Commonly Backpacked · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife
Need to Know
Camping along this trail is limited to random camping although there are some nice spots regulary used with fire rings. Permits and reservations are needed for the camping. Information can be found here
Please review the Parks Canada website
and follow Leave No Trace principles.
Castleguard River Trail is an easy to follow (in most places) forest trail. The trail is narrow, rocky, and rooty. There is one major washout at the end, just before the climb to Castleguard Meadows though. And an area that gets bogged down near the beginning just past the Castleguard River Patrol Cabin where the creek flows through a flat area. This trail takes one to the awesome Castleguard Meadows.
Castleguard River Trail is found out back of the Castleguard River Patrol Cabin. Almost immediately the boggy area is encountered. Because the creek alters course often, it's not clear there is any real trail through this area. Stay on the GPX, use route finding skills and common sense to get through. Don't worry, it's short. Past the boggy area, at the 0.3 mile mark is a nice trail camp on a small hill to the right/north.
For the next 2.3 miles, the trail stays in the woods, slowly approaching Castleguard River. The roar of the river is eventually heard and then the river comes into view through the trees, as does Watchman Peak. By the 2.7 mile mark the trail is running along the river, above it. Great views. The trail then descends and at the 3.6 mile mark crosses a creek, the first of several creeks to ford. Almost immediately, the trail emerges onto the gravelly banks of the river, a great place to take a break.
From here the trail continues about another 2.8 miles up the Castleguard River, and finally does about a 1.5 mile climb out of the forest, into the south end of Castleguard Meadows, and finishes on fairly flat trail for about the last 0.7 miles. Unfortunately this will all have to wait until another time due to a trip cut short when the 2022 forest management prescribed burn was started earlier than anticipated on August 18, 2022.
Flora & Fauna
Conifer forest on the lower slopes of the mountains and surrounding the trail. Rock, snow, ice, and glaciers on upper slopes of the mountains.
Shared By: Joan Pendleton