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3-4 day trip in Alberta mid March
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Josiah Vandervelde

Locale: Florida
Suggestions for 3-4 day trip in Alberta mid March on 02/28/2013 15:55:59 MST Print View

I'll be in Edmonton, Alberta for about a week (March 9-17) and was really hoping to get a few nights of backpacking in. I'd really like to find a trail somewhere in the mountains that's passable and doesn't require snowshoeing the whole way. Obviously, it's going to be a chilly and many of the trails in the Rockies are snowbound.

FYI there would likely be two experienced backpackers and one newbie going.

Anyone have any suggestions?

Edited by eternalnoob on 02/28/2013 15:57:11 MST.

Josiah Vandervelde

Locale: Florida
Anyone have any ideas where to look? on 03/03/2013 16:36:17 MST Print View

Anyone have any resources for me to use to figure this out?

Steve Bennett
(PackRat) - F
Alberta mid March on 03/03/2013 21:00:52 MST Print View

You are probably looking at a lot of snow this time of year unless you can find something on the eastern slopes but we just had a big storm roll through so the east slopes might be pretty deep as well.

You would probably get some better local information by posting on

Gary Daugherty
(Doc) - M
David Thompson Area on 03/04/2013 09:02:33 MST Print View

As Steve has already mentioned many of the trails are likely snowbound. Your best bet may be in the Kootenay Plains area which is about 4 hrs drive from Edmonton if the roads are reasonable. I have not been there since last fall.

Generally speaking the area will be drier than the main ranges farther west. You will be also be assured of solitude this time of year. It is unlikely that you will be able to hike too far above the North Saskatchewan Valley floor without encountering snow. It may be possible to hike up a few ridgelines in the area , but these would be day hiking options not overnight trips. Subject to snow conditions you may be limited to walking in on flat terrain for no more than 3 hours.

The closest large town would be Rocky Mountain House , which is about two hours to the east along Highway 11. The small town of Nordegg (within 45 minutes of the Kootenay Plains does have a restaurant or two , a gas station , hostel and hotel.

A decent resource for trail descriptions is a book entitled David Thompson highway - A hiking guide. The book covers the area from Nordegg west to the Jasper Banff Highway. The area that I have described above is listed under the Kootenay Plains section.

Josiah Vandervelde

Locale: Florida
Re: Alberta mid March on 03/05/2013 19:28:33 MST Print View

Thanks for the information Steve. I posted on clubtread so we will see.

Edited by eternalnoob on 03/05/2013 19:37:29 MST.

Josiah Vandervelde

Locale: Florida
Re: David Thompson Area on 03/05/2013 19:34:16 MST Print View

Thanks Gary. I really appreciate the information.

I ordered the book and it will be in Friday. Hopefully I'll be able to figure something out.

Obviously weather will play a huge factor. I'm planning on driving through the mountains anyway so the distance wouldn't be a problem.

I know I'm coming out of season, but it's not often that I get anywhere near the Rockies.

Thanks again!

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Suggestions for 3-4 day trip in Alberta mid March on 03/06/2013 12:44:25 MST Print View

Ah nuts - definitely the wrong time of year for backpacking in Jasper / Banff. Do you ski?

The best time of the year is late July to mid October. Otherwise you are dealing with a lot of snow (we recently had storms sweep through the area that make some trailheads not accessible by 2WD) and cold temps. Jasper will be -12 to -15C but higher up you will experience -25C overnight without the windchill. Not chilly but actually cold.

You could venture at lower areas but will still likely need snow shoes. Day hikes maybe?