The following information was gleaned from my hike on the Great Divide Trail from Waterton to Robson between July 9, 2004 and August 9, 2004. I generally followed Dustin Lynx's route as spelled out in {\em Hiking Canada's Great Divide Trail}, published by Rocky Mountain Books. This document is meant to supplement the Guidebook. Some of the points are meant to clarify, others to correct, information contained in the book. As such, some of it reflects personaI opinion and must be treated with skepticism. Some of the points are meant to confirm things in the Guidebook that might worry a hiker. Some points try to help the hiker navigate the trail or to suggest or provide alternate routes. All prices are in Canadian dollars and all measurements are in metric. Conditions change, so read both the guidebook and this document with some skepticism. I found the guide to be very good and indispensable during my hike, and what follows are some updates, corrections, and alternatives to what is found in the guidebook.

• Walk in front country campsites in Waterton national park cost \$19 and have bear lockers that were non-functional (the doors didn't latch). A hot shower is located nearby. • The cross country route through Akamina up to Mount Rowe is heavily overgrown with brush and the trail that is there dies out after reaching a weather station about 0.5 K from the established trail. The connector from the alternate route by Mount Rowe to Tamarack summit looks very dubious in places, but possible. • BC Parks still have a standardized \$5 per night cost, first come - first served campsite policy in the backcountry.

• You want to get as close as possible to LaCoulotte Ridge the night before traversing it. There isn't anywhere reasonable to camp up there and there is no water, except for very small amounts of remnant snow. I went from Twin Lake all the way to Castle Mountain Ski resort in a big day. It would be better to camp at Jutalnd, if possible. There is good trail up to Sage Pass from Twin Lakes and all the way to the base of LaCoulotte Ridge. The trail fades, briefly, at Jutland campground. Both seem heavily used by horse-packers but are nice. From Jutland, before you cross the creek, turn left and head into the meadow that is apparent. Perhaps 200 M into the meadow you will pick up the trail again.

• There are several game trails on the unnamed pass north of Font Mountain. The trail fades completely on the south end of the pass. Pick your way cross country up to the pass, then keep to the right. There are game trails heading to the left, but these you do not want. The true trail becomes clear quickly on the right.

• On page 43, the book indicates that it is 5.4 K to the next water source at Scarpe Creek from Jutland camp. However, it is more like 3 K, possibly less.

• LaCoulotte ridge is the obvious thing in front of you after you climb out of Jutland and the circular meadow that Lynx describes is apparent. You can hear Scarpe Creek from the circular meadow. From the meadow, bushwack up the ridge to the top. Once on top, you have five peaks to get up and down before reaching West Castle Road. The hiking is the most difficult on the entire GDT, but the route finding is very, very easy. The scenery is unbelievable. LaCoulotte Peak is very tough and very loose. A faint trail appears to try to traverse around it, but the going is tough. Attack the peak directly rather than getting onto the trail. The direct route looks a little more solid than the route I took up from the traversing trail. From the summmit, you want to go to the left (NW), not to the right (NE), which is the alternate route he describes. The cliff bands on the descent are tough to get around. If you go to far down the ridgeline, you will only have to backtrack. The rock on the cliffband is not stable. It broke off under my feet when I was downclimbing. The last two peaks have something of a climbers trail on them. Use it. They are, though, much easier than LaCoulotte. It took me approximately six hours of hard work to do the full ridge route.

• Do not be tempted to take the Scarpe Creek trail from the meadow all the way to South Castle Road, then a road walk to Castle Mountain. I met two thruhikers who did and they seemed to suffer greatly and get no reward for it. If the weather is at all bad (I had massive winds and hail, but clear visibility), you may have to do this route, however.

• West Castle Road is very overgrown all the way to the second creek ford (no bridges, no jumping over). After that, it is a very pleasant, unused road all the way to Castle Mountain Ski Resort.

