Top five guidebooks to accompany you on your adventures

With summer 2020 just around the corner, it is the perfect time to start thinking about what backcountry adventures you may be embarking on this summer.

The situation with COVID-19 is ever-evolving but it seems to be shaping into a summer of solo or small group socially-distanced adventures. With less large groups and guided groups on the trails, this is the time to get yourself informed before you hit the trails. Which is why our team has put together a list of our favourite guidebooks. These books are going to be your new best friend!



1. Handbook of the Canadian Rockies by Ben Gadd

This award-winning, all-in-one guide that covers everything from geology, botany and bears to human history, places to visit and appropriate recreational activities. The author, Ben Gadd, is one of Canada’s distinguished naturalists and Rockies writers, and a former Jasper National Park interpreter. This guidebook is a wonderful display of his wealth of knowledge and experiences. Despite its comprehensiveness on the Rockies, the guide is composed in an accessible and absorbing style with a touch of humour. This is a must-read for anyone with an interest in naturalism.

2. Scrambles in Southwest British Columbia by Matt Gunn

With over a hundred routes from Vancouver to Squamish to Chilliwack, this is one of our favourite guidebooks for British Columbia. Not only does it provide you with a range of day trips, weekend trips, and multi-day outings, but it also caters to anyone and everyone from novice hikers to experienced mountaineers. Additionally, it is filled with realistic scramble times, difficulty ratings, stunning photos, and detailed access descriptions. 

3. Where Locals Hike in the West Kootenay by Kathy and Craig Copeland

After years of trekking much of the world’s vertical topography, Kathy and Craig Copeland set off on a new adventure, making refreshing and compelling guidebooks. Years later, they’re known for their mastery of delivering comprehensive guides with exceptionally entertaining commentary. This particular one combines a summary of facts (location, distance, elevation) for over 50 trips in West Kootenay with an enjoyable and informative ‘opinion’ section. These sections give you an idea of what to expect and how to make the most of your hike. 

4. Squamish Hiking by Marc Bourdon 

Marc Bourdon presents eighty-two hiking trails between Vancouver's Horseshoe Bay and Whistler's Callaghan Valley in well written and easy to read manner. His meticulously researched book goes into staggering detail about approaches, driving distances, hiking times, directions, maps, and hikes of all difficulty levels. He also includes several stunning photographs, an in-depth flower identification chapter, and extensive descriptions of the local wildlife. If you’re planning to be in the Squamish area this summer, this is the hiking guide for you.

5. Don’t Waste Your Time in the Canadian Rockies: The Opinionated Hiking Guide by Kathy and Craig Copeland

This fun guidebook is a great complement, or alternative, to our other favourite about the Rockies. The popular hiking-turned-writing couple, Kathy and Craig Copeland, focus on charming and informing readers with their unabashedly ‘opinionated’ views on the premier trails in the Canadian Rockies. The book is incredibly enjoyable to read, well formatted, and very useful when planning your travels to Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho, or Waterton Lakes National Park. Aside from the usual stunning photographs that you can expect from the Copelands, the latest edition is over 600 pages in total and includes features like individual trail map and descriptive route booklets. The whole thing comes in a beautiful carrying case, making it the perfect backcountry adventure partner. 



We hope that these guidebooks can provide you with insights, inspiration, and excitement for your summer outdoor adventures! Don't forget to share the amazing places that your guidebooks + your favourite Backcountry Wok meals bring you with #wokonthewildside

Stay safe and see you on the trails everyone!


Ruya Rangara 
Marketing @ Backcountry Wok


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