Barnes, Christine. Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies. Seattle: Sasquatch Books, 1999. This book delves into the history of the many famous mountain lodges—such as the Fairmont properties and Emerald Lake Lodge—and lesser known but equally interestingly historic accommodations like Num-Ti-Jah and Skoki. Includes many historic photos.
Engler, Bruno. Bruno Engler Photography. Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books, 2002. Swiss-born Engler spent 60 years exploring and photographing the Canadian Rockies. This impressive hardcover book showcases more than 150 of his most timeless images.
Hart, E. J. (Ted). Ain’t it Hell. Banff: Summerthought Publishing, 2008. “Wild” Bill Peyto was one of the most interesting and colorful characters in the history of the Canadian Rockies. This book tells his story through fictional diary entries.
Hart, E. J. (Ted). Jimmy Simpson: Legend of the Rockies. Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books, 2009. Details the life of one of the most colorful of the pioneer outfitters in the Canadian Rockies.
Jenness, Diamond. The Indians of Canada. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1977. Originally published in 1932, this is the classic study of natives in Canada, although Jenness’s conclusion, that they were facing certain extinction by “the end of this century,” is obviously outdated.
Lavallee, Omer. Van Horne’s Road. Montreal: Railfare Enterprises, 1974. William Van Horne was instrumental in the construction of Canada’s first transcontinental railway. This is the story of his dream and the boomtowns that sprang up along the route. Lavallee devotes an entire chapter to telling the story of the railway’s push over the Canadian Rockies.
Marty, Sid. Men for the Mountains. New York: Vanguard Press, 1979. Written by a park warden turned author, and reprinted many times since 1979, this book tells the story of those who lived in the Canadian Rockies and the risks and adventures involved.
Marty, Sid. Switchbacks: True Stories from the Canadian Rockies. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1999. This book tells of Marty’s experiences in the mountains and of people he came in contact with in his role as a park warden. Along the way he describes the way his experiences with both nature and fellow humans have shaped his views on conservation today.
McMillan, Alan D. Native Peoples and Cultures of Canada. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre, 1995. A comprehensive look at the archaeology, anthropology, and ethnography of the native peoples of Canada. The last chapters delve into the problems facing these people today.
Robinson, Bart. Banff Springs: The Story of a Hotel. Banff: Summerthought Publishing, 2007. This detailed history of one of the world’s best-known hotels includes up-to-date changes, rare black-and-white photographs, and interviews with longtime employees.
Schaffer, Mary T. S. A Hunter of Peace. Banff: Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies, 2001. This book was first published in 1911 by G. P. Putnam & Sons, New York, under the name Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies. Tales recount the exploration of the Rockies during the turn of the 20th century. Many of the author’s photographs appear throughout.
Scott, Chic. Pushing the Limits. Calgary: Rocky Mountain Books, 2000. A chronological history of mountaineering in Canada, with special emphasis on many largely unknown climbers and their feats, as well as the story of Swiss guides in Canada and a short section on ice climbing.
Twigger, Robert. Voyageur: Across the Rocky Mountains in a Birchbark Canoe. London: Weidenfeld, 2006. This is the rollicking tale of author Twigger’s adventures building a canoe and crossing the Canadian Rockies on a diet of porridge, fish, and whiskey—exactly as Alexander Mackenzie had 200 years previously.
Whyte, Jon. Indians in the Rockies. Banff: Altitude Publishing, 1985. Written from firsthand experiences, this is an excellent insight into the first humans to live in the Canadian Rockies. Now out of print; look for it at local secondhand book stores.
© Andrew Hempstead, from Moon Western Canada, 3rd Edition