• Castle Mountain Ski resort was a real dump. The bathrooms were locked and all the water turned off. Camp in any of the innumerable places before reaching the resort. I ended up in a concrete-like RV spot for the night.

• There is a trail before the bridge over Suicide Creek. You want the trail that is just after the bridge, as Lynx indicates on page 53.

• The O'Hagen Loop trail is a massive ATV thing and seems to be reached before the 5.6K that Lynx indicates. There isn't much chance of getting lost, but it was surprising to reach it so soon. If you stay straight through all the junctions, you eventually pass through recent clear cuts and reach Mount Haig road, which is big, graveled, and has traffic. The trail markers as described on page 54 are not there. However, make a left on the road and you'll hit the markers in less than 1 K. The O'Hagen loop appears to split off from the main route at some point.

• Bathrooms were closed at Lynx Creek Campground.

• From Lynx Creek road, the unmarked ATV track that splits off to the left at GPS waypoint a36 occurs after perhaps 2.5 K, not the 4.8 K as indicated on page 56. It took me 30 minutes to reach it, but I kept going. It is easy to miss. The descent into a gully that Lynx mentions on the same page is barely perceptible, but there nonetheless (gully is miniature). The ridge route of the GDT got heavily burned in the summer of 2003. Locals indicated that the ATV clubs have cleared it and maintain it.

• If you miss the junction, or want another route, stay on Lynx Creek road. While shadeless and hot, it is a pretty walk without much traffic. The mushroom-hunting culture along the road was a fun experience. Before beginning a big climb on the road, you will intersect with the GDT and can follow it into Coleman.

• I passed by the GDT and kept on HWY 3 until reaching Atlas road, and then turning right on it. A few K up, before the GDT comes into Atlas Road, the road forks, with the right fork looking level and going to Chinook Lake and the left fork heading steeply up to a SnoPark. You want the steep, right fork. {\bf Warning:} There is no water between Coleman and well up this hill, past a campground.

• On Atlas road there are no signs for Allison Creek campground or Deadman Pass. Allison Creek campground seems not to exist anymore. Instead, turn left when you see a sign for {\em Western Adventures}, which is a ranch that offers horse rides to tourists. Walk past their operation on the obvious horse track to reach a creek with a beat bridge over it. The operators of {\em Western Adventures} told me that they took over the campground. If you miss the turn to the left, there is one just after it, which is also signed.

• If you read about the troubles in the Line Creek area (below), consider staying on Atlas Road. From the maps, it looks like you can take it all the way to Dutch Creek, where the GDT heads anyways. The scenery over Deadman pass is nice, as is that along Alexander Road, but not good enough to risk getting booted out of the mine and facing an 80K road walk to Elk Lakes (see below).

• Deadman Pass takes almost no climbing and is marked with a burned/painted cross on a tree.

• On page 71, where the trail splits off from the road at the culvert, consider staying on the road. If you follow Lynx's directions exactly, you will find yourself at a ford of the western fork of the Alexander river. On the other side is the campground. The ford is easy. After the ford, go straight ahead for perhaps 1.5 K along an old road bed. After 1.5K or so, you'll reach a clearing with a sign saying that the road is deactivated. To the left you can walk roughly 30M to reach the new Alexander road. Rather than turning off at the culvert, however, if you stay on the road itself you may be able to keep reach the same point as going through the campground and ford.

• On page 75, just before the Alexander Creek bridge, consider staying on the road. The bushwack along the banks of the creek is very tough and I had to follow game trails. The trails eventually end up on the road you left, I believe. A jeep came up the road while I was hiking it, and I had seem him the previous day before the bridge. The topos show that the road ends, but it seems fairly clear that it has now been pushed through.

• The point at which you leave the road to go cross country is fairly obvious. The trail makes a big bend to the right and heads south, then goes north again. When you begin going north, you'll see a small clearing with a old sign that has some ATV trails marked on it. This is where you start the cross country climb to the Crown.

