Category Archives: Jasper National Park

High country snow lingers on park trails

An above average snowpack in the Mountain Parks will likely plague many high trails until late July this year. Trails above 2200m (7,200ft) on north and east facing slopes will be particularly vulnerable to lingering snow banks. While snowpack tracked close to normal through the first half of the winter, there was a big surge in accumulations at all recording stations in March and near-record peaks by the beginning of May. Warm weather […]

Travel restrictions on Jasper’s Cavell Road

Motorists who want to drive the Cavell access road to the base of Jasper’s Mount Edith Cavell this summer will require a special permit, and only 180 are being issued for each day. The restrictions are due to ongoing construction at the road’s southern terminus and the Mount Edith Cavell parking area, which will continue throughout the summer. The access road opened to the public on Monday, June 19,  and will remain so until September […]

New eBook guides to National Park trails

A new series of trail guides in eBook format has been published by Summerthought. Designed for Kindle readers, tablets and iPhones, and utilizing the free Kindle app, the series works as an affordable alternative or supplement to the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide. Each guide includes trail summaries, descriptions, and km-by-km distance outlines from the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide plus two features lacking in the print edition—a colour photo and  map for each […]

Jasper’s backcountry trail crisis

      Washed out bridges that aren’t replaced. Deteriorating backcountry campsites with grotty outhouses. Landslides and fires wiping out sections of trails, some permanently. Tracks over alpine passes awash and churned into muddy soup. Numerous trails decommissioned (read abandoned). Is this the current state of affairs in Jasper National Park, a place we always called the backpacking capital of North America? Since the town of Jasper boasts a very […]

New Gem Trek maps

Gem Trek has just released a batch of revised titles. And as usual, these colourful recreational maps provide the latest and best information for several popular hiking areas in the Mountain Parks. Kootenay National Park-5th edition. This 1:100,000 scale map is printed on waterproof material and, like most other maps in the series, provides both contour lines and attractive colour relief shading. This map is particularly useful since it not only covers Kootenay National […]

Reserving Jasper’s backcountry

Backpackers planning trips for Jasper National Park’s backcountry this summer can go online as of today (January 28) to reserve campsites. The new website provides a quick way of insuring the campsites you need for overnight excursions. The new website,,  is the first of its kind in the mountain parks. So I would be ready for efficient booking for this summer, I went online last night at and […]

Jasper’s South Boundary Trail revisited

We originally hiked and measured Jasper Park’s South Boundary Trail many years ago, but a lot has changed since then. Wildfires, floods, rampaging grizzly bears (well, we did have a rampaging grizzly bear). The only way we can keep the Canadian Rockies Trail Guide up-to-date for long, remote backpacks, like the South Boundary, is through updates from our readers. Jim Shipley is one of those contributors. Every summer, Jim and […]

First snow, first frost

It started looking like the end of summer on Friday, August 21st as snow blanketed much of the high country above 2200 m. Heavy precipitation and falling temperatures brought several cms of fresh snow to the high country throughout the Mountain Parks. Meanwhile, temperatures fell to -2 degrees in Jasper, Kicking Horse Pass and Bow Valley Provincial Park in the early-morning hours on Saturday. When we were working together in […]

2015 Perseids meteor shower

The 2015 Perseid meteor shower promises to arrive in the night skies over the Mountain Parks in spectacular fashion this week. Often obscured by clouds or the light of the moon, both the moon (new moon August 14) and the weather are cooperating this year. The Perseids are the most active and easily viewed of the year’s meteor showers. Since they occur in the middle of August, it is usually mild enough […]

Best alpine wildflower hikes

It should come as no surprise that the best hikes to alpine wildflowers would be from the Icefields Parkway—Canada’s longest and highest year-round roadway. And this summer is producing one of the earliest blooms ever in the high country. First off, let’s be perfectly clear about alpine wildflowers. These are not the big, showy flowers that hikers find in lush, well-watered subalpine meadows just below the treeline. True alpine flowers only […]