Hiking Along the David Thompson Highway

by | Published on July 27, 2013 | Last updated on October 27, 2018 | Stories, Updates

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The David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide by Jane Ross and Daniel Kyba is probably the best guide for the area despite being written more than 15 years ago. There has been a few changes, trailheads have moved, some trails no longer appear used and trails following creeks have sometimes been washed out but we have yet to find a better option for the area.

Unfortunately, the book is currently out of stock at the distributor and most booksellers. A reprint is in the plans but no date has been set so far. The new edition is now available at your favourite bookstores, info centres and outdoor shops.


Update – July 2017

We’ve added a new story about some of the issues and updates for many of the trails included in the book. Make sure to check before heading out.



Update – April 2016

A new edition of the book is coming out this spring! We’ve posted about some of the changes that are coming to the second edition. Check it out here >


If you are looking for more information on trails in the area, there are a few options.

The Red Deer Public Library does have a copy of the David Thompson Highway – A Hiking Guide available at the downtown branch. You can place a hold on the book here.

The Rocky Mountain House and Clearwater County Visitor Information Centre has put together a handout with some of the hikes in the area.

The Bighorn Backcountry Maps by Alberta Environment provide a great overview of the area and the rules that apply throughout the PLUZ’s. These should be used for general information, not for navigation purposes. The maps are available at aep.alberta.ca and at kiosks throughout the region.

AlbertaWow.com, TrailPeak.com and AllTrails.com all include many of the trails in the area.

Fire Lookout Hikes in the Canadian Rockies by Mike Potter includes a few hikes to active and abandoned fire lookouts in the area. Most of the hikes are recommended for advanced hikers with route finding skills.

The National Topographic System Maps from Natural Resources Canada include some trails. Unfortunately they have not been updated in decades which means missing trails and outdated information.

The Central Alberta Backroads Mapbook describes some of the many trails in the area.

There is a book called Hiking Alberta’s David Thompson Country by Pat Kariel and Eric Schneider that was published in the late 80’s that is still available. This book is very outdated and should not be used.

We’ve started to post some of our favourite hikes on explorecentralalberta.ca website. Trail descriptions include maps, pictures and updates on trail conditions.