Route: Great Divide Trail (AB & BC, Canada)

Alberta, CA
British Columbia, CA
1,200 km
Vertical Gain
45,000 m

The Great Divide Trail traverses the continental divide between Alberta and British Columbia, wandering through the vast wilderness of the Canadian Rocky Mountains for more than 1100 kilometres. It is one of the most spectacular and challenging long‐distance trails on the planet.

The Great Divide Trail is not officially signed and not always even an actual trail, sometimes merely a wilderness route, inspiring modern-day adventurers to walk the same paths of the original explorers to the area. A journey on the Great Divide Trail promises to be demanding but on the GDT you'll discover a definitive wilderness experience in one of the most magnificent settings on Earth.

The Great Divide Trail Association is dedicated to maintaining, protecting and promoting the Great Divide Trail and with your support, we can preserve the GDT and its wilderness experience for generations to come!

The "official" northern end of the trail isn't totally clear.  The official guidebook by Dustin Lynx indicates that the end is at the Bastille Creek TH, but also makes numerous references to Kakwa Lake being the end goal / terminus.  The GDT website (and our GPX track from does show Bastille Creek TH as the end.  Some thru-hikers seem to consider the endpoint to be Bastille TH, while others stop at Kakwa Lake (which is a convenient place to access by float plane).  The first 2 FKTs we have, for the one-way by Andrew Cotterell and the Yo-Yo by Elaine Bisonho, both considered Kakwa Lake as the northern terminus.  For now we suggest that people can start (or end, or turn around if doing a Yo-Yo) at Kakwa Lake.  If starting or ending at Bastille Creek TH (which adds about 25km), you just need to beat the existing FKT for the length of the trail south of Kakwa Lake.  That is, if you start at Bastille Creek TH and your total time is over the existing FKT, but your time for Kakwa Lake to the end beats the existing FKT, you will still get the FKT.  Okay?!

GPS Track


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Hello! My partner Constantine and I will be attempting to set the first team FKT on the Great Divide Trail, starting in June. We will be hiking in the self-supported thru-hiker style, carrying our food and supplies between resupplies and walking in and out of towns. 

I will be tracking the attempt on my SPOT device and documenting the hike in real time on my blog, 

Constantine will also be uploading videos to his YouTube channel, HikingAmerica (//

We intend to follow the official GDT route from Waterton Lakes to Kakwa Trailhead, ending the FKT at the northern terminus before walking out 75k to Hwy 16 on the Walker Creek FS road. The only alternates we intend to take are those officially endorsed by the GDTA, which will become the official route in the future as they route the trail to avoid road waking. I will document all details of alternates and their lengths versus the roadwalk route of the current official trail as seen on Guthook, unless there is some dispute, in which case we will walk the road. 

Hey FKT community! A trio of us Canadians are planning to do the Great Divide Trail fairly quickly later this summer, would love any intel from previous adventurers on the trail! Nicola Gildersleeve, Joanna Ford and I plan to head northbound from the southern terminus (Waterton Lakes) starting July 27, and finishing up at Kakwa Lake. Our plan is to go for a "funnest known time", going efficiently but making time to sleep, enjoy the views, have beers when available in the few towns, etc... We will be supported for parts of the adventure. Still working out the details but we will probably aim to travel about 14 hours per day.

Our plan is to follow the Guthook GDT guidebook route without taking the alternates. We will suck it up and walk the roads when necessary.



Hello! I attempted to complete the trail unsupported but sadly I came down with a knee injury in the first week. If people are interested I made a video from my trip covering Sections A and B that I did complete. Would love to come back and try it again, we will have to see if I can make it happen.