HIKING GUIDEBOOKS

The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide  by Brian Patton and Bart Robinson. Many hikers regard this book as their "bible."   The authors also wrote 50 Walks and Hikes in Banff National Park

Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies by Graeme Pole. Completely revised. Detailed trailhead and route descriptions, and a map for each hike route, starting with directions to the trailheads. The new edition, 288 pages, includes five “new” hikes and a foreword by Robert Bateman. Published 2011.

Walks and Easy Hikes in the Canadian Rockies by Graeme Pole. Completely revised, third edition, full colour. Describes 151 short outings in Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton, Mt. Robson, Kananaskis Country, Akamina-Kishinena, and Kootenay Plains Recreation Area, with maps and interpretive information. To be published 2012.

The Best Day Hikes in the Canadian Rockies  by Tim Jensen. Excellent reviews on this one. Covers the most rewarding day hikes int the Canadian Rockies. Clear descriptions and a detailed colour map for each hike. Great for each visitor of the Canadian Rockies.  

Don't Waste Your Time Hiking in the Canadian Rockies - An Opinionated Hiking Guide  by Cathy and Craig Copeland. This book receives excellent reviews.  Because of a few limitations (shortage of maps, for example), it needs to be used in conjunction with other resource materials.

Where Locals Hike in the Canadian Rockies by Cathy and Craig Copeland. Focuses on hikes within two hours of Calgary International Airport, primarily in Kananaskis Country.

Canmore and Kananaskis Country : Short Walks for Inquiring Minds  by Gillean Daffern. It focuses on the shorter hikes (half-day or less) and has lots of nice notes on interpretation of history, plants, animals, and birds.

Hiking the Historic Crowsnest Pass  by Jane Ross and William Tracy. Cover hikes as well as the history of the places through which the trails pass. 

Other Books - Field Guides, History, etc.

Handbook of the Canadian Rockies  by Ben Gadd . An excellent all-in-one book that covers weather, hiking, history, geology, flora and fauna and that also includes maps.  If you want a single volume that covers every topic that is relevant to the Canadian Rockies, this is the book for you. 

Canadian Rockies Explorer by Graeme Pole. A 320 page, full colour guidebook includes Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, and Kananaskis Country. Published 2010.

Romancing the Rockies: Mountaineers, Missionaries, Marilyn, and More by Brian Brennan. 212 pages overview of some historic figures  in the Canadian Rockies. Published 2005.

Most of this page's information on hiking guidebooks came from a TripAdvisor forum thread entitled Excellent advice on hiking in the Canadian Rockies

BOOKSTORES 

Some of these books are available from your local bookseller or from Amazon.  If you cannot find the book you want before your departure, you will be able to buy it from a bookstore in Calgary, Edmonton, Banff or Jasper. 

Guide books for this area are available in ebook format at www.pureguidebooks.com. There are are several titles here published by Rocky Mountain Books, Frommer's and more.

If you want to purchase a guidebook or hiking guide while you are in Banff National Park, consider buying it from a non-profit charitable organization called The Friends of Banff National Park. The profits from their sales operations go back into educational programs about nature conservation.  Their store (summer only) is located at:

Parks Canada Information Centre
224 Banff Avenue
Banff

Banff's only independent bookstore, Mooseprint Books and Gifts (208 Buffalo Street, Banff), has an excellent selection of hiking books and field guides.

AUDIO GUIDES

There are now several different audio tour guides available for Banff National Park.

Have an iPod? You can download Tourcaster's Heart Beat Guide for Banff skiing.

GPS tour guides are audio devices that tell you about the things you are seeing as you drive through Banff; there are two different GPS tour guides available for Banff.  You can pick up and drop off the GyPSy Guide at Calgary Airport, downtown Calgary, Banff townsite, Jasper townsite, Vancouver Airport, downtown Vancouver and downtown Victoria. 

GyPSy Guide also offers a free iPhone/iPad tour guide app from Calgary to Banff on the iTunes store.  It does not require data plan or roaming charges to operate.  Provides directions from the Calgary Airport, or downtown Calgary to the highway and then a tour commentary & welcome on the 1.5hr journey to Banff National Park.  http://www.gypsyguide.com/freetourvc/ 

Parks Companion is a GPS audio guide app that can be purchased from the iTunes store to run on your iPod Touch, iPhone, or iPad. You can purchase a master guide which covers all the mountain parks (Banff, Jasper, Waterton, Kootenay, and Kananaskis) or you can buy individual guides for each park separately. 

The Sawka Tour Guide is presented by the Friends of Banff National Park, a non-profit charitable organization that is committed to increasing awareness and appreciation of Banff National Park's natural and cultural heritage. It is available at the Banff Information Centre on Banff Avenue.

You can listen to Banff Park Radio (presented by the Friends of Banff National Park) at 101.1 FM on low-powered transmitters in the Banff townsite and near the east park gates. Also available on the internet as live streaming audio, or you can download their free podcasts and take them with you!

MAPS

Rand McNally and Mapart publish good road maps, while Canadian publisher Gem Trek issues both driving and hiking maps for Banff and Jasper.  You also can obtain free maps and informative travel guides, accommodation guides, etc., from Tourism British Columbia (for the Kootenay-Rockies) and from Travel Alberta (for the Alberta Rockies).

 You can buy a wide variety of Canadian maps over the internet from Calgary-based online map sellers Map Town and Map World.

INTERNET RESOURCES

Google Maps, Map Quest : Two of the many good websites on which you can look up driving distances and times.  Quoted driving times are based on non-stop driving.  They do not take into consideration the stops you might make to have meals, fill up with gasoline, and look at scenery.

Banff National Park's YouTube playlist: Check out many excellent Parks Canada videos on a wide range of topics, from a year of stunning wildlife images captured by a camera trap, to a catchy little tune that explains how to tell the difference between a Mountain Goat and a Bighorn Sheep.

Toporama: Part of Natural Resources Canada's online Atlas of Canada, Toporama allows you to view Canadian topographical maps online. This is particularly helpful for people planning hikes.

Club Tread :  An Internet site, including a discussion forum, for sharing information about hiking in British Columbia and Alberta. 

Open Roads Forum : An forum dedicated to RVing (traveling in recreational vehicles such as motorhomes and campervans).  The people who participate are highly knowledgeable about the various campgrounds in the Rocky Mountain national parks, different kinds of recreational vehicles, etc.  

Mile-by-mile description of the Icefields Parkway or Hwy #93, the highly scenic route that connects Lake Louise and Jasper townsite.  Warning:  many (if not most) of the pictures on this website were not taken on the Icefields Parkway -- they are from as far afield as Waterton.

Mile-by-mile description of the TransCanada Highway or Hwy #1, which connects Calgary, Banff, Lake Louise and Vancouver.

Mile-by-mile description of the Yellowhead Highway or Hwy #16 that connects Edmonton to Jasper.  A short distance west of Jasper, the route splits into the North Yellowhead Highway (Hwy #16) that ends in Prince Rupert and the South Yellowhead Highway (Hwy #5) that goes to Kamloops.  From Kamloops to Hope, Hwy #5 is known as the Coquihalla Highway; formerly a toll highway, all tolls were removed from the Coquihalla in late 2008 . 

TripAdvisor has accumulated an enormous amount of useful information in its Traveller Articles and Trip Lists.  To find the Traveller Articles and Traveller Lists related to your desired destination, go to the Search box at the top left hand corner of the and type Inside Vancouver and Go List Vancouver (just as an example).