Jasper National Park
My first day in Jasper National Park was a beautiful one. The clouds of the day prior disappeared and blue skies were in abundance. Also in abundance were bears, which I saw 3 of without trying. The glacial lakes stole the show at Jasper National Park though- the clear blue-green water on a fairly warm day brought out the sunbathers on Lake Annette my favorite hike of the day.
Lake Annette is about 6 miles outside Jasper town, the only town within the National Park zone and conveniently where I was spending the night. A quick 1 1/2 mile walk will take you around the whole lake with the Canadian Rockies in the background. There is a bit of beach here and school kids, campers, and other travelers were taking advantage of the 77 degree day. The water was cool but nice on my tired feet- this was also my last hike of the day (not on purpose- more of that story to come!)
But let’s start with hike #1- Maligne Canyon. The hike itself was a roundtrip on 2 adjacent trails, one next to the rushing waters of the Maligne River.
There was quite a few people on the trail so I only blared music from my iPhone a few times to let the bears know I was coming through. Luckily I never saw a bear here but I did see a pretty slot canyon.
The 3 mile roundtrip hike is straight down for the first half and straight up for the 2nd half making for a challenging walk back to the car. You can take the same trail along the river or go higher up through the wildflower fields.
I chose the higher path on the way back and had a good time taking photos. I brought my big camera, a Cannon 6D, with me and forgot how much better the pictures are with it compared to my iPhone and point and shoot camera.
Jasper National Park has some pretty amazing glacial lakes like the previously mentioned Lake Annette. Medicine Lake is gorgeous as well and disappears every fall as it is formed every year by the melting snow.
In all, I meant to take 5 hikes yesterday. I only make it through 3 because of bears. The pretty (and touristy) Maligne Lake was the spot of a family-friendly easy hike where I planned to walk it and then grab lunch at the Maligne Lodge.
Lunch came early because not even 300 meters into the trail a bear decided he wanted to eat right on the edge of the trail.
The black bear stayed right there for about 15 minutes so I gave up and went and got lunch. I felt sorry for the people trapped on the trail trying to come back but couldn’t. Oh well, an early lunch for me.
After lunch, a very marginal sandwich at the lodge, I hopped in the car and drove to Lake Annette. Eventually I needed to check into my hotel and do some Instagramming. I had a 4pm entry ticket to Mt Edith Cavell and home to my last 2 hikes of the day. Path of the Glacier is a fairly quick 1 mile hike straight uphill where you can see the disappearing glaciers of Jasper National Park.
At the end of the hike is Ghost Glacier which broke apart in August of 2012 and flooded the area.
My other hike was supposed to be Cavell Meadows Trail- a 3.5 mile loop that takes you to see a close-up view of glaciers in the area. Rangers were just posting this sign as I got to the trail:
As I don’t want to tussle with aggressive grizzlies, I heeded the sign and walked back to my car very happy I did not show up 5 minutes earlier and missed the sign.