• I never made the Crown, as I went too high and too far right. Once you're heading down, there are several open areas to move through, but lots of bushwacking. Try to stay to the left. There is a creek to the left that is audible from a little distance off. You want to head for it. The logging road down to Line Creek Mine is to the left of it.

• Be careful around Line Creek Mine. On the way down the logging road, there is another road (first one down) that splits off to the right and crosses a bridge. You do not want this road. Unfortunately, it seems that South Line Creek road has been moved. I could not find the intersection to it, despite being able to see North Fork pass. Eventually, I bushwhacked and forded my way to the main mine road (black topped), which is on the other side of a conveyor belt that hauls the coal out. It may be possible to take this road up to the pass. However, when I got to the road I was immediately met by a mine worker who was very surprised to see me. As no one but mine employees are allowed in the area, he gave me a lift out to the highway, past the security check point. The two other thruhikers I met could not get over North Fork pass and were also ejected from the area. They had met two other hikers who had the same experience.

• The highway is big and runs roughly 15K to the town of Elkford. Both motels in town were full (\$63 a night) with mine workers, but the RV park in town costs about \$14 a night and has scaldingly hot showers. There is a nice diner in the motel across the road. In the same complex, there is a good grocery store and a liquor store (not a cold beer store).

• Outside of Elkford, the highway turns into a pleasant gravel road. It is about 80K to Elk Park from Elkford. A hitch on the road would be easy, and I had lots of offers, although only a few cars passed.

• The Weary creek camp, along the Elk River road, is at the 144K marker and is nice and free, it seems, to stay at. The guidebook puts it at about the 150K marker.

• On page 99, Lynx indicates that to get to the start of the Coral Ridge alternate route, you turn off at the Bighorn outfitters sign. However, just past it is a sign for the Coral Ridge trailhead, so perhaps things have moved around. I didn't take the alternate and so do not know for sure.

• On page 99, the positions of Tobermory and Riverside camps are reversed. Riverside comes first, and Tobermory second.

• On page 101, Fox Lake is after West Elk Pass, not before it.

• At the official pass there is a junction, with one branch heading left to Frozen lake and the right branch unmarked. You cannot go straight ahead as the guide asserts on page101. Take the right branch for about 20M to reach another fork. Turn left and head downhill to reach Peter Lougheed.

• The Fox Creek trail eventually splits off to the right. You might be able to take this as a short cut to Bolton Creek Trading Post. The GDT goes to the left, steeply uphill for about 0.75 K, before heading downhill to the park's main road. Walk right about 2 K to get to the trading post. Walk left about 500 M to get to Mount Sarrail Campground.

