Mountains/Glaciers/Rivers., Jasper National Park
The afternoon of our last day in Jasper, we decided to check out a couple of the local sites. The first was the winding road up to Mount Edith Cavell. When we started, I simply thought we were going to get to the top of a mountain and have a lookout or something to see. The parking lot here was under some construction, so there were a number of people parking along the side of the road. Before you do this, make sure there is no spots in the lot itself - I ended up walking back and moving the car to the lot. There are a couple of hikes that are fairly rewarding. We ended up taking the paved trail up to the lookout over the pond. From here, you can see the pond, glacier and mountain, albeit from a bit of a distance. It's about a half mile hike (uphill getting there - it's a lot easier coming back.) It's extremely peaceful up here, though I imagine if crowded, that might not be the case...
One of the premier sites on the Icefield Parwkway. As the Icefield Center comes into view, as you are heading north, turn left instead to the parking lot leading to this fascinating trail. Along the road (and later on the trail) there will be signs marking where the glacier used to extend to - it is amazing how fast is has shrunk over the last few decades. From the trailhead, there's a short (little over half mile), but fairly steep climb up the hill, where you can get within a few hundred yards of the glacier. Between you and the glacier is a newly formed raging river, but based on the horror stories you can read along the trip of those who fell through crevasses, you wouldn't want to hike on the glacier itself anyway (if you do - there are guided tour buses that you can reserve a seat on at the center.) The start of the hike was chilly, but by the end we were fairly warmed up. DON'T FORGET SUNSCREEN - we blew it on this one because of the cool temps, but got a bit burned. Also, be aware that the hike back can get a little slippery on the loose rock, so take your time. A great hike!
The Path of the Glacier Loop in Jasper National Park is an easy 1.6km/1mi walk that takes you along the Cavell pond with pieces of ice in it fallen from the glaciers. From here you have views of the several glaciers and Mount Edith Cavell. Take about 1 to 2 hours to complete this walk. That said, the trail is tucked under the north face of Mount Edith Cavell and can be quite a cool place even on a mid-summers day so a light jacket is a good thing to bring along. It can be windy here as well. You will walk along a trail in the middle of the rubble from rock slides, so stay on the trail as some of the fragile plants are growing between the rocks because there is a creek running through there giving plant life a chance.
Make sure you stay on the designated trails in this area and away from the cliffs where there is danger from falling boulders and avalanches of snow and ice. Do not approach the Angel Glacier. House-size blocks of ice crash down.
Last year in the summer of 2012 the Ghost Glacier came crashing down into Cavell Pond and the area was closed off for several months, the parking lot and road was partially washed away by debris and mudslides from that. So, I am not sure if the trail is still exactly the same as I haven't been there since the Ghost Glacier came down. But it's all open to the public again and this place can be enjoyed again, just be careful and obey the signs!
To hear the wind whispering through the trees which cover the great slopes is a joy to behold - then to hear it gradually building to a crescendo as you hear & feel the mighty winds - find the fleece & sit back & enjoy this wonderous experience.
this place is really nice u get to see a really cool glacier on the mountain side , a small pool full of little bergi bites and alot of snow and mountains around you.
u have to walk from the parking - not a really long walk but not the shortest ull walk ....about 30 minutes walk - ull see angel glacier to ur right but keep going and then ull see the pool - get closer to it - go down with the trail till u r there
Needless to say anything. Just look at the picture. And imagine Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier just above it.
As you can see the basin is filled with ice floes. Look at the glacier in the back. You can see streaks of brown dirt/debris in the blue ice, caused by the growth of new ice layers on top of older ones which had dirt/debris on top of them.
You might not see it due to the perspective, but there are at least some 50 metres of lake between the ice floes and the edge of the glacier.
Well, the picture says it all. Angel Glacier is named after its form. Shaped like an angel with spreaded wings, this is one of the most spectacular glaciers I've seen.
