top of page
Canadian Rockies Explorer
Canadian Rockies Explorer describes the national parks and provincial parks of the Canadian Rockies from Waterton Lakes to Mount Robson, including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, and Kananaskis Country. Written in an engaging style and packed with colour photographs, maps, and historical images, Canadian Rockies Explorer provides rich detail on the human history, natural history, and ecology of this magnificent landscape. Wildlife viewing tips, quotations from the journals of early explorers, and descriptions of short walks and hikes will help enhance your experience of the Rockies, whether you live here or are visiting for the first time. 


Published 2010, 320 pages, ISBN 978-0-9697249-3-3, $19.95 CDN



Sample pages




Banff Park Radio podcast (26 minutes)

Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies


Long regarded as the ultimate guide to the 63 best backpacking trips and day-hikes in Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Mt. Robson, Mt. Assiniboine, Waterton, Kananaskis, and Akamina-Kishinena parks, Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies has been completely revised. Detailed trailhead and route descriptions, and a colour map for each hike help get you to the trailhead and keep you on route. The hike descriptions are packed with comprehensive information on history, geology, wildlife, wildflowers, and side-trip options. Colour photographs depict the principal features. A wildflower guide, and tips on equipment, food, drinking water, backcountry etiquette, minimum impact travel, hiking with children, preparedness, and bear safety round out this indispensable resource. The new edition includes five “new” hikes and a foreword by Robert Bateman. Since first publication in 1994, this award-winning guidebook has sold 62,000 copies.


Revised 2015, 288 pages, ISBN 978-0-9697249-3-3, $27.95 CDN

Sample pages



Few guidebooks truly stand the test of time. Even fewer call the industry to new models of guidebook publishing. Yet, Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies, by Graeme Pole, has done both of these things. Celebrating more than two decades in print, this guidebook does more than just point eager hikers in the right direction. 

Meghan Ward, Crowfoot Media review


Other reviews:



  • Banff Park Radio, segment 1          segment 2




Walks and Easy Hikes in the Canadian Rockies


Third, fully revised edition

Celebrating 25 years since first publication


151 walks and hikes with full colour photographs and maps,

a tree guide, a wildflower guide, a critter guide, and a life zones guide.


This best-selling guide covers Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Waterton, Kootenay Plains Recreation Area, Mt. Robson, Akamina-Kishinena, and Kananaskis Country.


Published 2012, revised 2016; 184 pages, ISBN 978-0-9697249-5-7, $23.95 CDN

Sample pages




Podcast: CBC Radio, North by Northwest (26 minutes, check back soon)


The Spiral Tunnels and the Big Hill 
This compelling account chronicles the tales, the triumphs, and the tragedies of railway operations in Kicking Horse Pass from 1885 to the present day. Published for the 2009 centennial of the completion of the Spiral Tunnels, and incorporating more than one hundred black and white photographs, this volume describes the survey and construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway through the Canadian Rockies, and the subsequent operation of the Big Hill grade. This treacherous section of track, the second steepest, standard-gauge mainline ever operated in North America, posed a constant risk to workers, passengers, and equipment for 25 years until completion of the tunnels. Regarded as masterpieces of engineering, the two Spiral Tunnels reduced the overall grade on the hill by half. Despite this improvement, Canadian Pacific has continued to battle gravity and the elements for a century in its crossing of the Rockies.

Revised 2016, 128 pages, ISBN 978-0-969724-919, $16.95 CDN


Review: Rocky Mountain Outlook

Podcast: Banff Park Radio (26 minutes)


Gravity, Steam, and Steel

In 1882 the Canadian Pacific Railway committed to building Canada’s first trans-continental railway across unknown ground in the Selkirk Mountains of southern British Columbia. It was a gamble that almost scuttled the project and the promise of a young country. During the next three years, a small army of surveyors, engineers, and labourers cleared the grade and built track across Rogers Pass – the only break in the Selkirk Mountains – a place that defined wilderness. Trestles, tunnels, snowsheds, bridges and miles of looping track – the Canadian Pacific Railway has since employed them all to reduce the dangers and to make railway operations in Rogers Pass reliable. Gravity, Steam, and Steel recounts the triumphs and tragedies of building and operation a railway in a place where twelve metres of snow fall each year, and where trains routinely run on grades that many other railways would consider impossibly steep.


Published 2009, Fitzhenry and Whiteside, ISBN 978-1-897252-468, $16.95


... a finely illustrated, well-researched perspective into the tragedies and triumphs of locating Canadian Pacific’s rail line through the formidable Selkirk Range of Canada’s Columbia Mountains.

Bob Kennell, Canadian Pacific Archives


Review: Calgary Herald

Healy Park


Banff National Park is in crisis, its managers quarelling, its field staff demoralized, its biodiversity in decline. In the headlines, environmentalists scrap with developers and with the bureaucrats sympathetic to them. Deep in the backcountry, mountaineer and map dreamer, Gregory Phillips, explores the ancient front range landscape. There, the paths of the mountaineer, bears, park wardens, wranglers, wolves, and spirit prospectors intertwine. And there, Phillips discovers a misguided plan to give away the wilderness heart of the park.


Fiction, published 1998, 283 pages,  ISBN 978-0-9697249-2-6, $16.95 CDN 

A  Calgary Public Library “staff pick”


Review: Alternatives



bottom of page