Location: Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, Wallowa-Whitman National Forest Difficulty: Moderate; drastic elevation changes Season: April-November, campground open year-round Services: Parking lot, campsite, vault toilet, no fee or reservations needed Trail Notes: Well marked trail, beware of poison ivy and rattlesnakes during summer months! Just […]
Location: Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Difficulty: Easy; 2.4 mile Moderately trafficked loop Season: Year-round Services: Parking, water fountains, bathrooms, and garbage cans at both trail heads Trail Notes: Dogs are allowed if they are leashed Tubbs Hill is a moderately trafficked, easy loop trail with a moderate […]
Last month, we hopped in the car and drove about eight hours north to Banff, AB. And let me tell you- it was worth every minute in the car. Before departing, we did as much research as we could. None of us had ever been to Banff, though we had heard remarkable things about it, and the last time we had been to Canada was years prior.
After all our research, we felt prepared and ready to go. Yet, after all our adventures in Banff, there are a few things our research did not yield- but we wish we would have known and been more aware of prior. In order to help you on your trip to Banff, we have accumulated this list of 5 Things to Know Before Travelling to Banff:
- Trails are well marked and maintained
When looking for things to do in Banff we came across some incredible trails. With all of these trails, however, we always had 2 questions:
- How easily accessible were they?
- What was the condition of them?
Since we went to Banff in winter, these questions were even more important to have answered. Luckily for us though, upon arrival we discovered the answers to both. All the trails are well-marked and easily accessible from the highways. Once you are on the trails, they are also very well marked and maintained- even in the heart of winter! We also learned that all trail conditions are updated regularly online at:
I highly recommend checking all trails before going out- especially in winter! Things can change very quickly, and you want to be as prepared as possible.
- Dog friendly
On our first hike in Banff, we went to the iconic Johnston Canyon. While on the trails we passed many dogs also out enjoying the beauty of the canyon. After asking around, we discovered the trails are also open to our four-legged friends!
The only catch: they must stay on a leash and you must pick up after them!
- Metric system
Canada, like the rest of the world, uses the metric system. While we were well aware of this before heading north, we didn’t do nearly enough research on the conversions between the metric system and the standard system we use in the states. The largest challenge we had was on the trails themselves. Instead of miles, they were in kilometers and meters.
For your reference, here is the conversion between the two:
- Be Prepared for Anything
When we travelled to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons National Parks, at the major trail heads there was stores with food, souvenirs, refillable water stations, and gear if needed. This was not the case in Banff. None of these amenities are available at the trail heads, at least the ones we visited. There were some things available though:
- At nearly every trail head, there was a bathroom of some sort- even if it was just a pit bathroom
- There are liter cans everywhere to drop your trash in. They are alongside the highways driving throughout Canada and at the trail heads
Moral of the story: be prepared for anything and everything. Bring food, water, maps, and gear with you before you depart on your adventure.
- Locals know best
While we were exploring downtown Canmore, we hit a jackpot. At the visitor center we discovered brochures, flyers, and magazines full of valuable information about trails, things to do, maps- everything we needed to know, for free!
Most of the trails we found in these booklets were ones we didn’t find online. They also were all catered to the winter months and had information about where to find trail conditions and avalanche information. Here is the booklet we highly recommend:
Note: We have not been able to find these books online, but if you go to any visitor center they should be available there!
Asking locals for their recommendations is also a fantastic way to get an insight on the area. After all, locals do know best!
Banff is an incredible place, and I highly recommend you make the trip at least once in your life. Keep in mind that these tips are just from our experiences, I hope you too are able to use them on your next wilder adventure!
Location: Idler’s Rest Nature Preserve: 1187 Idler’s Rest Road, Moscow, ID 83843 Difficulty: Easy; 5+ miles of trails, mostly flat with some elevation change Season: Open year-round, dusk to dawn Services: Parking lot, no bathroom, no campground, no running water, no trash cans- pack in, pack out! Trail […]
Location: Clearwater National Forest; near Helmer, Idaho Difficulty: Moderate; 5-mile loop with modest elevation change Season: Year-Round Services: Bathroom, parking lot, campground, no running water, no trash cans- pack in, pack out! Trail Notes: Well marked, portion in Open Range The Potlatch Canyon Trail, or […]
As 2017 comes to a close and 2018 makes its debut, we would like to say thank you to everyone who made 2017 so memorable! We are excited to announce our newest expedition: The Wilder Adventures! The goal behind this site is to share some of the wilder adventures we embark on in Idaho, the Pacific Northwest, and the world.
With the start of 2018 and this adventure, we have a few New Year’s Resolutions to help us along our way. New Year’s Resolutions, as tacky as they may seem, have huge potential to guide the direction of our lives for the coming year and beyond.
I have always viewed them as our first set of goals for the new year. Their downfall, however, is they do not usually survive through the first of the new year. At The Wilder Adventures, we are committed to both sticking to our resolutions and sharing our progress with you in hopes that they continuously help motivate and inspire you to cherish and explore the great outdoors and the world around you. Here is our commitment:
- Enjoy life more
We are happiest when we are outside exploring the world around us. In those moments, we find the greatest joy in life. In 2018, we are pledging our year to living our best lives’ by spending the most amount of time we can outdoors. Through The Wilder Adventures, we will be sharing with you how we are enjoying our lives to maximum amount, and hopefully providing you with inspiration to do the same.
- Try new things
Stepping out of your comfort zone can be extremely difficult and daunting. At The Wilder Adventures though, that is exactly what we are striving to do. This year we will be exploring different hikes, activities, and other parts of the world, then sharing it all with you in the hope that you too will find ways to try new things and step out of your comfort zone.
- Help others
Through The Wilder Adventures, we want to help others find passion, excitement, and joy- all through the great outdoors. We plan to do this by providing you with resources and up to date information on trails to explore through our ‘Trail Thursday’ posts, insider looks at different places across the globe, and more.
- Keeping promises
Right here and right now, we are making you a promise. We promise to continuously reach the goals outlined above and to consistently serve as a guiding compass for you as you plan and embark on the Wilder Adventures in your life. As you seek these adventures, we promise to be a resource and helping hand.
As we embark on this next journey, we are very excited. We are excited to bring together a community of people who share the same values and passion for the outdoors as we do and excited to see where we will go from here. Here’s to seeking out The Wilder Adventures in life!
Together, we are the (soon to be) Wilders! A duo, along with our dogs, passionate about the great outdoors, adventure, and always seeking new places to travel. In a society increasingly dominated by technology, we have found escape and solace in the great outdoors. Based in Idaho, we have […]