Learn, explore and have fun on guided hikes in the Castle

This summer, grab your hiking boots and join us for hikes throughout the Castle region. And don’t worry about bringing a map! Our experienced guides will lead you through the Castle wilderness, all while sharing stories about the history, ecology and significance of the region.

The Castle-Crown Wilderness Coalition (CCWC) organizes guided hikes from May to September throughout the Castle region. With varying difficulties and hike types, everyone is welcome to join on a hike for a safe and informational tour of the Castle’s best treks led by CCWC volunteers.

“There is just so much knowledge our volunteers can give to our guests,” said Wendy Ryan, who has been leading hikes in the Castle region for a decade.

“They are always more enlightened when they leave.”

Day hikes are planned on weekends throughout the summer. See the 2017 hike listings for the dates and information on the difficulty, length and location. There is no cost to join in the hikes, but donations to the CCWC are always appreciated.


Learn as you hike

The biggest value of the guided hikes, according to Ryan, are opportunities to learn about the region.

“I introduce many of the hikers to rare wildflowers, and unique geological sites and fossilized areas,” said the Pincher Creek resident. There is no shortage of stories and facts.

Hike leaders also help with the logistics, such as what trail to follow.

“The knowledge of the volunteers leading the hike have been a huge asset to the Castle-Crown hikes, because people don’t really know the area and the trailheads aren’t marked,” Ryan said.

The volunteer leaders have all pre-hiked the routes, so they know the best paths and places to stop for breaks and sights.

When leading hikes, Ryan also uses the opportunity to showcase how the CCWC is caring for the Castle.

“Hikers learn first-hand why there needs to be stewardship and advocacy programs.”

From invasive species to off-highway vehicles, hikers view the threats the region is experiencing. They also witness the positive impacts from CCWC’s dedicated volunteers like Ryan – who has been a steward of the Castle since 1980.


Join us this summer

From valleys to mountain ridges, explore the vast landscape of the Castle region by joining us on a free guided hike.

Signing up is easy – check out the hike schedule and contact the hike leader to register. The hike leaders will ensure you know what to expect from the hike.

“We always want hikers to register for the hike so they can be screened when they talk to the hike leader,” said Ryan.

Everyone is welcome to join the hikes, although we ask that dogs and pets stay at home. Ryan recommends using hiking poles and checking for hike updates at www.ccwc.ab.ca.

We hope to see you on the trails!


Hike FAQ

What is the 2017 hike schedule?

The complete hike schedule is available here, or see our Facebook page. Check back throughout the summer in case the hike locations are changed due to weather, trail and bear conditions.


How do I register for the hikes?

Contact the hike leader and let them know how many people are in your party. They will make sure your hiking experience is suitable for the hike.


Can kids join?

Of course! Let the hike leader know how many kids and their ages to make sure the route is appropriate for children and that they will have a fun and safe time on the hike.


Can I bring my pets?

Sorry, we ask that you keep your pets at home.


What should I bring?

Bring everything you need for a day hike: proper footwear, layers of clothing, rain jacket and pants, snacks, lunch, sunscreen, hat, hiking poles, water and bear spray. If you have any questions about gear, contact the hike leader.


How much does it cost?

The guided hikes are free! Any donations are appreciated and go to support our volunteer-run events, stewardship programs and ongoing advocacy.