Untamed Rockies - Wilderness Backpacking

Guided wilderness backpacking and trekking trip into the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Learn basics of navigation and skills for living in the wild where other people can be days away.

Tour W, 10 days

Stunning views, wide open spaces, majestic mountains and pristine lakes, where you can try to catch your own meal for the day, swim in or just gaze at while you disappear into your own thoughts. Relax by the campfire, sleep under billions of stars. Imagine roaming through the endless Canadian Rocky Mountain wilderness for days without seeing other humans, with everything you need in your backpack.



What's Included:

Airport transfers, 2 nights hotel (twin), transfers to and from Edmonton, all meals from lunch day 2 to lunch day 9, 2-person tents, camping equipment (except sleeping bags), admission to the park, camping - and permit fees, certified wilderness guide.

Not included:

Please see equipment list

Demands:

You must be very fit, and capable of walking with a heavy backpack through rough terrain for the full length of the trip. Previous hiking, backpacking and camping experience is therefore required.

 

Schedule 2017:

Price: CDN$ 1275.00/pers
includes taxes
with 2 persons in hotels and tent
$1515.00 single hotels and tent.
Group size: 5 persons
 

What to Expect


Huge parts of the Canadian Rocky Mountains are protected in several National and Provincial Parks. This trip takes you deep into the Willmore Wilderness, located north west of famous Jasper National Park. Willmore is lesser known, much less visited and therefore a true unspoiled backpacking destination. With no roads and over 4500 square km (1737 square mi) the park encompasses an enormous terrain of untamed wilderness.

For 6 days you trek through this wilderness.
 
 During this trip you can expect rivers, valleys, mountains, forests, swamps, lakes and alpine terrain. This home to black and grizzly bear, deer, sheep, goat, moose, beaver, cougar and wolf. You chose your own camping spots, cooking is over a fire or with the use of stoves and the creeks provide fresh drinking water.

These exclusive trips never follow the same route. The small group provides maximum experience and leaves minimum impact. Along the way you learn about edible plants and berries, campfire building, about good spots to see wildlife, how to choose your camp sites, Rocky Mountain geology and, very important, how to navigate through this vast landscape, both with and without compass and modern tools.

 
   

Tour Details

Day 1: EDMONTON, ALBERTA, CANADA
Arrival at Edmonton Airport and transfer to your hotel. Here you meet up with your guide and the other participants for the pre-trip meeting.

Day 2: GRANDE CACHE
Driving through the prairies you head for the mountains. Past the town of Hinton you take the Scenic Highway to Alaska which takes you to our campground near the gate of Willmore Wilderness Park. Here you pitch your tent, check your gear and do all other preparations for your wilderness backpacking trip. Dinner is Canadian style over a campfire.

Day 3 - 8: WILLMORE WILDERNESS PARK, HIKING / TREKKING
You start off easy on the first day of hiking, using a well travelled trail with not much elevation gain, which leads to your first backcountry campsite. This gives you the chance to get used to your backpack, the terrain and everything else. The average daily trekking time is 5 to 6 hours, the distance is about 12 km (7 mi), depending on the route and terrain.

Almost every day you gain and lose altitude, ranging from 200 m (656 ft) on an easier day to up to a 1000 m (3280 ft). The trails are from well maintained to poorly maintained, meaning from wide and open to sometimes narrow and overgrown with branches and brush. The off trail part can lead through open terrain, dense willow brush, thick overgrown forest and alpine terrain. There are several creeks and rivers to cross, from ankle deep to above knee deep water. All your equipment is carried in your backpack, all together 20 - 25 kg (44 – 55 lb). A fair amount of this weight is from the food for the total duration of the trip, plus food for 1 day reserve. The diet is well balanced and contains enough calories and essential ingredients for the hard work your body performs. And the good thing: every day your pack gets lighter! Cooking is mostly on a stove, but on some places on the open campfire. The water for drinking and cooking comes come from creeks and rivers, and is purified before consumption.

You sleep either by yourself in a 1 person tent or share a 2-person tent with somebody else. If weather allows (and your sleeping bag too), sleeping under the stars is always an option.

Even though it is summer, with generally warm days (20 - 30 C, 68 – 86 F), the weather in the mountains can change rapidly. It might rain and even snow. Temperatures might drop below freezing during the night, especially at higher elevations. Thus, harsh weather can sometimes be expected.
Among the wildlife you hopefully see along the way, the summer brings out another guest, the mosquitoes. Just to let you know.

Fishing is possible along the way. A fresh catch can make a very nice supplement to your meal! Be advised that a fishing license is mandatory (about $50.- for 5 days for Non-Canadians). If interested, please ask for details.

Last but not least: safety! Travelling through the wilderness means putting yourself in an environment where help can be days away. Therefore, safety is always priority number 1. Before your trip starts you receive instructions in the principals and skills needed for your group to safely enjoy the wilderness trip, including wildlife encounters and emergency situations.

Day 9: EDMONTON
A 4.5 hour drive back to Edmonton, arrival around 6:30 pm. Your tour ends when you reach the hotel for the last night.

Day 10: Transfer to the Edmonton Airport.


Wilderness backpacking requires knowledge and understanding of this very terrain, combined with the skills and experience to safely and enjoyably find your way. In an area covering thousands of square kilometers, many times there are no or only poorly maintained man made roads, trails and signs. Part of the trip is off trail, meaning you have to navigate and find your own way. The only possible trails to follow then are the ones made by animals: the game trails.

You receive instructions about wilderness etiquette, the basics of navigation, wilderness safety and other important skills that are required for trekking into the wild where help can be days away.

Prevention of hazardous situations is the start of any trip plan. It is therefor mandatory for all participants to inform Timberwolf Tours of any medical conditions, such as allergies, medicine use and physical disabilities.
 

Please note that due to the expedition nature of this trip, changes in the itinerary could be necessary, and are left up to the discretion of the guide.
USA / Canada 1.888.467.9697
International 1.780.470.4966
What People are Saying
It was a great trip involving 3 totally different weeks. Week 1 had a lot of hiking - very good, week two less hiking but great experience otherwise and different landscapes. And week 3 again different with beaches and kayaking. Can recommend the trip especially with Deanna as trip leader.

Stephanie B. 2016, Tour H
Full of a variety of activities - hiking, kayaking, spas, town tours, optional extras - bear tours. The trip is well thought out, follows a good route and concludes with a great finish with the Vargas Island kayak camping stay (I loved this). Very grateful for an amazing holiday - no complaints, just good happy memories for me.

Lyndall G. 2016, Tours H & V7
Excellent, we travelled and saw a lot in the week. Really nice experience and fantastic vacation living outdoors and spending a lot of time surrounded by nature. Anna (the guide) is an asset to your organization, extremely good at what she does. I can not fault her professionalism. Any group is lucky to have her as their guide.

Michael, 2016 Tour P7