• Mount Sarrail costs \$15 per night. The sites are hard and the place is crowded. Walk-in means that people park their cars and walk 10 M to their campsite. It was full by 6 pm. I seemed to be the only hiker in the massive campground. • The trail from North Kananaskis Pass south into Heights of the Rockies is faint, but easy to follow. The trail is very, very steep. The ford of the Palliser river was very easy: Barely mid-calf and clear. Across the creek, be very careful with what trail you take. The Palliser Rivier trail forks left (south). You want to go north on the Palliser River trail, so take the right fork. The right fork goes north, then starts to head south. Stay on trail. I bushwacked and paid a high price in blood, sweat, and tears. There are game trails, some taken by horses, it seems. Avoid them. You do not ford the Palliser again for at least 1.5 K. If you do get lost, remember that you want to be close to the river, to the right of it (after the second ford of it), and generally want to stay to the left in the canyon. At the head of the canyon, the river is forked. You want to head left and up, not right and up. • From Palliser Pass the trail begins to fade out. By the time you reach the flood plane of the Spray, it might be gone completely. Either head straight down the flood plane, fording the innumerable braids of the Spray (easiest, least complicated, but wet), or generally stay to the right, dodging into the woods from time to time to find the trail. The trail goes through several unmarked junctions for several kilometers before picking up a good track before Birdwood camp. • Marvel Lake Campground is really disappointing. It isn't anywhere near the lake, the sites are slopey, and the food hang area is a bit of a hike (at least it seems so in the morning). Og Lake, in Assiniboine, is much, much, much, much more appealing. • I went over Assiniboine Pass rather than Wonder Pass as the weather was looking threatening (it became nice later). Assiniboine Pass is really rather nice and an easy walk, although I passed some profusely sweating Floridians with big bags who seemed to think otherwise. • From the first junction to Porcupine Camp to the second one is more than the 2.5K listed in the guidebook (page 125). It took me 50 minutes of hard hiking to make this distance, and I estimate it to more like 4 K. • The Hawk Creek trail was closed in July 2004 from the fires in 2003. The word from other thruhikers was that it was passable, but a little dusty. I hiked around by detouring at Egypt Lake. Follow the Pharaoh creek trail down to the junction to Shadow Lake. From Shadow Lake, haul up 450 vertical meters to Gibbon Pass and then down to Highway 93. Turn left and roadwalk 12 K to the Helmet Falls trailhead. The walk up to Helmet Falls campground and the GDT is very pleasant. However, by doing this you will miss the entire Rockwall trail. I'm sorry I did so and should have forced the Hawk Creek trail. • The Shadow Lake Lodge has a daily tea from 11 to 5 (or 1-5?). I missed it, but got the scoop from some weekenders. A big All-You-Can-Eat buffet of tea like snacks, complete with tea, for \$7. The weekenders raved about it while I ate my dinner of flavored instant rice.

• I ran into a grizzly on top of Goodsir pass. He seemed to know I was coming and just waned to check me out. He trotted off after a few seconds of viewing me at 5 meters. I ran into a trail maintenance crew at the MacArthur warden cabin later and they said that grizz were common on the pass.

• The Float Creek campground is officially closed and the signs to it have been taken down. However, it is very obvious where the turn off from the Ottertail fire road is.

• Don't go into Field thinking you will be able to get a motel room. Everything was full and super expensive. Instead, the night before, stay on the banks of the Kicking Horse. When coming into town on the TransCanada, there is an obvious place where you can scamble down to the river and move around to where you are not visible from the highway. This is about 1.5 K from town. Much of the traffic on the TransCanada dies off at night, but trains still go through.

• The trail/road bed up to Amiskwi pass is in good shape and is not as hot and nasty anymore. Some growth has returned to the area and the hiking is very pleasant. There is nice camping, but no water, on top of the pass. The creek coming off the south side of the pass runs out about 3 K before the pass itself.

• A good trail comes directly off the pass, but runs too far to the left before dying out. When it dies near a creek, just turn right and head off into the woods for about 40 M to pick up the road below the lodge.

• DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE CAIRNES CREEK. I forded it at 1 in the afternoon and it was rough. From where the trail ends you can reach a small gravel bar to the right easily. The ford across from there is mostly clear of underwater rocks, but the current is very swift and the water murky. BE VERY CAREFUL. Once across, the trail picks up again to the right. Shortly after it starts, a trail comes in from the left and a sign points down it. Don't take it. It seems to lead back to the river and a prospective ford. If you absolutely cannot get across Cairnes creek, take the bridge across the Blaeberry, then bushwhack up it looking for a better ford. You may have to go quite some ways up the Blaeberry to find one, as it is a large river and doesn't really start to diminish until you get near Howse Pass.

• The David Thompson Heritage trail is in fair shape all the way to the crossing of the Lambe glacier outflow, which is, thankfully, bridged. After the bridge, you immediately hit a campsite. There is a good trail heading up and to the left, away from the river. This is the trail you want. If you stay near the river, the trail is a nightmare according to other hikers. If you head up on the good trail, it is pleasant hiking all the way to a basin with some ponds in it. Cross the meadow in a straight line to the right hand side of the ponds and look for the trail. It was obscured with a several downed trees. Alternatively, from where the good trail comes out of the woods, turn right and walk around the outside of the meadow. The bad trail from the river will come in. Go past it, continuing on the outside edge of the meadow, until you pick up the trail, another 20 M, perhaps. You may have to hunt for it. From there, the trail is brushy, but easy to follow all the way to Howse pass, in another 2-3K.

