The Canadian Great Divide Trail, a network of trails that will eventually follow the Divide from the U.S. border to northern British Columbia, passes through Banff, Kootenay and Yoho National Parks and Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park. To call the scenery spectacular is an understatement - sheer granite peaks rise like cathedral spires to meet stark blue skies, making this section of the Canadian Rockies one of the most scenic in the world. Perhaps the most dramatic section of this ÒDisney World for outdoor enthusiastsÓ (remember that the grizzly bears are real) is the Rockwall Trail.
The Rockwall Trail starts at Floe Lake, at the base of the massive 700-meter-high cliffs of the Vermilion Range. In summer months, glaciers calve off the RockwallÕs limestone and dolomite bands to crash in the lake below. The 33.7-mile/54.2-km trail traces the base of the limestone wall, soaring and dipping like a magic carpet, over three breath-catching passes, into forested canyons, past waterfalls, hanging glaciers and alpine cirques. It ends at the majestic 1,200-foot waterfall at Helmet Creek. Several superb campsites dot the trail, and are equipped with bear poles to deter four-legged critters. Plan on three or four days for the hike. A loop trip can be made from Paint Pots parking lot to Helmet Falls, over Wolverine Pass to Tumbling Pass, and back to Paint Pots (38.2 kilometers; 23 miles).