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.
Lake Louise lies to the West. Though crowded at the base, trails lead for hours around and behind the lake and into the glacier.
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.