Backpack - Rockwall Trail


Backpack - Rockwall Trail

Great weather forecast ! Photo-oriented backpack. Enjoy superlative mountain scenery, wildlife sightings and peak colorful bloom of best wildflower backpack in Canadian Rockies.

COVID-19: Learn about our most up-to-date guidance for participants and leaders on our COVID-19 Response page. All participants and leaders must agree to the COVID-19 Code of Conduct before participating in this Mountaineers activity.
  • Moderate/Strenuous
  • Moderate
  • Mileage: 33.8 mi
  • Elevation Gain: 3,400 ft

7:30-7:45am Mtn Time - Paint Pots / Helmet Creek trailhead

UPDATED 7/19:    Favorable extended forecast for mostly sunny weather; moderate temps without precip.  Lowest fire hazard in years; no smoke or wildfires !                                                                                                                       

SPACE:  Wait list space available 7/20-24.  Unused reserved tentsites canceled after registration closed on 7/20.

Photo-oriented backpack for members only, with  3-5+ day moderate to strenuous Mountaineers backpacking experience.  Minimum 3 persons.

Before  contacting trip leader, be sure to review all trip details (leader notes, route/place info, links) to ensure your interests are compatible with participants' photo-oriented trip expectations of other participants.

* Leader permission required (use leader permission link) for leader review and approval, prior to registration - include 3-5+ day moderate to strenuous Mountaineers backpacking experience (past 2 years), photography interests,  and why you're interested in the Rockwall backpack.  Indicate interest in carpooling - drive or ride, willing to drive solo (carpooling space not guaranteed).  Also confirm in your request that you have current passport or WA enhanced driver's license (or WA enhanced ID) valid through trip dates, required for border crossing.

Member fee $40.  Cancellation fees (waived if replacement), $15 prior to 7/1; up to $40 full fee after 7/1. 

Rockwall trail (northern loop) begins and ends at Paint Pots / Helmet Creek trailhead.    All major stream crossings on this route are bridged.

Itinerary:  Day 1 backpack  to Helmet Falls camp 9.3m, +1000'; day 2 hike to Goodsir Pass 5-7mi, +1452'; day 3 backpack to Tumbling Creek camp 7.3mi, +2355 & -2258; day 4 hike to Tumbling Glacier/Pass area 5-6.5mi, ~1200' gain & loss; day 5 backpack to trailhead 6.6mi, -1450'.  Total miles 33 - 37.

Kootenay NP trail conditions:                                                                                                        

Backcountry camp sites (5) reserved for up to 5 persons (tent sharing increases #participants):   7/28-29 Helmet Falls, 7/30-31 Tumbling Creek.   One tent per site.  Closed tents only. Bearproof food storage (elevated cables or steel cabinets), tables, pit toilets at each camp, and near water source.

New 7/17: Bear safe travel & camping info-  bring 1 can bear spray and review bear safety brochure:

Leisurely to moderate pace group travel, with 20-minute lunch and opportunities for short to extended photo stops.  We'll depart camp each day between 8-8:30am and travel as a group.  If you're looking for a faster paced non-photography hike or solo hiking, please consider joining another trip that better matches your expectations.

Trail guide:  Canadian Rockies Trail Guide (Patton & Robinson).  Topo map:  Chrismar Adventure Map for The Rockwall, 1:50,000.

Parks Canada annual entrance permit required per person (purchase at park/camp entrance booth or park visitor center) are participant responsibility, and not included in trip fee. 

Participants are responsible for reserving own front country accommodations  (pre-/post- backpack) at NP campground, motel, hostel or B&B.  Leader camping at Marble Canyon CG (Kootenay, nr trailhead) pre-backpack 7/26-27 nights, and Lake Louise CG post-backpack 8/1 night; site-sharing may be available.

Kootenay NP backcountry info:

Trip reports & photo links:




Rockwall Trail

Required Equipment

Required Equipment

The Ten Essentials plus overnight gear which may include:

  • Tent with footprint/ground tarp
  • Stove and fuel
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Water filter
  • Bear canister or extra stuff sack and cord designated for hanging food
  • Cooking pot/pan with plate and utensils
  • Toilet paper and shovel or blue bag to deal with waste
Trip Reports