrier-free trail that passes beneath soaring ancient hemlocks. Relax in the cool shade of the tall trees on a hot day or warm up in a log cabin on a cold day at Hemlock Grove Picnic Area.
Witness the transition from cedar-hemlock rainforest to subalpine spruce and fir, all within Glacier Park. Meeting of the Waters Trail takes you on a 30-minute loop that includes a bridge over the meeting point of Asulkan Brook and the Illecillewaet River.
If you prefer a taste of mountain trekking, Glacier Park’s 20-minute Rockgarden Trail will take you along a boardwalk, up rock staircases and through hillsides strewn with moss and lichen-covered boulders. The top of the trail offers a sweeping one-of-a-kind view of the Selkirk Mountain wilderness. (Wear appropriate footwear, and leave your pet behind.)
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