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My Canadian Bucket List: 7 Breathtaking Hikes

I have a confession—I had no idea that Canada Day was coming up. Yes, I enjoy vacation days just like the next guy. But living in America means I just don’t study that much about Canada (and unfortunately we don’t celebrate the holiday). Canada might as well be the other side of the world.

I mean of course there’s Canadian hockey, Canada Dry, and maple syrup. And the crazy stereotype that Canadians are afraid of the dark. But other than those wonderful things, I don’t know that much about Canada. I apologize in advance.

A short history lesson: July 1st, 1867, stands as the day that the colonies of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and the United Province of Canada joined forces to create a single nation called Canada. And yes, British forces did burn down the White House in 1814 in retaliation for American troops attacking the city of York, but we don’t talk about that anymore.

But aside from these points, Canada boasts a total landmass of 3.85 million square miles. Canada proudly stands as the fourth-largest country by landmass in the entire world. Thinking of all the trails to explore, lakes to fish, and mountains to climb makes me want to quit my job and start a hippie road trip up north right this minute. But seeing as I’m without a car for now, this might pose a small problem. Still, a guy can dream right? Listed below is my Canadian bucket list for 7 breathtaking hikes.

Paxson Woelber: Flickr

West Coast Columbia Trail

46 miles of pure coast line adrenaline. This trail snakes its way through parts of the Pacific Rim National Park on the edge of Vancouver Island. As a kid, I remember spending my summers at the beach. Long days full of waves, sand, and sports made my summers unforgettable. What else could I really ask for? This trail would bring back some great memories while creating new ones along a different coastline.

Anthony DeLorenzo: Flickr

Chilkoot Trail, U.S. and Canada

This beauty of a trail stretches 33 miles from Dyea, Alaska, to Lake Bennett, British Columbia (province of Canada). I figured this would be a great trail to put first as it takes me from my home country and exposes me to the Canadian way of life. Way back in the day, thousands of miners rushed up the extreme Golden Stairs to find their fortune in gold. Maybe there’s still some left up there for me.
Peggy 2012 CREATIVELENZ: Flicker

Tonquin Valley, Canadian Rockies, Alberta

Located inside Jasper National Park, this 27-mile hike climbs beautiful peaks overlooking Amethyst and Moat Lakes. On top of this, the Ramparts mountain range reflects beautifully on the surface of Amethyst Lake. Famous American nature photographer Ansel Adams took his very first trip as a Sierra Club photographer in this very spot. Talk about some major inspiration. I like this area for the amazing sites—the mountains, the rivers, the lakes, all add up to a legit trip.

Natalie Lucer: Flicker

Long Range Traverse, Newfoundland

Sitting on the Gulf of St. Lawrence, the Long Range Mountains are unpredictable. Weather can change in an instant. This giant sized island hosts 10,000 miles of jagged coastline, which earned its name from the locals as “The Rock.” ( The 23 mile trip is completely rugged; not a single trail marker or road sign marks the way. (A quick way to brush up my navigational skills for sure.) While I’m not too shabby, I’m not that good yet either, so this trail will have to wait for later.

La Cloche Mtns By P199 via Wikimedia Commons

Granite Ridge Trail, Ontario

This one is more my speed. An easy day hike at 1.25 miles, Granite Ridge offers stunning views of La Cloche Mountain and Georgian Bay. I think after all the miles with the other trails this one would be a piece of cake. Or, I could build up my hopes and do this one first. No way I would fail at hiking 1.25 miles, or at least let’s hope.

John Johnston: Flickr

Sunshine to Mt. Assiniboine, Alberta and British Columbia

Let me just say that when I saw the pictures of Mt. Assiniboine my jaw dropped to the floor and I may or may not have drooled a little bit. This 35-mile hike looks worth all the effort and struggle any hiker would put in to it. Only accessible by foot or helicopter, this spot is remote enough to offer great views of wildlife like bighorn sheep, elk, and deer.

Anthony DeLorenzo: Flickr

Canol Heritage Trail, Yukon and Norman Wells Territory

Running over 200 miles long, this has to be one of the longest, most remote trails in the world. I would have to be pretty crazy to attempt the whole hike, but life is short, so it’s worth a shot someday. This trail was built during WWII for a Canadian oil project (CANOL). Designers chose the location as the perfect spot to provide oil to troops in the far north as well as to vehicles working on the Alaska Highway.

Labels: Destinations

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