Favorite thing: The scale will fool you. Even in person the landscape did not seem to be so vast. It appeared as if you could almost reach out and touch the mountainside of Edith Cavell or Angel Glacier. For this shot, I handed Becky the camera and said that I'd just hop on down to that little snowball so that we could get a photo to show the scale. Ten minutes later after picking my way through the tipsy boulders I stood next to my snowball, which was in fact more massive, by far, than zrim.
Favorite thing: Jasper is the largest of the Canadian Rocky National Parks and covers an area of 4320 square miles. There are over 620 miles of hiking trails. Highway 16 bisects the park from east to west and highway 93 connects Jasper to Banff. Be aware that you need to have a park pass to drive along Highway 93.
Because of the root systems of the pine trees in this region, paths are pretty much everywhere. this also means that it can be difficult to determine what is a path, and what isn't .... attention is needed to help keep you from getting lost while wandering about.... especialy since the trails are not well marked :) You can also see how easy it would be to trip of you are tired ..........
also note just how pretty this sort of forest walking can be - like natures veins over the soil - bringing life ......
Athabasca Falls and the Abandoned canyon. I can never get enough of waterfalls, and this place was special. I particularly liked the abandoned canyon with the gauged out potholes in the rock. Canyons are great places to go when the weather is not sunny as the lack of sunshine doesn't ruin your photo opportunity.
Fondest memory: The Maligne Canyon. It has several bridges. We went in the reverse order of the trail the second trip here. It was much more interesting this direction and the scenery more rewarding as it is at the beginning of your trail as opposed to at the end when you have run out of steam and probably never made it to the last part of the trail had you gone the proper way from the first entrance.
One of Jasper's best day hikes, the Opal Hills Circuit (8.2km round trip, 460m vertical ascent), starts from the picnic area to the left of the uppermost Maligne Lake car park, 48km east of Jasper. After a blood-pumping haul up the first steep slopes, the trail negotiates alpine meadows and offers sweeping views of the lake before reaching an elevation of 2160m; the trip takes about four hours, but you could easily spend all day loafing around the meadows.
Fondest memory: The Bald Hills Trail (5.2km one way, 480m vertical) starts with a monotonous plod along a fire road from the same car park, but ends with what Mary Schaffer, one of the area's first white explorers, described as "the finest view any of us had ever beheld in the Rockies;" allow four hours for the round trip, which goes as high as 2170m.
Best of the bunch, the Old Fort Point Loop (6.5km round trip), is highly recommended. Despite being just thirty minutes out of town, it's remarkably scenic, with 360° views and lots of quiet corners. To reach the trailhead (1.6km from town) use the Old Fort Exit, following Hwy-93A across the railway and Hwy-16 until you come to the Old Fort Point-Lac Beauvert turn-off: then turn left and follow the road to the parking lot beyond the bridge.
Fondest memory: The Valley of the Five Lakes Trail (4.6km) is also good, but the path starts 10km south of town off the Icefields Parkway. For full details of all park walks ask at the information center for the free Day Hiker's Guide to Jasper.