Too many people in parks? - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 05:52 AM Thread Starter
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Default Too many people in parks?

I hope this question is not too dumb...: Do you like to meet people on your hikes or do you try to avoid that? What do you think, where is the best chance to meet not too many people on a trail while dayhiking?

Our first impression of (day!)hiking in the US was in Yosemite. We thought, that the whole world was there to enjoy nature . The opposite was Olympic NP where we didnt meet a single person all day long. When we visited Banff at first we thought its like Yosemite but after the first 2 km on the trail we reckoned that most people stay on the first km of a trail.

What about you, in which parks in US and Canada did you experience what?
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 10:06 AM
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When I first started hiking in 1975, there wasn't very many people on the trails in many of the parks in BC that I've hiked. Due to population growth and interest in the outdoors, there are more people than ever. It's a sign of the times. If you want to hike in a popular park, then go very early in the morning so that all the traffic is in the opposite direction when hiking back. There are lots of trails outside of parks which aren't that busy and you can do some bushwhacking if you want to get away from it all.
On certain trails in Strathcona Park (Buttle Lake area) which I frequent a lot, I don't see anyone most of the time. I also hike during the weekday when there is less crowds and stay home on the weekends. I also hike in the pouring rain which keeps most people home.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 02:18 PM
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solo75 just about summed it up. Major US parks are horribly swamped but we are getting there in Canada too. Rockies will be specially busy this year as Parks Canada is giving free passes due to anniversary. Banff will be one big zoo this summer.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 04:38 PM Thread Starter
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Do you think that itll be much worse in Banff than in the last years? Dont get me wrong, I dont complain: Im part of the problem
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 05:21 PM
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Is day hiking only available in the Parks in other areas? In Ontario, we have several other options. The Bruce Trail, Oak Ridges Trail, Ganaraska Trail, Trans Canada Trail (others, I'm sure) - all of these meet up with, and loop through, various Parks and Conservation Areas but tend to avoid the major picnic centers or kid zones, thus avoiding most people. They also have their own side trails and loop hikes that are much less frequented.

I am not crazy about meeting people on the trail, so I head out for early mornings, or midweek when my schedule allows it. The trails I mentioned above have organized Group Hikes that venture out on them often. I somehow always end up going the opposite direction of them on every trail I've passed them on fortunately, so it's a quick 'hello' and everyone is on their merry way. I also try to visit the larger, popular Parks during the winter months for less run ins. Most Parks by me are Provincial, so I don't foresee much of an increase in traffic for them with the Canada150 going on but who knows?
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 06:16 PM
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Key is to know where to go. In National Parks, if you stay in mainstream areas you will never have solitude, regardless of season or time of day. Lake Louise is perfect example. It is very beautiful and very famous, both on global scale -- and overrun; getting worse every year.

But there are so many equally beautiful, desolate places that see only a few hikers whole year. I am not talking just about peaks and summits, but "ordinary" valley floor hikes. Great example is https://forums.clubtread.com/130-cana...dra-river.html Once official backpack to Castleguard Meadows, but not maintained anymore and reverting into wilderness. Guaranteed to have to yourself regardless when you go.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 06:31 PM Thread Starter
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@zeljkok: Alexandra River looks very beautiful, but what means "not maintained"? No more bridges and so on?
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 06:38 PM
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yes; read the linked report for details
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 02-26-2017, 09:30 PM
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I like solitude myself and generally like to hike in more remote places. I prefer areas like the David Thompson Highway corridor (west of Nordegg), the Wilmore or a lot of areas in Jasper or off the Icefields Parkway. I generally avoid BNP along Highway 1 like the plague. If and when I do hike in the national parks I like to try to get deep off the road. I find that you hardly see anybody if you backpack in at least two day's walk off the highway.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 02-27-2017, 12:36 PM
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Kossi ... we hike in the USA every winter and in Canada's mountain parks every summer. The USA population pressures are so much greater than in Canada so crowds are much worse. However, in all our mountain national parks you can find large summer crowds in the most easily accessible areas but only 1/2 dozen km away on the longer trails you will find much peace and solitude. You will find the same situation in our provincial parks and we have more than 1,000 of these, some huge and isolated, some no more than small picnic sites. Here's the BC Parks site you might like:

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/discover/

You will find that many of us in BC and Alberta hike in areas that are not in any park. BC has vast areas of publicly owned forest and mountain land, there are hundreds of trails, from easy to extremely challenging, in these provincial areas. There are hundreds of excellent hiking trails outside the national parks, some of them as good or better than in the parks. In the Columbia Valley, which is west of Banff, Yoho and Kootenay park, you could hike for years and be very happy. Of course, vehicle access is not usually as good as in the National parks but many of these trails can be reached by car . Some of these are in the western Rockies some are in the Purcell mountains. Here's some interesting websites with links to many great trails located outside the parks

http://cvtrails.ca/

http://goldenhikes.ca/
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 01:05 PM Thread Starter
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xj6response: Thank you so much for these links!!! Hopefully well find a place without snow
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post #12 of (permalink) Old 03-03-2017, 04:10 PM
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Originally Posted by kossi View Post
xj6response: Thank you so much for these links!!! Hopefully well find a place without snow
There are so many choices, both inside and outside our National Parks. I'm sure you'll find excellent hikes that will make your trip a wonderful experience. Once you're in Canada, or close to your departure date, make sure you post on ClubTread for advice on up-to-date advice about snow conditions and trail access.

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post #13 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 11:56 AM
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It's all about the effort. IF one doesn't want to see or come across people these "trails" do indeed exist. As an example we did a 110km 8 day backpack trip in Jasper last summer and did not come across a single backpacker in that time. We told the parks people where we were going and what our intention was and they begged us to come back and report on the trail condition. One particular campground hadn't been booked in the last 3 summers. Other trails mean congestion, with this year sure to be a record breaker. In spite of that I do know I will continue to find all the solitude I can handle.
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post #14 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 01:52 PM
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Originally Posted by woodenshoes View Post
It's all about the effort. IF one doesn't want to see or come across people these "trails" do indeed exist. As an example we did a 110km 8 day backpack trip in Jasper last summer and did not come across a single backpacker in that time. We told the parks people where we were going and what our intention was and they begged us to come back and report on the trail condition. One particular campground hadn't been booked in the last 3 summers. Other trails mean congestion, with this year sure to be a record breaker. In spite of that I do know I will continue to find all the solitude I can handle.
Yes, and that is great part about living in western Canada as major part of the land is still unspoiled. Maybe the most in BC; as soon as you move from metro-Van area & satellites it is all one large wilderness, specially up north. Not so easy to find that kind of solitude in the Alps in Europe
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post #15 of (permalink) Old 03-05-2017, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by woodenshoes View Post
It's all about the effort. IF one doesn't want to see or come across people these "trails" do indeed exist. As an example we did a 110km 8 day backpack trip in Jasper last summer and did not come across a single backpacker in that time. We told the parks people where we were going and what our intention was and they begged us to come back and report on the trail condition. One particular campground hadn't been booked in the last 3 summers. Other trails mean congestion, with this year sure to be a record breaker. In spite of that I do know I will continue to find all the solitude I can handle.
Ok woodenshoes you've peaked my interest... Where did you go for your Jasper trip? I'm currently contemplating a 10 day trip north of the North Boundary and am curious if you were maybe in the same region.
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