$999 CDN includes guide, Park fees, out-trip meals, group camping gear and local transfers.
Not included: Canmore accommodation, Gratuities for guides & 5% Goods and Service Tax (GST).
Trip Cancellation Insurance is available through the Simpson Group.
Optional pre and post trip accommodation packages are available from $80 per person per night for shared room lodging ($160 for single occupancy). Purchase with booking. Subject to availability.
How difficult is it?
How fit and experienced need you be?
This trip is rated easy to moderate. Backpack weights are moderate. Participants will be carrying personal clothing and gear plus a fair share of food and group gear (tents, stoves etc) for the entire trip. As food and fuel are used up the backpacks become a little lighter day by day. By keeping personal gear light, pack weights need not exceed 16kg (35lbs). Please read our Traveling Light & Making Backpacking More Fun for information and suggestions for clothing and equipment.
Prior hiking experience is not a prerequisite. Participants must however be in good physical condition and able to carry a backpack over hilly terrain for a succession of days.
We will hike a regular and steady pace that conserves energy but it's worthwhile to do some training before you come as training pays great dividends in enjoyment. We suggest you train by hiking or walking in hilly terrain with weight on your back (use flights of stairs if in the city).
Bluerock Provincial Park, located in the Front Ranges of the Canadian Rockies to the south of Canmore is the best place to backpack in June. With a network of interlacing trails spanning montane forests, valley meadows and alpine ridges it is an ideal and beautiful area that captures the essence of the Rockies. This backpacking trip is ideal for beginners and those preferring a more relaxed itinerary.
This itinerary is intended as a sample only though it does follow one of the best routes in the area. Because this compact region has many trail options and because we are free to camp where we like we can be flexible and vary our route in search of new vistas and ridges to hike.
Day 1: Bluerock to Gorge Creek
At 8.00am we meet at the Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office in Canmore. We'll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted. Once packed we drive for an hour and a half south to the trailhead which is on the Sheep River Valley west of Turner Valley.
We hike up Bluerock Creek for 2 km before heading up onto the forested terraces above the creek. Gradually climbing we end up on a ridge with great views over the foothills and out to the distant prairies beyond. To the west we are hard against the rock walls of Bluerock Mountain. From here a descending traverse leads us all the way to Gorge Creek. It's beautiful hiking terrain where montane coniferous forest is interspersed with open meadows. Camping in Gorge Creek is a delight. We can choose our own campsite among the wildflowers of the valley-bottom meadows. Distance 9.4km. Elevation gain 500m, loss 350m.
Day 2: Gorge Creek to Volcano Creek via Surveyors Ridge
From Gorge Creek we can climb through open forest to the ridge tops by Mount Ware. From here excellent ridge hiking leads us along and onto Surveyors Ridge with its non stop views in all directions. Staying on the tops we head north until we can drop into the headwaters of Volcano Creek to camp. Distance approx. 11km. Elevation gain 500m, loss 500m.
Day 3: Volcano Creek to South Gorge Creek.
We will loop back to the south to bring us back towards Gorge Creek then travel along Volcano Ridge Trail with more spectacular views. Today there are numerous camping options at the end of the day. Distance approx. 10km. Elevation gain 400m, loss 400m.
Day 4: South Gorge Trail to Indian Oils Trailhead
Several trail options lead us back south through forest and occasional meadows. We reach the Sheep Valley and it is just a short walk back to our van. We then return to Canmore. Distance approx. 10km. Elevation gain 300m., loss 300m.
Meeting Place and Time
We will meet you at our Yamnuska Mountain Adventures office at 8.00am the morning of Day 1.
Our office is located at 200, 50 Lincoln Park, Canmore. See this map for location.
For your greater convenience we offer a pre-meeting shuttle service within Canmore. Please let us know in advance where you will be staying if needing this service. Pickup will occur between 7.40 and 7.50am.
Please ensure that you have your hiking equipment with you.
Accommodation and Meals
On the trail you will be staying in modern, lightweight 2- and 3-person weather-proof tents.
Accommodation in Canmore is not included. For your convenience we can arrange hotel accommodations in Canmore for $160 per night. This accommodation can be booked with the trip online or by calling us. Subject to availability.
You can also make your own arrangements. Check our links page for a range of Canmore accommodations.
Excess luggage can be left at your hotel or our office.
We supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 1 to lunch on Day 4. Groups generally go out for dinner in Canmore on the final evening (own cost).
Trail cuisine is prepared from lightweight wholesome ingredients including our Yamnuska custom-made dehydrated dinners. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs. As food pricing and preparation for these diets is more costly, we have implemented the following surcharges. For vegan, gluten free, lactose free, soy free, nut free or any similar type of single restriction menu requests there will be a $15/day surcharge. For a diet requiring any 2 restrictions a $25/day surcharge will apply. For any 3 restrictions a $30/day surcharge will apply. Vegetarian meals will not be surcharged. For more complex diets our kitchen staff will assess the restrictions to inform you if the diet can be accommodated and what surcharge would apply.
Guides and Group Size
Yamnuska Mountain Adventure guides are certified through the Association of Canadian Mountain Guides. Our professional guides have extensive experience in the Canadian Rockies. Guides also have advanced wilderness first aid training and heritage interpretation accreditation. Guides carry emergency equipment including a first aid kit, bear spray and radio.
There will be a maximum of eight guests and a minimum of four.
Getting to Canmore and Transportation
Canmore is situated 100km (65 miles) west of Calgary on the Trans-Canada Highway. It is well served by scheduled bus lines both from Calgary (airport and downtown), Banff (20km west) and points further west. Calgary International Airport is well connected to major cities throughout North America and Europe. Once in Canmore we will supply all transport needed for the trip.
Frequent shuttles connect Calgary International Airport and Canmore. Greyhound Bus Lines (1 800 661 8747) serves Canmore from points east and west along the Trans-Canada Highway. Call 609 8790, 609 0300, 609 1490 or 609 8505 for taxis in Canmore. We can organize a shuttle for you at a cost of $55 each way.
Clothing and Equipment
We supply group camping and cooking equipment plus a full emergency and first-aid kit. You will need to bring personal equipment (backpack, sleeping bag etc) and clothing. Yamnuska Mountain Adventures does have rental and retail equipment such as sleeping bags, mats, and backpacks. Rental Gear List. Contact us in advance to reserve.
Please don't hesitate to contact us if you need to know anything else about this hike.
There are two basic types of insurance that most travelers need to consider: Medical and Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance. We offer our guests coverage for both and highly recommend you purchase it.
Emergency Medical Expenses Insurance:
It is wise to ensure that your health plan will cover you in case of illness or accident during your trip. Obtain extra coverage if necessary. There is no charge for rescue in the National and provincial Parks, however costs such as air or ground transportation, long term care and other services are not covered.
Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance:
We recognize that our guests’ schedules may change for many reasons; business, family, flight delays, injuries and other unplanned events. For these eventualities the Trip Cancellation/Interruption insurance is a great way to protect your investment.
For all your travel insurance requirements we recommend the Simpson Group. This agency offers a wide range of travel insurance options including Trip Cancellation/Interruption, Travel Medical and Personal Effect Loss for Canadian Travelers. We highly recommend purchasing this insurance. For more information and to purchase a plan, visit the Simpson Group’s website.
Please note that this coverage is for Canadian residents only. For guests who are not from Canada and who are interested in the ‘Visitors to Canada’ insurance package please contact the Simpson Group directly at JSimpson@simpson-group.com and reference your Yamnuska Mountain Adventure’s trip.