Tag Archives: back country


It is that time of year that you try out front coun­try camp­ing or back coun­try camp­ing. What ever you decide, Jasper Nation­al Park is a spec­tac­u­lar place to start your camp­ing expe­ri­ence.

Tasty fire cooked sausages
Camp­ing on Athabas­ca Island, almost like car camp­ing if you have big enough ves­sel to haul the gear
Sit­ting around a warm camp­fire is camp­ing

What is the dif­fer­ence with front coun­try camp­ing and back coun­try?  Front coun­try is an eas­i­er access camp sites that is main­ly with ser­vices, like atten­dants that keep the area tidy and most­ly car acces­si­ble.

Quite a few sites like Wapi­ti, Whistlers, Snar­ing and Wabas­so can accom­mo­date trail­ers

Back coun­try is when you have to hike a lit­tle dis­tance before you arrive at des­ig­nat­ed tent pads, you can’t get recre­ation­al vehi­cles here. You might be sup­plied with Bear proof lock­ers or just a Bear pole where you hang your food and scent­ed items up high so the Bears do not get access to it.

Back coun­try throne

The front coun­try sites can be reserved online: Camp­ing Info or Reser­va­tions for camp­ing

Break­fast in back coun­try does not have to be dry

The back coun­try is not yet online, so give them a call: Reser­va­tion Helpdesk:
1–877-737‑3783, 519–826-5391

Hos­tel Inter­na­tion­al: web­site


Ski Tour Shangri-la

Back country hut Shangri-la

A back coun­try cab­in nes­tled in a val­ley along the sky­line trail. A locals favorite hide­away cab­in that holds 4 per­sons com­fort­ably, 6 if you want to get cozy. To stay in this place, you must reg­is­ter though the local ski club. The care­tak­er of Shangri-la does not adver­tise their con­tact infor­ma­tion online.

Due to con­ser­van­cy of cer­tain species at risk, the Cari­bous, which is a heat­ed debate among the locals and Park Cana­da on weath­er the impact of skiers affect the Cari­bou pop­u­la­tion. The open­ing date to access this area is in late Feb­ru­ary to ear­ly March. A ski tour to this place is an adven­ture not to be missed. Once there, the val­ley has many slopes to day tour and play in the snow.

Access: Maligne Lake Road

Park­ing: Yes, pull out near Rose­mary rock.

Trail­head: Along the Mail­gne Riv­er, or via Maligne Lake

Activ­i­ties: Sights / Hik­ing / Ski­ing


Cross-country Skiing Bald Hills

Classic recreation area

Locals love to hit the slopes, but this is a self pro­pelled activ­i­ty as nat­ur­al as it can be. Win­ter and sum­mer, this place has easy access to the alpine. The trail is about 6km to Bald hills. Start off from the park­ing lot of Maligne Lake.

Stay below treeline and you are pretty safe from avalanches
Stay below tree­line and you are pret­ty safe from avalanch­es
Beyond these trees, backcountry knowledge is an asset
Beyond these trees, back­coun­try knowl­edge is an asset
Old tracks keeps us afloat
Old tracks keeps us afloat

This is one of those instance that cross coun­try skis don’t work here.

Deep Snow
Deep Snow

Oth­er access like the six pass route and the sky­line can be done from here. If you want to stay low, the Moose Loop is a short­er loop, Eve­lyn Creek is more dif­fi­cult. Since this Bald Hills trail is not track set any more, ski tour gear is more appro­pri­ate for ele­va­tion gain and some down hill fun through the woods.

The hitching post
The hitch­ing post
View from near the hitching post
View from near the hitch­ing post

Parks Cana­da is con­tem­plat­ing in clos­ing this area in the win­ter, so if you want to check it out, bet­ter do it soon. As of 2014, delayed access to this sec­tion of the park will not be avail­able till Feb­ru­ary.