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About Ben Gadd

Ben Gadd (1946-) is a retired naturalist, guide, geologist, instructor, freelance writer, and award-winning author based in the Canadian Rockies.


Ben was born in Colorado Springs, Colorado in 1946. He met his wife, Cia (Langdon) Gadd at Colorado College in 1965, and the couple married four weeks later. Ben and Cia had two sons, Will and Toby. Ben and his family relocated to Jasper in the late 1960s. Ben later attended the University of Lethbridge and graduated with a Bachelor's degree in Earth Science in 1972.

Between 1976 and 1980, Ben taught classes at Mount Royal College and the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology; he later taught additional classes at Grant MacEwan College and Lakeland College. From 1981, Ben also worked as a seasonal naturalist/guide for Parks Canada. Ben left Parks Canada in 1985 to start an independent naturalist guiding business with Cia based in Jasper and other parts of the Canadian Rockies, which the couple continued to operate for over two decades.


Ben published his best-known work, Handbook of the Canadian Rockies, through his publishing company Corax Press in 1986. The second edition of "Handbook of the Canadian Rockies" received multiple awards after its release in 1995. Ben's fiction book, "Raven's End" won the title of Best Canadian Rockies Book at the Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival in 2001 and became a Canadian bestseller. Overall, Ben has authored or co-authored 11 books and received nearly one dozen awards for his achievements as a writer, researcher and guide.

Ben continued to lead guided hikes and school programs until his retirement in 2016.

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The Canadian Rockies in One Hour: Extended Edition
Narrated by Ben Gadd

This film was produced on behalf of the Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies as an extended version of Ben Gadd's original slideshow presentation, "The Canadian Rockies in One Hour." Ben donated a total of fifteen slideshows, including "The Canadian Rockies in One Hour," to the Whyte Museum in January 2024 for educational and research purposes.

These materials have been made available for viewing below. 

Commercial rights to "The Canadian Rockies in One Hour" and other donated presentations are retained by the original creator, Ben Gadd. Permission must be obtained from the creator prior to any commercial reproduction or distribution.

The Canadian Rockies in One Hour
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Curated Subjects

Explore snippets from "The Canadian Rockies in One Hour," narrated by Ben Gadd, here:

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Educational Slideshows by Ben Gadd

Click on the images to open the different shows.

The Canadian Rockies in One Hour
Icefield Bunnies and Gullible Bees
The Handbook of the Canadian Rockies
Mountain Biking
About Ben Gadd's Career
Leave No Trace
The Canadian Hiker's & Backpacker's Handbook
Geology Along the Trans-Canada Highway
Crown of the Continent Geography Lesson
What's Underfoot in the Canadian Rockies
Geological Puzzles of the Canadian Rockies
Icefield Skiing
Mount Robson
Canadian Rockies Geology Road Tours
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Further Reading

Read about Ben Gadd's generous donation of materials to the Archives & Special Collections in this Cairn article from Archivist Kate Neilson:

Watch the Fireside Chat with Ben Gadd, interviewed by Chic Scott at the Whyte Museum:

Explore the Ben Gadd fonds online through the Archives digital database:

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