Life of the Trail is a fascinating new series which will guide today's hikers and armchair travellers through the stories of historic routes in the Canadian Rockies. When authors Emerson Sanford and Janice Sanford Beck began backpacking together nearly 20 years ago, they often wondered whose footsteps they were tracing and how today's trails through the Rockies came to be. In Life of the Trail, they share their findings with adventurers and history buffs alike.
The series divides the Rockies between Mount Robson and the Kananaskis Lakes into eight regions based on geographical boundaries that influenced 19th century travellers. Within each region, the authors share the stories of those who recorded their travels along various routes between the time of the pioneers and the 1930s. Never before has such a thorough history been presented in this manner, enabling adventurers to follow the history of the Rockies one route at a time.
For those tempted to follow in the footsteps of these historic adventurers, Emerson has hiked each and every trail in order to provide a detailed trail guide and interesting anecdotes from his own experiences. Each volume is rounded out with maps and colour photographs - both historical and contemporary - to further stimulate the imagination.
Life of the Trail 1: Historic Hikes in Eastern Banff National Park follows the trails of David Thompson, Walter Wilcox, the Palliser Expedition, James Carnegie Earl of Southesk, Bill Peyto and A.P. Coleman. Along the way, the reader will journey from the Kootenay Plains to Lake Minnewanka, discovering the stories behind routes through the mountain towns of Banff and Lake Louise and along the Red Deer, Ptarmigan and Skoki valleys.
About the Author
Emerson Sanford, originally from Nova Scotia, first visited the mountains of western Canada in the summer of 1961. Eleven years later, he moved to Alberta and has been hiking ever since. Emerson has solo hiked every historic route and most long trails between Mount Robson and the Kananaskis Lakesover 3000 km in the past five years! He now lives in Canmore with his wife, Cheryl.
Janice Sanford Beck is the author of the bestselling No Ordinary Woman: The Story of Mary Schäffer Warren (Rocky Mountain Books). She has also written the introduction to the latest edition of Mary Schäffer’s Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies (Rocky Mountain Books) and, with Cheryl Sanford, researched the Mary Schäffer Warren portion of the Glenbow Museum’s permanent exhibit called “Mavericks: An Incorrigible History of Alberta.” Janice lives in Saskatoon with her partner, Shawn, and their children.
Table of Contents
Behold the Shining Mountains: The Kootenay and David Thompson Route from Ya Ha Tinda Ranch to the Bow River 19
Natives and Fur Traders 22
The First Tourists 32
Park Wardens 43
Escorted Outfitted Trips 54
The Trail Today 60
Ya Ha Tinda Road to Fish Creek Parking Lot (Lake Louise) 63
A Northern Passage: Dr. James Hector's Route from Laggan (Lake Louise) to the Kootenay Plains 69
Early Explorers 72
Kootenay Plains 91
Coal Exploration 94
The Trail Today 113
Lake Louise to the Kootenay Plains 117
Bow River over Dolomite Pass to the Siffleur River 122
A Feast for the Senses: Walter Wilcox and Bill Peyto's Route from Mosquito Creek to Banff 125
The Trail Today 149
Mosquito Creek to Banff along the Sawback Range 152
Connector Route from Moose Meadows to Larry's Camp Campground 157
Mystic Junction up Forty Mile Creek to Johnston creek 158
Connector route from Flints Park to the Cascade Fire Road 161
Alone with the Game and the Peaks: Professor Coleman and Caroline Hinman's route from the Kootenay Plains to Lake Minnewanka 163
The Entire Route 167
The Northern Half, from the Red Deer to the North Saskatchewan River 168
The Southern Half, from Lake Minnewanka to the Red Deer River 180
The Trail Today 182
Lake Minnewanka to the Kootenay Plains 188
Image Credits 200
About the Authors 210