Magical mountain adventures for you!
Discover the secrets of Banff's bears on an adventure where this photo was taken!

Have questions about bears? How to safely recreate in the mountains? What we can do to better protect bears and their habitat? Then this adventure is for you.

Sarah Elmeligi spent her PhD learning how bears moved around the landscape in Alberta's National Parks. She used camera traps to learn how people and wildlife used hiking trails in the mountain parks. The little grizzly in the photo above was captured on the Marsh Loop Trail during her research. Please join her  for a morning stroll along this trail on September 10 and discover what makes these parts of the Bow Valley such good bear habitat. We will be on the lookout for bear signs and discuss strategies to recreate safely in bear country and coexist peacefully with the wildlife that calls our mountains home.

Sarah will also discuss the challenges of managing bears and people in the Bow Valley. Her work with  with Y2Y and CPAWS has given her a great understanding of large landscapes and the necessary programs to connect them, as well as the political and policy processes behind land use planning and decision making. Bring your own picnic lunch for a Q & A about all things bears. Have your toughest questions ready and see if you can stump an expert!
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We still want to hear about your adventure! Call or email us to use your next adventure to fundraise for a great cause. If you have questions, or an idea for the kind of adventure where you share your unique skills with others please contact our office at 403-283-2025 or email

Upcoming Adventures

Hiking Black Rock Mountain

August 21, 2022
with Heinz and Kris Unger

This weekend!

Biodiversity Bees in Brentwood

Every Tuesday evening until Aug. 30
with Polly Knowlton Cockett

Please join us for a season of social stewardship through Biodiversity Conservation in the Centennial Natureground and Whispering Woods – tucked away in a corner of Brentwood, in northwest Calgary.

Socialize and do some good 

Orphan Oil and Gas Wells and Foothills Geology

August 27, 2022
with Tako Koning

Come along on a full day road trip. We begin at Frank Lake, near High River, which is a shallow water slough where hundreds of bird species have been identified. Conservation Specialist Ruiping Luo will be on hand to discuss the importance of this area and the threats posed by a proposed solar development. The trip then continues south and west, through interesting geological features and the site of an orphan gas well assigned to the Orphan Well Association for abandonment and site remediation. We will also visit a number of sites in current production. Discuss issues related to future wells abandonment and wellsites environmental remediation with senior petroleum geologist Tako Koning.

An educational trip through a beautiful landscape

Fall Hike in White Rock Coulee to the South Saskatchewan River

September 3, 2022
with Heinz Unger

Join us on a unique opportunity to access and see a remote and rarely visited Provincial Natural Area featuring beautiful rock formations. A trip to Medicine Hat in the fall, probably with an over night stay, is an extra bonus. We will hike down one branch of the White Rock coulee, then along the South Saskatchewan River bank across from the Suffield National Wildlife Area, and explore a different coulee before returning back before returning back up to the prairie.

You can see photos and the writeup from the June hike to White Rock Coulee in the photo gallery here.

Discover this hidden treasure

Hiking the Springs of the Ghost

September 7, 2022
with Heinz Unger

Enjoy this hike down along the slopes into the deep valley of the North Ghost River. The loop hike leads into an almost unknown area, rarely hiked but with beautiful vegetation, scenery and great views, and many small watercourses to cross. Depending on the weather the early fall will probably be on display.

Enjoy the autumn splendor

Safety in Bear Country

September 10, 2022
with Sarah Elmeligi

Author and conservationist Sarah Elmeligi has spent years studying how bears use the landscape in Alberta’s National Parks. Join this adventure for the chance to hike with a bear expert in bear habitat. In this adventure for all ages, learn about how to look for and recognize bear sign on the trail, how to plan for a hike in bear habitat, and how to peacefully coexist with bears and safely recreate on the landscapes they call home.

An accessible adventure for the whole family 

Bikepacking the Upper Oldman

September 19 & 20, 2022
with Sean Nichols

This 2-day-long bikepacking trip will follow the upper Oldman River from the Oldman Falls near the continental divide, downhill and through the Livingstone Gap, then out across the foothills as we trace the river’s route past the Oldman Reservoir where it becomes a meandering, middle aged river through to Fort MacLeod. On the first day we will take in in the fantastic scenery and history of Alberta’s front range as we learn about how human development interacts with Alberta’s headwaters. Then we’ll camp overnight near the Gap before experiencing the lower foothills on the second day.

Explore one of Albertas precious watersheds on two wheels

Ice, Glaciers and Oil - Cochrane North Field Trip

September 17, 2022
with Tako Koning

This adventure is a road trip where we will see various forms of magnificent glacial geology in the Cochrane & Lochend areas and also see a rapidly developing program of hydraulic fracking for oil in the Lochend area. Drilling and oil production is now occurring in an area of approximately 200 square kilometers and in some cases has had significant environmental impact on ranches, farms and acreages in the area. Gerry Bietz, President, Bighill Creek Preservation Society will tell us of their efforts to protect this environmentally unique and fragile area from a proposed gravel pit in this area.

A unique opportunity to explore and learn

Tryst Lake - Fall Larch Hike

September 25, 2022
with Chris Saunders

This is a one day hike to one of the most beautiful lakes in Alberta and a chance to learn about this magnificent wilderness area. The views are spectacular and the needles of the many alpine larches may have turned a golden colour when we are there. It is also a chance learn about some of the geography and plant life of the area.

Larch madness

In case you missed it...

Oldman River Adventure with Jim, Bob and Phillip
“...not long after that Phillip fortuitously looked back upstream and spotted a cow moose and her two calves crossing the river behind us. Another surprise and delight for the morning. The day rolled on with clear, fast water and great bird activity including an Osprey hovering over the river, and then plunging into the water to clutch its prize and fly close by over our heads. Signs of agriculture and irrigation also abounded drawing our thoughts to plans for three new reservoirs in this basin. How do we reconcile all the competing demands on this vibrant but vulnerable eco-system?”
Milk River Canoe Adventure with Lindsey
“... Despite some rain during breakfast the next day and threatening skies all day, the storms seemed to pass us by. We said goodbye to Katie and Connie at the Pinhorn ranch, the last current human settlement we would see for the next four days. Once again we found a camping spot along the river bank near a grove of cottonwoods and sunk into the now-familiar rhythm of setting up camp and cooking a meal. It was beautiful to see a healthy river here, the channels allowed to meander back and forth so the cottonwood can seed and grow in the wet silt. There were loads of baby cottonwoods here, as well as more mature ones and the grandmother trees, standing tall and gnarled some distance back from the river.”

What is Adventures for Wilderness?

Adventures for Wilderness is AWA's annual program to engage Albertans in wilderness conservation. We believe an Adventure can be anything from climbing a mountain, to walking by the river, to enjoying the beauty of nature in your own backyard! Visit our website to learn about the Adventures this season and how you can support Alberta Wilderness Association.
Learn more
We live and work across the traditional lands of the First Nations and Métis peoples of Alberta, including Treaties 4, 6, 7, 8 and 10. We express gratitude and respect for these lands and commit to advancing reconciliation with Indigenous peoples to ensure justice, equality, and sustainability for all people and the natural world we rely on.

Copyright © 2022 Alberta Wilderness Association, All rights reserved.

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