Backcountry adventures are often thought to be only for adrenaline junkies, challenge chasers, trail blazers and experienced risk takers. While this is may be true in some cases, there are also a number of less advanced backcountry adventures that are just as exciting (if you know where to find them) in The Pass.
Whether accessed by foot, truck, ATV, boat or bicycle, the backcountry is described as remote and undeveloped terrain. It is far away from cities and towns and sought after as a place to escape from it all. But where should you escape? Here in The Pass, there are more options than you can count.
Hiking trails and campsites in Crowsnest Pass are less crowded than other parts of Alberta, so even if you are not deep in the backcountry, you can still experience the magic and beauty of scenic, untouched land. Here, there is something for everyone and every skill level.
Looking for something a little less challenging?
For those new to the backcountry or looking to ease into exploring The Pass, finding a guide is always a good idea and a great way to learn how to stay safe and navigate unfamiliar terrain. Uplift Adventures offers several different Intro to Backpacking trips that are perfect for beginners. Explore Bovin Lake and Grizzly Lake overnight, or go on a family-friendly game-filled interpretive hike through Allison Chinook trails. For a less rustic adventure, they also offer a Hike and Dine at Pass Powderkeg, which includes a guided hike paired with delicious fine dining.
Another great place to start for all would-be hikers is to connect with a local group, like the Crowsnest Outdoors Society. Open to tourists and locals alike, the society offer a variety of trips throughout the year – from hiking, scrambling and overnight backpacking to cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter. Always sharing their adventures and looking for new friends to explore with, they have a regularly updated online calendar for you to see which events are coming up next.
Are you trying to capture the perfect picture for the ‘gram?
For those looking for scenic forests and stunning mountain views for your Instagram page, you won’t be disappointed here in The Pass. Established in February 2017, Castle Provincial Park and Castle Wildland Provincial Park are two of Alberta’s newest provincial parks. With access from Pincher Creek and Blairmore, large sections of the parks are located in The Pass that are quick and easy hikes away. Within these parks there are also many wilderness camping and backcountry opportunities, including Lundbreck Falls – a particular favourite amongst photographers and explorers.
What about if you’re an adrenaline seeker?
For the more experienced outdoor enthusiast, mountain biking throughout the Pass is a thrill unlike any other. Sweet Riders, an instructional touring company, offers a variety of trails and terrains based on your skill level (our personal favourite trek is the Big Bear Mountain Bike Trail). You can also book tickets and join the Southern Alberta Alpine Club to go mountaineering, hiking, sport climbing, training or rock climbing across challenging train. Hiking or horseback riding at Livingstone Ridge, and scrambling and climbing at Morin Peak, Prairie Bluff, Sentry Mountain, Tecumseh Mountain, and Mount Darrah are just a few of our personal favourite sites to see here. And, if you don’t have the right gear, reach out to Uplift Adventures who offer backpacking gear rentals for every type of journey.
If you’re looking for a different kind of adrenaline rush, explore the wilderness by ATV. The Crowsnest Pass Quad Squad manages 1,300kms of trails throughout the Rocky Mountains of Southwest Alberta. Ride with them to explore trails and unique destinations including Lille Castle Ride, Daisy Creek and even the infamous 1964 Dakota Plane Crash site.
There are endless options for adventure here in The Pass.
In and out of the backcountry, the Crowsnest Pass is an outdoor paradise ready and waiting to be experienced. No matter your level of ability, it is always important to be prepared. Not sure if you have everything you need? Check out our five must haves for backcountry adventures to know what should be in your pack.