• Camping is tough at Howse pass, with the best place right next to the boundary marker. A nice creek, that you will have to ford eventually, flows about 500M from the pass.

• Some of the worst trail on the GDT leads into Banff toward the Howse flood plain. This is tiring, bothersome hiking. Lots of downfall, misleading trail, swamps, overhanging vegetation, etc. From the flood plain of the Howse, the trail occasionally dodges back into the forest. I was so broken by the hike down to the flood plain that I vowed not to leave it, and so forded the many channels of the Howse instead.

• Forget about fording the Howse and taking the short cut via Glacier Lake as indicated on pages 161-162. River channels have shifted since the guide was written. The main channel of the Howse is on the far bank. I tried various fords at various places, and got nothing but wet. There are many channels to ford just to get to the main one, and the main one turned me back. The water was fast enough and deep enough and wide enough to make the ford impossible for me, despite 2 hours of trying.

• From The Crossing, I elected not to try guidebook's route through southern Jasper and the White Goat, as it involved a difficult ford of Cataract Creek. Instead, I followed the Ice Fields parkway due north. The walking is pretty, but there is a lot of RV traffic on the road. Fortunately, the shoulders are wide. From The Crossing, it is approximately 35 K to the Nigel pass trailhead. This runs up into Jasper on some gorgeous trail and meets up with the GDT (at Nigel Pass).

• Boulder Creek camp is a complete dust heap. Try not to stay there, as Four Point is close and much nicer. On page 183, the guidebook has things a little backwards: From Boulder Creek camp, ascend through the forest, then descend to the bridge over Boulder Creek.

• Waterfalls campground is very, very nice.

• Poboktan campground is quite nice, but the most accessible water has a lot of glacial silt in it.

• Trail distances on the signs in the park and the guide are incorrect on the other side of Maligne Pass. It is only 3 K from Vaux to Old Horse campgrounds, not the 7K in the guide. From Horse Camp to Vaux Schaffer is another 9 K. The totals add to the same amount, but they are distrubuted in another way. See page 189.

• The bridge over the Maligne was out and the park service was warning people not to try to ford it. The water was slow, clear, and didn't even make it over midcalf. When in Jasper, I gave them an update, but they didn't change their warnings.

• Trapper Creek Camp is not very nice, but it is good logistically. From there you are only 5.7 K to the start of the Skyline trail. You can traverse the entire Skyline all the way to Signal Mountain Camp, on the old fireroad that is the northern end of the Skyline. This is also a not-so-nice place to stay, but it is much less popular than Tekarra, the previous campsite. Tekarra is sprawling, so even if you do not have a reservation, you should be able to find a place to pitch.

• At the bottom of the fireroad, in the parking lot for the Skyline, there is a big sign proclaiming it to be the Northern Terminus of the Great Divide Trail. It was the first GDT sign that I had seen on the entire trek.

• The walk into Jasper on Trail 7 (see page 196) is pleasant, but I would try hitching on the road in the future. Whistlers Campground costs \$19 a night for walk-in sites. There were plenty of walk-in sites when I was there, but the car-accessible sites filled up by the mid-afternoon. Luke warm showers are available. If you don't want to pay, there is a lot of forest where you could stealth camp. • The park service was still recommending people to stay out of the Colonel Pass area as of August 2004. The area burned several years ago and they haven't even tried to re-cut the trail or to maintain the trails leading to it. I took the North Boundary Trail to Mount Robson instead. The NBT trailhead is about 55 K outside of Jasper, mostly along an old, semi-rough road. Jasper Taxi took myself and two others out to the trailhead for \$40 in a mini-van. Other taxi services in the area wanted more like \\$150. The people at the climbing store (Gravity Gear?) in Jasper were extraordinarily helpful.