David Thompson Hwy Hikes
David Thompson Hwy Hikes

hikes in David Thompson Country

Region in Alberta, Canada
David Thompson Country Trail Map

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.

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The best hikes in David Thompson Country

Tuff Puff Ridge Hike

01. Tuff Puff Ridge Hike
Difficulty

7.0mi 3,084ft 4.5-6.5h

Tuff Puff Ridge is a beautiful trail near David Thompson Highway that attracts a lot… Read More

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Coliseum Mountain Hike

02. Coliseum Mountain Hike
Difficulty

8.7mi 2,953ft 5-7h

The trail to the top of Coliseum Mountain is one of the most popular hikes… Read More

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10Overall Rating Technical Difficulty Physical Difficulty
Vision Quest Ridge Trail

03. Vision Quest Ridge Trail
Difficulty

2.5mi 2,297ft 2.5-3.5h

The Vision Quest Ridge hike near David Thompson Hwy is a short challenging hike. The… Read More

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Allstones Ridge and Lake Hike

04. Allstones Ridge and Lake Hike
Difficulty

5.4mi 2,940ft 4-5.5h

Allstones Ridge and Lake hike near David Thompson Highway is a bucket-list trail that leads… Read More

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Shunda Mountain Hike (Baldy Lookout)

05. Shunda Mountain Hike (Baldy Lookout)
Difficulty

3.7mi 1,385ft 2-3h

Shunda Mountain trail is a beautiful route near Nordegg, leading to the fire lookout called… Read More

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Ram Mountain Hike

06. Ram Mountain Hike
Difficulty

11.9mi 3,461ft 6.5-9h

The Ram Mountain hike is a beautiful hiking route that is located in the middle… Read More

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Crescent Falls Trail

07. Crescent Falls Trail
Difficulty

0.4mi 43ft 0.5h

Hiking to Crescent Falls won’t take very long, but you’ll probably want to stay awhile.… Read More

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Siffleur Falls Trail Map

08. Siffleur Falls Trail
Difficulty

8.8mi 1,211ft 3.5-5h

The out-and-back Siffleur Falls Trail is an excellent half- to full-day adventure (and possibly overnight).… Read More

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Ram Falls Map

09. Ram Falls
Difficulty

0.5mi 56ft 0.5h

The Ram Falls Trail is located in the central hub of Ram Falls Provincial Park,… Read More

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Cline River Falls Trail Map

10. Cline River Falls Trail
Difficulty

2.1mi 479ft 1-1.5h

Hiking to Cline River Falls follows a short and easy trail that leads up through… Read More

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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

Fish Lake Trail Map

11. Fish Lake Trail
Difficulty

2.9mi 463ft 1-1.5h

Hiking the Fish Lake Trail won’t take long, but it makes for the perfect family… Read More

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Hoodoo Creek Map

12. Hoodoo Creek
Difficulty

3.5mi 1,991ft 2.5-3.5h

Hiking Hoodoo Creek is very straightforward, but be warned—it’s extremely steep. This trail heads straight… Read More

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White Goat Falls Map

13. White Goat Falls
Difficulty

1.6mi 443ft 1h

White Goat Falls is a beautiful hike that departs from the waste transfer station. The… Read More

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Onion Lake Trail Map

14. Onion Lake Trail
Difficulty

17.5mi 1,844ft 6.5-9h

Onion Lake is a secluded subalpine lake that makes for a long day hike. The… Read More

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Coral Creek Canyon Trail Map

15. Coral Creek Trail
Difficulty

5.0mi 951ft 2-3h

The trail up to Coral Creek begins along the Cline River. You can see the… Read More

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Coral Creek Canyon Trail Map

16. Coral Creek Canyon Trail
Difficulty

3.0mi 522ft 1.5-2h

Hiking the Coral Creek Canyon Trail is a great way to spend a few hours… Read More

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Black Canyon Creek Trail Map

17. Black Canyon Creek Trail
Difficulty

6.3mi 1,175ft 3-4h

The Black Canyon Creek Trail is a beautiful multi-use trail that begins along the Fish… Read More

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Goldeye Lake Trail Map

18. Goldeye Lake Trail
Difficulty

2.0mi 410ft 1-1.5h

Across the highway from popular Fish Lake, Goldeye Lake sees less traffic and offers a… Read More

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Thompson Creek Falls Map

19. Thompson Creek Falls
Difficulty

6.3mi 1,683ft 3-4.5h

The Thompson Creek Falls Hike follows the Mount Cline route until reaching the stellar waterfalls.… Read More

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Allstones Creek Trail Map

20. Allstones Creek Trail
Difficulty

1.5mi 243ft 0.5-1h

Allstones Creek Trail is an out-and-back hike for all abilities. It’s flat, easy, and doesn’t… Read More

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Kinglet Lake Trail

21. Kinglet Lake Trail
Difficulty

7.2mi 2,582ft 4-6h

Kinglet Lake is a beautiful destination in the heart of David Thompson Country. It’s an… Read More

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East Bush Falls Map

22. East Bush Falls
Difficulty

2.7mi 587ft 1.5-2h

The East Bush Falls Loop is a quiet loop along a multi-use trail that leads… Read More

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Loudon Creek Map

23. Loudon Creek
Difficulty

7.2mi 446ft 2.5-3.5h

The trail up Loudon Creek leaves from the Siffleur Falls trailhead and crosses the Saskatchewan… Read More

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Kootenay Plains Heritage Trail Map

24. Kootenay Plains Heritage Trail
Difficulty

2.4mi 266ft 1-1.5h

Take in some history on the Kootenay Plains Heritage Trail. The trail travels through the… Read More

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Old Baseline Lookout Map

25. Old Baseline Lookout
Difficulty

6.7mi 2,300ft 4-5.5h

Getting to the Old Baseline Lookout can be the hardest part as it involves a… Read More

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Whirlpool Point Map

26. Whirlpool Point
Difficulty

0.8mi 59ft 0.5h

The hike to Whirlpool Point is a beautiful stroll up the North Saskatchewan River. The… Read More

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Paula’s Ridge Hike Map

27. Paula’s Ridge Hike
Difficulty

2.1mi 1,558ft 2-2.5h

Paula’s Ridge Hike is just east of Mount Abraham and offers incredible views of Abraham… Read More

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Marble Mountain Hike Map

28. Marble Mountain Hike
Difficulty

4.0mi 1,398ft 2.5-3h

Getting to the Marble Mountain trailhead can be tricky and out of the way, but… Read More

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Tershishner Falls Map

29. Tershishner Falls
Difficulty

2.1mi 285ft 1h

Hike along Tershishner Creek to the humbling Tershishner Falls. The short and easy trail is… Read More

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Flag Hill Map

30. Flag Hill
Difficulty

1.0mi 259ft 0.5h

Flag Hill Trail is a rewarding hike that could be considered an easy stroll. This… Read More

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