I am embarrassed to say that I am a Canadian that neglects her home country. I become acutely aware of this as I struggle through an African immigration system in a second (or third) language – I wonder why I seem to make things so complicated. Western Canada has some truly spectacular wilderness areas – some very accessible, others completely remote. While the popular areas – Tofino, Lake Louise, Banff – get somewhat crowded in the summer, Western Canada is so vast that other hikers hardly feel like an inconvenience to me. Besides, with a truck and some camping gear, the National Parks are yours to discover….

Just outside of Calgary is Ha Ling Peak, a fairly challenging day hike to a (often breezy) peak.

Slightly further north lays the infamous Banff National Park, where hikers and skiers alternate annually exploring the spectacular landscapes.
1
Lake Louise lies to the West. Though crowded at the base, trails lead for hours around and behind the lake and into the glacier.
2
Peyto Lake is a personal favourite. Rock sediment in the water gives it the same spectacular colour as Lake Louise – but, an early start will allow for total privacy at on the shores of this dog-shaped lake.