World → North America → Rockies
One of the best hiking regions in the world is the
ROCKIES Top 10
The Rocky Mountains stretch more than 3,000mi (4,830km) from the northernmost part of British Columbia to New Mexico. Wonderful, but seasonal.
- stunning peaks, glaciers, lakes, waterfalls and canyons
- amazing volcanic features in Yellowstone
- National Parks in Canada: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Waterton, and Yoho
- National Parks in the USA include Glacier, Rocky Mountain, Grand Teton and many more
- excellent opportunity to see wildlife
- the wonderful Continental Divide Trail
- some hikes are open Mar-Oct but our favourite months are Aug-Sept
WHY WE LIKE THIS REGION
- it’s huge and varied
- many, many hikes to choose from
- easy to find a quiet trail if you try
- tranquil alpine meadows
- breath taking cliff edge lookouts
- gear and hiking supplies are widely available. And competition keeps prices affordable
- frequent big game animal sightings
- the tourist infrastructure is surprisingly undeveloped
- some good hostels but surprisingly few
- great tenting
- many special geological features
Be prepared to handle your own emergencies. Almost always you’ll need make your way to a trailhead to get help. Wilderness first aid recommended.
- mosquitoes and biting flies are bad in places
- early season ticks may carry Lyme disease
- hypothermia more often a concern than heat stroke
- bears are a danger though one often exaggerated
- fording mountain creeks and freak avalanche are bigger worries for us
- rock fall is frequent in the Rockies
- very basic backcountry campgrounds. Few huts or cook houses. Tenting essential.
- very few hikers use pack animals
- guided hikes are not very popular in the Rockies though the industry is growing. Guided trips are available if you search them out.
- campfires are increasingly restricted
- you really need a personal vehicle. Public transportation is terrible in most parts of the Rockies
- backcountry permits are required on many major hikes
- mobile phones often do not work in the mountains
- popular trails, car campsites and mountain towns are ridiculously crowded during high season
- some hikes are over-regulated, particularly in Canada
- generally hiking is an inexpensive holiday, but costs are high in places, particularly Canada
See ALL Rockies BEST HIKES on our North America page.