hikes in David Thompson Country
If you’ve ever travelled across scenic Highway 11, you’ve discovered the beauty that is the David Thompson Highway. Inspired by David Thompson himself, who once mapped and explored Canada from the Pacific to the Great Lakes, the highway makes for an incredible road trip, offering plenty of secret, azure lakes and fantastic hiking in the foothills of the surrounding mountains.
Winding all the way to the Jasper-Banff highway, adventurers have the opportunity to explore over 20 provincial and recreational parks primed for unforgettable outdoor adventures. Enjoy fresh mountain air while hiking to the peaks of the Rocky Mountains, with trail options for beginners to mountaineers. For a slower pace after hiking, spend the afternoon sunbathing on a sheltered beach at Crimson Lake or cast a line from the dock of Fish Lake.
The area remains relatively unexplored, meaning hikers can experience nature in a similar way that David Thompson once did— untouched and pristine. A camping road trip is still the best way to explore the area and its surrounding trails, making for a perfect family-friendly adventure. Whether you camp in an RV or under the stars, be sure to enjoy the nature talk and walk at Crimson Lake Provincial Park or enjoy the fantastic bird watching opportunities at Thompson Creek Provincial Recreational Area. And for an unforgettable educational experience, stop by the Rocky Mountain House National Historic Site to learn about Alberta’s coal mining history and to hike along the North Saskatchewan River in the footsteps of David Thompson himself.
The 6 Great Hikes in David Thompson
Hiking in the David Thompson area is like stepping back in time to enjoy untouched nature. Hikers will be rewarded with unobstructed panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains to be enjoyed all to themselves, as hikers come few and far between out in the wilderness.
For a challenging hike, set out on the Vision Quest Ridge, where hikers are rewarded with incredible wildflowers during the summer season and stunning views over Abraham Lake at the summit. Those in search of a slightly easier adventure should visit Coliseum Mountain. This trail is quite popular all year round, with fun switchbacks and ridge walks on the way to the top overlooking Nordegg Village and the Rocky Mountains.
- Tuff Puff Ridge Hike: Tuff Puff Ridge hiking trail is a beautiful long route surrounded by the
wildflowers in the Canadian Rockies that starts from David Thompson Highway.
- Coliseum Mountain Hike: Coliseum Mountain hike near David Thompson Highway is a great day trip. This trail leads to the top of Coliseum Mountain and rewards with views of Nordegg.
- Vision Quest Ridge Trail: Vision Quest Ridge trail near David Thompson Hwy is a short, challenging hike. This trail leads to the Vision Quest Ridge and has views of Abraham Lake.
- Allstones Ridge and Lake Hike: Allstones Ridge and Lake, near David Thompson Hwy, is a trail in Alberta. The trail leads to the lake along the ridge with an extension to reach the top.
- Shunda Mountain (Baldy Lookout) Hike: Shunda Mountain hike near Nordegg is a great trail leading to the Baldy Lookout with a beautiful overlook of the surrounding mountains and lowlands of Alberta.
- Ram Mountain: Set off on this stunning hiking trail near Nordegg, following the remote trail for a steep incline up to the Ram Mountain Fire Overlook for unforgettable sights.
When Is The Best Time To Hike in David Thompson
Perhaps the best part of hiking in the David Thompson area is that most of the trails are accessible all year round. While not all trails are winter maintained, they are often frequented by other hikers, so the trails remain clear even when snow is on the ground.
Though, perhaps the most beautiful time of year to hike in David Thompson Country is during the fall season. Set out on the trails for incredible views overlooking the surrounding area in full foliage colour. Shades of red, yellow and orange will dazzle across the treeline. In the spring, you’ll also find quieter trails and beautiful meadows in full bloom.
How To Plan A Trip To David Thompson
Want to hit the trails in David Thompson, but not sure where to start? Here at 10Adventures, we’re all about making exploring out in nature as easy and possible. That’s why we’ve created a complete guide to planning a trip to David Thompson. Find our recommendations for where to eat, sleep and play—while getting to explore the best of the great outdoors. Pack your bag, we’ll see you there!
Frequently-Asked-Questions About David Thompson
Where is David Thompson Country located?
David Thompson Country is tucked away in West Central Alberta, just slightly north of Calgary. It is considered part of the Rocky Mountain district, but the area remains relatively unknown and offers amazing outdoor adventures far from the crowds.
What’s the main attraction in David Thompson?
Well the trails are an absolute highlight, most locals would consider Crescent Falls the highlight of David Thompson. The Crescent Falls is an incredible waterfall that tumbles nearly 30 meters over two ledges and offers amazing views overlooking Bighorn River Valley. There is a 5.6 km loop if you’d like to hike out to a second lookout spot.Read More
The best hikes in David Thompson Country
Yes, there are more than 10
David Thompson Country is so beautiful that we can not give you only 10 hikes. So here is a list of bonus hikes in David Thompson Country that you should take a look at as well
Are we missing your favourite hike?
Tell us! If you've got photos, a GPS track and know the hike, we'd love to share your favourite hike with the rest of the 10Adventures community.