Great Divide Trail

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On the international border between Glacier National Park (Montana) and Waterton Lakes National Park (Alberta) lies a survey monument that marks the northern terminus of the continental Divide Trail and southern start of the Great Divide Trail (GDT). Stretching over 700 miles (1,130 km) northwest to Kakwa Provincial Park in British Columbia, and crossing the continental divide more than 30 times, the GDT is a route that takes you through everything from popular hikes along some of the most iconic backpacking trips in North America, to remote decommissioned trails, days from the nearest road. With multiple alternatives, optional high alpine routes and a wide selection of entry and exit points, the GDT truly is a “choose your own adventure” experience.


Length: 700 miles (1130 km)

Standard direction(s) of travel: NOBO

Season: July - September

Trail Association:

Permits and Regulations

The Great Divide Trail winds through five national parks, 11 provincial parks, wilderness, and natural areas. Each of these have different rules on where you can camp and if permits or reservations are required. Some spots are extremely popular and book up fast, others only see a handful of users a year. Many of these places open for reservations in January (or in the case of Mount Robson, October). Unlike the PCT there is no single permit granting organization for the trail meaning you're on your own for assembling your itinerary and obtaining permits.

More details on permits can be found at the following places.

Great Divide Trail Association - Permits

Permits on the Great Divide Trail - Part 1

Permits on the Great Divide Trail - Part 2


Online Maps

Ryan Silk's GDT maps (accurate as of 2017)

Great Divide Trail Association - Maps

Printed Maps

Information Resources




Hiking Canada's Great Divide Trail - 3rd Edition by Dustin Lynx





Resupply Locations

Geographic Features

Administrative Territories

Starting from South to North the trail passes through the following parks in the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

Waterton Lakes National Park – Parks Canada

Akamina Kishinena Provincial Park – BC Parks

Castle Wilderness Provincial Park – Alberta Parks

Beehive Natural Area – Alberta Parks

Elk Lakes Provincial Park – BC Parks

Peter Lougheed Provincial Park – Alberta Parks

Height of the Rockies Provincial Park – BC Parks

Banff National Park – Parks Canada

Mount Assiniboine Provincial Park – BC Parks

Kootenay National Park – Parks Canada

Yoho National Park – Parks Canada

White Goat Wilderness Area – Alberta Parks

Jasper National Park – Parks Canada

Mount Robson Provincial Park - BC Parks

Wilmore Wilderness Provincial Park – Alberta Parks

Kakwa Provincial Park – BC Parks

Online Communities


External Links