Trip Planning

Before you go adventuring, you need to do some research and leave a trip plan with a trusted buddy.


  • Trail Info – use this site as well as the other guides and resources out there to gather information about your route.
    • Does everyone in your group have the physical ability and training for the route?
    • Are there any special hazards or features about the terrain you need to consider? Do you need special equipment for the route?
    • Are there any back-up options for your route if conditions change? Do you have a ‘Plan B’?
  • Access Road – find out the latest access road conditions. Is your vehicle suitable for the access road? How long will it take you to get to the trailhead?
  • Weather & Conditions – what is the weather forecast? What time does the sun set and do you have enough time to complete your trip in daylight? Are there any special hazards (wildfires, lightning, avalanche conditions) that you need to consider?

Leaving a Trip Plan

You should leave a detailed trip plan with someone back home and check in with them when you return. You can complete a template online with the AdventureSmart Trip Plan. Your trip plan should include:

  • Who is going on the trip?
  • Where are you going? Do you have a trip itinerary? What is your Plan B?
  • When are you leaving and when will you return? When will you check-in?
  • What supplies are you taking with you?
  • What is your vehicle’s description and where will it be?

While on the trip…

Your job isn’t finished once you start your trip! While on the trail, you should keep assessing conditions and be flexible to adjust or cancel plans as needed. Remember: there are lots more days for adventuring in the mountains!

Other Trip Planning Resources


A list of recommended guidebooks and websites.

Hike Grading Scale

A summary of how hikes are classified on West Kootenay Hiking.

Access Roads

Where to find information about access road conditions.

When are trails snow-free?

A time-line of when you can hike trails in the spring.