Hiking: Self Guided

If you’re after a lot of freedom, flexibility and sense of accomplishment without compromising on the security and organisation of a guided tour, you should definitely consider a self-guided walking adventure. Designed to help you see the world at your own pace, our self-guided walking adventures operate for as little as one person on selected departures and are incredibly flexible, economical and fun.

During a self-guided trip all of the hassle of logistics, luggage transfers and accommodation is taken care of, allowing complete freedom for you to explore fascinating landscapes rich in history, culture and beauty. Our detailed route notes and maps mean you’ll stay on track, while the 24/7 emergency contact numbershould anything go amiss is also comforting. These walking self-guided tours include hand-picked accommodation that showcase the best of a town or village, your bags being transported each day to the next evening’s accommodation, clear and detailed route descriptions and maps and local sightseeing information covering the best things to see and do en route. Under your own steam you’ll have time to savour the sights and delights of the region.

We are Canadian, our team is highly-experienced, and our understanding of the land means carefully-crafted hiking adventures that offer the active traveller a unique and truly authentic experience. Our hut-to-hut trips offer a classic backcountry thru-hiking experience without the hassle of coordinating logistics or carrying everything on your back. When planning a multi-day hike in the great Canadian wilderness, many factors need to be considered such as safety, permits, gear, reservations, meal planning, pack weight, and navigational challenges like route-finding and tide tables. Great Canadian Trails has got you covered. Our one-of-a-kind, self-guided hut-to-hut hikes include easy-to-prepare camp meals supplemented with fresh food items, daily food drops and delivery of fresh drinking water, cooking equipment at each hut, trailhead transfers, and emergency assistance. We provide you with trail maps, an emergency hotline or communication device, and a customized route booklet that includes detailed local information, instructions for the huts, and important directions regarding Leave No Trace practices. Each route has been tried and tested with every detail accounted for, so that all you need to do is spend the day exploring at your own pace and spend the night secure with the shelter of a roof over your head. And, as most of our tours include a donation to the local non-profit organization who builds and maintains the trail, by travelling with Great Canadian Trails you are also helping others get out and experience Canada’s natural wonders.


The natural environments that you'll travel through are fragile and the cultures and traditions precious. It is our responsibility as visitors to minimise the impact of our presence, protect what is precious and where we can leave a positive impact.



1
Discovery & Cruising

These are our least demanding trips. These journeys of discovery and cruises involve little or no extended activity and are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health. The itinerary may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and may involve long travel days on various types of transport. Sightseeing may be conducted on foot and all participants should be capable of carrying their own luggage from vehicle to hotel rooms. These adventures rarely involve camping.

2
Adventure Touring

These adventure tours may visit remote areas where facilities are often basic. Some of these trips involve camping or basic lodging. These adventure tours will sometimes involve long journeys and rough roads. Sightseeing and optional day walks are often included and these days may involve up to 5 hours of physical activity.

3
Introductory

These trips involve trekking or walking, cycling, or paddling for up to five or six hours a day at a slow but steady pace and should never be misinterpreted to mean they are easy trips. Hikes are mainly on well-defined trails with undulating terrain and cycling is on mostly flat surfaces.

4
Introductory to Moderate

These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Introductory and Moderate levels. The emphasis is on introductory activity with some moderate components. Hiking trips typically require carrying a daypack only, but could involve carrying a pack of up to 20 pounds (9kg), depending on personal gear.

5
Moderate

These adventures involve trekking, cycling, or paddling for up to 6 or 7 hours a day at a steady pace. Many moderately graded hiking trips involve the carrying of a daypack only, though some may involve carrying a backpack of up to 30 pounds (14kg), depending on personal gear. Hikers should be prepared for plenty of roots, rocks, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and potential variable weather conditions. Cyclists should be prepared for undulating terrain and some steep hills.

6
Moderate to Challenging

These trips involve a combination of what is described in our Moderate and Challenging levels. The emphasis is on moderate activity with some challenging components. Hikers should be prepared for very rugged off-trail hiking, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and to carry a pack weighing up 45 pounds (20kg), depending on personal gear.

7
Challenging

These adventures involve trekking, cycling or paddling in remote areas in variable weather conditions for up to 8 to 10 hours a day (possibly more subject to weather conditions and altitude). Hikers should be prepared for very rugged off-trail hiking, significant elevation gain, wilderness camping, and to carry a pack weighing up to 45 pounds (20kg), depending on personal gear.

1
Discovery & Cruising

These journeys of discovery and cruises are suitable for people with a basic level of fitness and good health.

Suggested preparation: Once or twice a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour, for at least 2-3 months prior to departure.

2
Adventure Touring

To enjoy these adventures, we suggest you are reasonably fit, healthy, have a moderately active lifestyle and have a positive attitude.

Suggested preparation: Two or three times a week, we recommend you walk on undulating terrain for an hour or more, for at least 3 months prior to departure.

3
Introductory

Our introductory trips are not ‘easy’ trips and you will need a reasonable level of fitness and good health.

Suggested preparation: 30 minutes of aerobic exercise (either cycling or jogging) three times a week for 3 months leading up to your trip.

4
Introductory to Moderate

On these adventures you will need a good level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: We recommend 45 minutes of aerobic exercise three times a week from a minimum of 3 months leading up to your trip. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. For hiking trips, hill or stair walking with a 15lb daypack is highly recommended at least once per week.

5
Moderate

These adventures require a good level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week and extended periods of exercise during the weekend. This can include swimming, jogging, hard walking or cycling. For hiking trips, hill or stair walking with a full day pack is strongly recommended at least once per week (or a 30lb pack for backpacking trips).

6
Moderate to Challenging

These trips require an excellent level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, four to five times per week for three to six months leading up to departure. Hill walking with a full pack in variable weather conditions or on/off road cycling is essential.

7
Challenging

On these adventures, you will need to be completely comfortable in adverse weather conditions, have an excellent level of fitness and be in good health.

Suggested preparation: 1 hour of aerobic exercise, four to five times per week for three to six months leading up to departure. Hill walking with a full pack in variable weather conditions or on/off road cycling is essential.

Inclusions & Equipment

The exact inclusions and equipment for each of our adventures is listed once you've found the trip you want. Our trips are generally more inclusive than others in the market place in line with our philosophy of minimising 'extra payments' displayed outside of the main trip price as well as out of pocket expenses once you reach your destination.

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