Jasper, Alberta, Canada

In August 2019, I travelled to Jasper via train. The journey itself took over three days from Toronto’s Union Station. I left on Wednesday morning, and arrived Saturday afternoon, well rested and mulling over the question “How many trees are there in Canada?”, having spent most of my hours staring out into the fir-tree abyss. In all this time to ponder, my anticipation had built and I couldn’t wait to reach the mountains.

When the train finally rolled into Jasper station, just nine hours behind schedule, I picked up my rental car and headed straight towards Highway 93 to make it to the Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead before dusk. Nothing prepared me for how beautiful Jasper National Park is. This particular trail I had chosen boasted panoramic views of mountains and gorgeous lakes. Lakes turquoise green with reflections of the bright blue sky and emerald trees.

Valley of the Five Lakes Trail

An absolute gem of a trail to start with, I was beaming with excitement knowing I’d get to spend the next ten days exploring Alberta and it’s endless mountains.

That night, I stayed at a wilderness hostel, aptly named Beauty Creek. The basic wooden structure sat aside the Sunwapta River. It offered complete serenity by being deep into the park with zero electricity and an abundance of stars.

Beauty Creek Wilderness Hostel

After a night around a camp fire, staring up at the stars and shooting the breeze with the deadpan hostel manager Quinn, I woke early to beat the crowds to my next trailhead.

I’d heard Wilcox Pass offers an excellent effort reward ratio. I’d been warned that, for the same reason, it was very popular and likely to be out of parking by 9am. I arrived shortly after 8am to a near-empty lot on a cloudless morning. The trail starts with an uphill climb through thick trees before opening out into meadows studded with wild flowers and a backdrop of the Athabasca Glacier.

What a reward it turned out to be.

Athabasca Glacier and Wilcox Pass

Somehow I managed to peel myself away from the stunning scenery whilst kicking myself for not making the trip to Alberta sooner. I continued my journey along the Icefields Parkway, meandering through the mountains to cross the boundary of Jasper into Banff National Park. All the while knowing that my past twelve hours would be entirely unforgettable.

Jasper was a beauty and I couldn’t wait to return again and again.

2 thoughts on “Jasper, Alberta, Canada

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s