When you stand here you can (in the summer) often hear (if you are lucky see) parts of the glacier breaking off. Only when combining this roaring sound with seeing relatively small parts break off, makes you realize how big this thing really is.
In the pic you see the glacier with the peak of Mount Edith Cavell to its left. As a reference: Edith Cavell Basin is located just outside the lower left corner of this photo.
Without a doubt Mount Edith Cavell (3363 m.) was the highlight of our trip to Jasper. The north face of this impressive peak towers over the town of Jasper and is definitely a must-see. Between Jasper townsite and the Athabasca Falls further south, the main road (hwy 93) is parallelled by the old road (hwy 93A). Somewhere halfway this hwy 93A, the Edith Cavell road leads towards the Mount Edith Cavell parking lot. Be prepared that the quality of this 15 km. tarmac road is extremely poor. So be careful and take your time. (I guess it can be done with a camper as well, but to be safe, ask at a visitors centre.)
Once you've arrived, you can either choose to do a nice alpine meadows walk. Or take the main hiking trail to the base of Mount Edith Cavell. It is a short hike (1/2 hour max.), but what a scenery! Towering in front of you is the impressive north face of Mount Edith Cavell. To the right "hangs" the spectacular Angel Glacier and at your feet lies Edith Cavell Basin, filled with ice floes and yet another small glacier.
Don't mix up this Edith Cavell Basin with Cavell Lake, which is located close by but lies closer to the main road in the valley.
Mt. Edith Cavell (3,363 m) is the highest mountain in the vincinty of Jasper townsite. Here has one of the most popular hikes in the park. It is so popular that you should get there early, or you might have trouble finding a parking spot. From the parking lot, there are two trails to choose from. The Cavell Meadow trail is longer and steep, but you will be rewarded with alpine meadows, along with a spectacular view of the the mountain and the Angel Glacier hanging on its north face. The Path of the Glacier trail is shorter and takes you to the Cavell Pond, right below the Angel Glacier.
try to be there before 11AM. It get pretty crowded later. (not enough parking ) It is definitely worth the driving (a lot of switchback on a narrow road). The hike to the pond is a little steep but it is a loop . you can take the right side of the loop to the pond and come back the same way.
The view at old fort point near Jasper town is very beautiful.You can see The river winding through the valley and how the Jasper rafting tour group floating back . If you climb high enough, you can see the Jasper town below you.Just climb up the wooden stairs near the parking lot in old fort point, you wo'nt regret at all !
The glacier is located between Lake Louise and Jasper. The icefield is about 300 m. thick. Its melt waters flow into the Mackenzie, North Saskatchewan and Columbia Rivers.
You can also take a trip onto the Athabaska Glacier in Brewster Tour's show coaches, which have been modified to drive on ice. ($30)
Jasper National Park is one of the most beautiful places in the world. It doesn't get as much publicity as it's next door neighbor (Banff National Park) because it's more remote, but don't let that stop you from visiting.
Less crowds, less expensive and much more to see are just some of the things that Jasper National Park has to offer...plus, it's a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as the glacial jewel of the Rockies.
The lake at the base of Mt. Cavell is comprised of fresh glacier melt. It looks tiny when compared to the massive north face of Mt. Cavell which rises 4900 feet straight up, but in realty it is a good sized lake. The floating iceburg that looks like a knight off a marble chess set is a good 20 feet tall. Meanwhile the glacier cliffs on the far side of the lake are about 100 feet in height--the size of a ten story building.
Mt. Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier were definitely the highlight of our visit to Jasper. I find it startling that the official park lierature and even VT itself are almost silent on this beautiful place. If I had to pick one "must see" in Jasper, Angel Glacier on Edith Cavell would be it. The ride up the mountain is long, bumpy and tedious with about 120 switchbacks, but the payoff at the end of the road is more than worth the trouble. Of course, if the mountain is socked in by clouds, I would not make the effort.