Backpacking the Rockwall Highline

Backpacking the Rockwall Highline

Backpacking the Rockwall Highline

Prices

From $1,250USD

Difficulty

Guided

Campsites

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Highlights

Take on one of Canada’s best backpacking trails, Rockwall Highline

Embark on a legendary backpacking trip that requires no previous experience or special skills.

Marvel at the undulating ridgelines of the Rockwall Highline from your sky-high trails.

Spend each night cozied up in a new campsite, unplugging from it all and relaxing in the wilderness.

Walk through vast alpine meadows surrounded by the dramatic Bugaboos mountains.

Want to tackle your first backpacking trip, but not sure how to make it everything you dream of it being? The Backpacking the Rockwall Highline is a perfect introduction to backpacking. With no previous experience required (just some solid hiking fitness!) and a long reel of unbelievable scenery to discover, this is a backpacking trip you’re guaranteed to fall in love with!

Your guides will take you along the jagged, rocky ridgelines that make the Rockwall Highline so incredible, spotting the Bugaboos, countless glaciers, Floe Lake, and tumbling waterfalls below. Gaze up at one of the tallest waterfalls in Canada, and then climb along some of the most impressive peaks in the Kootenays. Each night, you’ll camp under a wide sky of stars, completely immersed in the wild beauty of the Canadian Rockies. You just can’t miss out on the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline tour!

Backpacking the Rockwall Highline Itinerary

Day 0 Meet in Canmore and Gear Check

You’ll need to arrive in Canmore a day ahead of your first hike to make sure everyone’s gear is ready to go. It’s an early start in the morning, so find yourself a comfy hotel bed and rest up.

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
None

Day 1 Paint Pots to Helmet Falls

Begin our adventure from the Paint Pots, a source of red ochre clay used by indigenous communities. You’ll hike along Ochre and Helmet Creeks, passing through mature forests to tonight’s campsite. You’ll be right in the middle of a stunning cirque dominated by one of the largest waterfalls in the Rockies, Helmet Falls (352 metres).

Watch for mountain goats on the cirque as you set up camp and eat dinner together.

Overnight Location
Camping in Kootenay National Park
Distance
14.6km, 330m elevation gain
Meals
Lunch, dinner

Day 2 Goodsir Pass Day Hike

Today and through the rest of the tour, you won’t stray too far from the lush subalpine meadows the Rockwall Highline is famous for. Hike out to Goodsir Pass, where stellar mountain views can be appreciated. Climb up through the larch forests to walk the ridges above the pass before descending back to camp.

Overnight Location
Camping in Kootenay National Park
Distance
6-10km, 450-650m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 3 Helmet Falls to Tumbling Creek

Today is going to be a stunning one! Hike to the base of Limestone Peak and the northern end of the Rockwall. You’ll hike through flower-dotted meadows, making a side trip to Wolverine Pass, an impressive cleft in the Rockwall. From the cleft, look over the jagged spires of the Bugaboos to the west.

Drop down into the head of Tumbling Creek to make camp.

Overnight Location
Camping in Kootenay National Park
Distance
12.4km, 700m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 4 Tumbling Pass to Numa Creek

An easier trail takes you up to Tumbling Pass this morning, where you can snap photos of Tumbling Glacier (not tumbling very far, usually). The pass is gorgeous, with larches and wildflowers flanking you. On the pass, you can choose some ridgewalks to maximize your views.

Take a long descent into Numa Creek, where you’ll camp tonight.

Overnight Location
Camping in Kootenay National Park
Distance
7.1km, 330m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 5 Numa Creek to Floe Lake

After coffee at camp, start hiking through Numa Pass, the highest point of your trail. The views here are exceptional! You’ll descend to Flow Lake, one of the most beautiful places in the Rockies, with its waters speckled with fallen ice. You’ll get to camp right next to this magical lake tonight.

Overnight Location
Camping in Kootenay National Park
Distance
10.2km, 860m elevation gain
Meals
Breakfast, lunch, dinner

Day 6 Floe lake to Radium Highway

It’s your last day! It’ll be bittersweet as you pack up camp and hike through a forest regenerating after a forest fire in 2003. Watch for flowering perennials taking advantage of the extra sunlight.

