Thursday, 6 July 2017

3 Days in Jasper: The Start

My daughter is spending the summer in Jasper working at the Pyramid Lake Resort, so we had to go see her and had to go hiking up there, too, since Jasper is just a 4 hr drive north of us -- up one of the most beautiful drives in Canada.

It was a perfect day for it; blue sky (until we hit Jasper) and fabulous temps. Often, the drive is very busy with tourists, but on the holiday Monday, it was surprisingly good. Here are some drive highlights:
Not sure which mountain, but it was pretty. 
Parker Ridge. We were last up hiking up there in August 2015 
The Athabasca Glacier 
Busses on the glacier. I did my ice bucket challenge here in 2014
The glacier next door to the Athabasca
On our way up, we passed a small bear jam about 20 km from Jasper townsite with people out of their cars trying to get photos of the black bear in the ditch. We yelled at them to get back in their cars as we drove by. Some did. Most ignored us.

We went straight to the Jasper Park Information Centre in town to try and get a permit to go to Edith Cavell on Wednesday; despite what the website says, you can only pick up your permit 24 hrs in advance, and only between 8 & 10 AM. We wanted to hike the meadows; no go, because it's been closed since June 22nd for a grizzly (information not available on the website). We decided to skip it.

After the useless trip to the Info centre, we went to the Valley of the Five Lakes for a short walk and picnic.
Rain clouds move in as we start 
Lunch stop, Lake 3

More Lake 3 views 
Impossibly coloured water 
There are Red Chairs here... 
Lake 1
A creek around the lakes. Ominous clouds in the background
Our walk was not uneventful:

  • It only rained on us a bit.
  • We were nearly run over by a mountain biker at the start of our walk; he had no interest in putting his off-leash dog on leash. We saw him a second time at Lake 1, and wouldn't put his dog on a leash then either, even when asked to by a gentleman who's wife was terrified of dogs. We did get someone else to put their dog on a leash, though.
  • While I was sitting having lunch taking pictures, an 8 year old walked up and stood 1' in front of where I was sitting (and pointing my camera)
  • We helped people who were "lost" (or at least confused) about the trail system and couldn't figure out the maps.

After that short, 90 min, 5.3 km walk (plus a 25 min lunch stop), we headed over to Maligne Canyon. We expected there would be throngs of people, and we were not disappointed. We started at Bridge 5 and walked up to the canyon start, which helped a lot putting the tourists behind us.
Just above Bridge 5. The river's moving. 
Down at the water 
Pretty looking waterfall as we enter the canyon 
Looking downstream 
A spring on a side hill cascades down 
A big spring on a side wall joins the river 
The canyon narrows... 
Now a slot canyon 30 m deep 
Falls under Bridge 3 
A broader view 
The water cascades to Bridge 3 
Bridge 2. The slot canyon is 50 m deep here 
The river's entrance to the canyon 
Pools at the start 
The slot canyon starts 
...and cuts deeper... 
And deeper still
Despite the hoards, it was a pleasant and interesting walk, and obvious why it is popular. By parking at Bridge 5, we didn't have a parking problem, and had a very pleasant 4.8 km walk. We successfully stopped a guy who was tearing tree branches off to throw them off Bridge 2. I was trod on and pushed out of the way while taking pictures twice. But how would you help this guy, an accident waiting to happen?
Be careful near the edge...
Alas, it was time to go see my daughter, who lives here:
The view from our room
She had to work until 11 PM on the Front Desk, so we headed into town and had dinner at Evil Dave's Grill. But we brought her back a doggie bag...

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