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Ben Gadd

Rockies naturalist, writer, interpretive guide, speaker, instructor and consultant, now retired

2015 photo by Elvis Floreani, Absolute Imaging

Ben Gadd knows the Canadian Rocky Mountains well. He has written or co-authored ten books on the area, plus his memoir about living and working in the Rockies nearly all his life.

Ben's best-selling Handbook of the Canadian Rockies is an award-winning guide to everything from geology, botany and bears to human history, places to visit and appropriate recreational activities. With a degree in Earth science and four decades of teaching and writing about the Rockies, Ben is an acknowledged authority on the region. (Click here for Ben’s résumé, a short bio, his books, and more photos.)

In the early 1980s Ben worked for the Canadian government as a park interpreter in Jasper National Park. In 1985 he and his wife Cia became independent natural-history guides. They may have been the first such licenced private-sector interpreters in the national parks.

Since then Ben has led many bus tours, guided walks and backpacking trips. He has presented hundreds of interpretive talks and been accredited by the Canadian professional Interpretive Guides Association as a master interpreter.

Ben retired from doing this sort of work in 2016. Click here to view the hilarious skit that Laurie Schwartz, a master interpreter with the Interpretive Guides Association, presented during his retirement party in Canmore. (That's Dave Verhulst in the skit, also an IGA master interpreter, improvising on the piano.)

Nowadays Ben spends his time roaming the mountains he loves and enjoying his family and friends. He still posts interesting material that you can download at no charge. To get updates on his books, the notes for one of his lectures, his equipment lists for hiking, backpacking and back-country skiing in the Rockies, assorted geological material, the full text of one of his popular essays/speeches or to listen to one of the short musical pieces he has composed, please go to the downloads page.


Latest publications

An Orogenous Life, Ben's 655-page memoir and reader, was released in November of 2017.

There's lots of autobiographical information, plus 36 of Ben's favorite readings from his essays, books, magazine articles and stories. For more information and to hear Ben sing the songs discussed in the book, click here.


Ben has produced an annotated photo panorama of the mountain front as you see it en route to Canmore and Banff from Calgary. This is one of the world's great views, and now you can use Ben's free panorama to learn the names of the major peaks. To download Canadian Rockies Panorama from West of Calgary, click here.


Another new item on the site is Ben's volunteer report on possible slide hazard on Grotto Mountain, near Canmore, Alberta. To download it, click here.


Contact info



               202 Grizzly Crescent

             Canmore, Alberta, Canada  T1W 1C1








Bio   Résumé   Photos   Books   Downloads   Contact