Canadian Rockies, 9th ed., by Andrew Hempstead (2018)


Canadian Rockies: Including Banff & Jasper National Parks, by Andrew Hempstead

This is the second of two book reviews this week, encouraging you to travel British Columbia. Moon travel guides are known for their extensive and off-the-beaten-track approach, and this latest edition of the Canadian Rockies guidebook is no exception. The Rockies are big, and you can spend a lifetime exploring park trails, lakes, and parks, and not see it all. This book is best for those who are relatively new to the parks. Hampstead lives in Banff and knows his Rockies. He starts with an overview for first-time visitors, including the 12 best day hikes (I’ve done only three), offering one-week and two-week itineraries that showcase the region’s highlights.

In my opinion, though, it’s best to stay put and explore from a base camp in one of the many national and provincial parks that make up the Rockies, and this book gives you all the information to do whichever works best for you. The book contains about 400 photo-packed pages, and Hempstead devotes the most space (85 pages) to ever-popular Banff National Park. With its iconic scenery of Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, the Bow River Valley and ubiquitous wildlife, it’s understandable. But I wish he’d given equal attention to Yoho and Waterton Lakes, which get about 25 pages each. Oh well. Each entry includes a list of recommended highlights such as hiking trails, museums, and viewpoints, good maps, information on history, flora and fauna, and area attractions. There’s a chapter just on Calgary, the jumping-off point for most international visitors, as well as practical information on passports and visas for international visitors, as well as park fees, accommodation options, and wilderness safety. A resource list and an excellent index round out the guide. Locals who want to check it out before buying can find a copy at our Grand Forks & District Public Library. Thanks for including this in the travel collection!
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