Province/Territory: Alberta

Hike to alpine huts and fields of glaciers

  • 03 days of hiking amidst glaciers and mountain peaks.
  • 04 glaciers are part of the Wapta Icefield
  • 02 remote alpine huts

Experience Alberta like the pioneer outdoorsmen did so long ago by joining Yamnuska Mountain Adventures on a 3 day trek up to and over the enormous Wapta Glacier. The tour starts with you alongside day hikers on an easy trail but in a matter of minutes your adventure takes a turn into the private world of the backcountry. The journey shifts into high gear as you negotiate a steep trail. A large boulder lodged into a stream provides a gigantic stepping stone to cross a frothy river. Soon, the trees thin out and the magnificent view of alpine peaks and glaciers surround you. The stark white endless ice is overwelming. Rustic huts with spectacular views in the high country are your home sweet home for the next two nights. During the day, the traverse across the glaciers is serious business. Ropes, axes and steel toothed crampons strapped to your boots assist you over crevasse filled meadows of ice. Your guides are confident and provide a safe crossing and adventure. To be able to stand in such a magical untouched part of the world using your own determination to get there is an envious privilege that so few people have experienced. The pictures and the stories you take home will be your badge of accomplishment. Don’t tell your friends that no previous mountaineering experience is needed for the journey. That can be your secret.

Why you should visit
  • Hike across a glacial icefield.
  • Look down into a cavern or crevasse.
  • Count an endless amount of stars in a night sky completely void of civilization light pollution.
  • Sleep in alpine huts built by mountaineers.
  • Take pictures of the turquoise waters of Peyto Lake from a vantage point far from the tourists.
  • See where glacier research is conducted and learn about the retreat of the glaciers.
  • Arrive in Canmore a day early to explore an alpine town.
  • Reward yourself after your epic adventure with a relaxing soak in the Banff Upper Hot Springs.

Weather

  • The weather in The Canadian Rockies is unpredictable with snow creeping into the forecast any month of the year - especially on glaciers. Be prepared by bringing a variety of layers and footwear. Also, the sun at these alpine altitudes is strong year-long and reflects off the glaciers. Sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat for protection from UV exposure is mandatory.
  • The mountain areas enjoy warm summers with occasional unseasonably hot days but it is not uncommon to have cooler temperatures especially on the glaciers at high elevations. July and August daytime highs sit at an average of 21°C dipping to 7°C in the night. Nearby Lake Louise receives 55 mm of rain during the summer months.
  • Springtime is a mix of all seasons so bring some lighter weight clothes as well as some thick sweaters and waterproof layers. The snow stays quite long into the season in the valleys and is continuous in higher elevations with spring daytime average high temperatures of 10°C.
  • Discover local weather information. Research local weather patterns at Environment Canada's Canadian Climate Website.
Visitor information
  • The Wapta Ice Hike is only offered in the summer months but many other programs are offered through Yamnuska Mountain Adventures throughout every season.
  • Rental gear is available but providing your own backpack, sleeping bag, clothing and waterproof hiking boots is strongly recommended.
  • Book directly with the supplier.
When to go
  • Summer time adventure only with 6 departure dates from mid June through mid September.
  • Check availabilities on Wapta Ice Hikes.
Need to know
  • Although not considered a technically difficult adventure, being fit and able to hike with a backpack is essential.
  • Follow the directions on how to lighten your backpack to make the excursion more enjoyable.
  • Bring your camera with plenty of back up batteries. The scenery is breathtaking.
Getting Here
  • Meet your guides at the head office in Canmore, Alberta. From there a van takes you the 1.5 hours to the trail head.
  • Canmore is approximately 1 hour from Calgary (100 km) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway (Hwy. 1) and 20 minutes from Banff.
  • Transportation from the Calgary International airport can be arranged at the time of booking.
  • On-site parking for cars and RV’s.