Arriving at the van and driving back to Canmore, you’ll feel equally accomplished, satisfied, and sad to be leaving. You can choose to go out for dinner tonight with the grou to toast your journey if you’d like!

Overnight Location
None
Distance
10,7km, 690m elevation loss
Meals
Breakfast, lunch

Backpacking the Rockwall Highline Price and Dates

This guided backpacking tour is run as a fixed-departure tour where you’d be joining a group, however, custom private tours can be organized for those willing to travel with their group only (please contact us with your preferred date and the number of people in your group and we will create the itinerary just for you). Please note that due a very high demand and limited availability in campgrounds it is necessary to plan your trip a long time in advance.

Prices below are per person:

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Accommodation on the Backpacking the Yoho Valley and Iceline Trail Tour

This tour is based in campsites in the Canadian Rockies. Facilities may be basic or limited, so you should be comfortable with a rustic experience. Tents will be provided.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travellers
There are no single rooms available on this tour as all accommodations are communal. The minimum group size is 3 people, so please contact us about joining an existing group if you are a solo traveller.

Night 1-5

Camping in the Canadian Rockies

Spend each night camping in gorgeous spots in the mountains, enjoying an authentic backcountry experience with your group. Facilities may not be available.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline Tour?

Meals

5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners are included. Please pack any additional snacks you may want. Meals to suit dietary requirements are available but may incur an additional fee depending on your needs.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 5 nights are included. Accommodations before or after the tour are not included but can be booked as a supplement. You should arrive to Canmore one day before the tour start for a briefing.

Transportation During the Tour

You will be driven from Canmore to the trailhead on Day 1. You will be responsible for your own transportation to Canmore and back on the final day. We recommend booking shuttles or renting a car.

Also Included

  • Tents
  • Expert guide services

Not Included

  • Flights
  • Hotels
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks
  • Travel insurance
  • Optional excursions
  • Visas if required
  • Anything not mentioned as included
  • GST (5%)

Optional Extras

  • Special dietary requirement meals

Frequenty Asked Questions about Backpacking the Rockwall Highline

How hard is the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline tour?

We rate this tour as a 4/5. You don’t need any previous experience backpacking for this tour, but you should be fit enough to hike an average of 7-14km per day for consecutive days at high altitudes. You will also need to be comfortable sleeping in basic conditions on this tour, as well as carrying a backpack of up to 16 kg (35 lbs).

Do I need a visa to travel to Canada?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline tour?

5 breakfasts, 6 lunches, and 5 dinners are included. Please pack any additional snacks you may want. Meals to suit dietary requirements are available but may incur an additional fee depending on your needs.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Please verify that your insurance covers the included activities on this tour. Get your Travel Insurance.

Do I need to carry my gear myself?

Yes, you will carry everything you need, as well as a share of the common food and equipment.

How do I get to Canmore to start this tour? 

Fly into the Calgary International Airport (YYC). We recommend renting a car or booking a shuttle as you’ll need to find your way to Canmore and back to the airport at the end of the tour.

Is the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline tour guided? 

Yes, you will be led by an experienced guide. 

What should I bring? 

Please don’t hesitate to reach out with questions concerning your packing list for this trip. As a start, we recommend bringing:

  • Boots
  • Multiday pack (55-75 litres)
  • Daypack
  • Bladder or water bottle (1-2 litres)
  • Sunglasses
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Pillow
  • Sunscreen
  • Camera
  • Headlamp with spare batteries
  • Blister kit
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bug spray
  • Utensils and bowl
  • Trekking poles
  • Insulated jacket
  • Fleece Jacket
  • Hiking pants
  • Light footwear for camp
  • Rain gear
  • Personal toiletries

Where does the Backpacking the Rockwall Highline tour end? 

The tour ends in Canmore. You will need to find your way back to the airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Canada? 

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Canada?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Canada for this tour?

The best time to visit the Canadian Rockies for this tour is between early July and mid-September when the weather in the mountains tends to be the warmest and sunniest.

Reviews

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Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Prices

From $1,250USD

Difficulty

Guided

Campsites

Start Your Booking

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour as a 4/5. You don’t need any previous experience backpacking for this tour, but you should be fit enough to hike an average of 7-14km per day for consecutive days at high altitudes. You will also need to be comfortable sleeping in basic conditions on this tour, as well as carrying a backpack of up to 16 kg (35 lbs).


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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