Monthly Archives: July 2015

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 […]

Jasper Park trails reopen

Some of Jasper Park’s most popular trails reopened this week as the danger from wildfire and rogue bears subsided. Rain and cooler weather dampened the Excelsior Creek Fire in the Maligne Valley, and allowed Parks Canada to lift travel restrictions  for the Skyline Trail and the Maligne Lake Road on Wednesday, July 22. All trails in the Maligne Valley are open with the exception of the Watchtower, where 40 fire fighters and three […]

Grizzly closure at Chester Lake

A grizzly bear moved into the Chester Lake cirque in Peter Lougheed Provincial Park on Sunday (July 19), resulting in the indefinite closure of that trail. It was a prime example of what happens when too many people wander into a grizzly’s dining room, and we were there to witness it. I have a few hard and fast rules when it comes to hiking, and one of them is: “Never […]

Jonas-Brazeau Loop closure

The Jonas Pass-Brazeau Lake Loop, one of Jasper Park’s most popular backcountry trips, has been closed for a month by an aggressive grizzly bear. It is a closure that extends from Nigel Pass on the park’s southwest boundary with Banff Park and around the park’s entire South Boundary to Rocky Pass. The closure was initiated on June 17th after a grizzly in Jasper’s South Boundary country became habituated to human food […]

Wildfire closes Jasper’s Skyline

A wildfire in Jasper Park’s Maligne Valley has resulted in the closure of the Skyline Trail and the evacuation of several hiking parties from that popular backpacking route, several by helicopter. A number of other trails that originate from the Maligne Lake Road have also been closed. The Excelsior Creek Fire, which was about 250 hectares when it was discovered just north of Medicine Lake on Thursday afternoon (July 9), […]

Bragg Creek map updated

Among  five revised Gem Trek maps released last month is a new, much-expanded 1:50,000 sheet for Bragg Creek & Sheep Valley—a core area for outdoor recreation in Kananaskis Country. Gem Trek has long provided the best recreational maps for Kananaskis Country, and this new edition is filled with information and details that hikers, bikers and horseback riders will find invaluable. And like its other 1:50,000 scale maps, this edition is printed on waterproof material, […]