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September 1, 2013 / mws

2013 Jasper National Park

September 5  Thursday    Jasper!  ♥  This town is an authentic mountain getaway!

IMG_0140In the rustic towncenter of Jasper you can step back in time at the Jasper National Park Information Centre, the train station, post office,  fire hall, Jackman House, and Robson House.  One of my favorites is the former Otto’s Hall built in 1915.  Here the  Otto brothers hosted a barber shop and  a billiards room downstairs, while the upstairs held a dance floor. In times of trouble, the brothers would open Otto’s Hall for neighbors to gather and reach out to those in need.  Today, Otto’s Hall has become the Parkway Gift Shop where I purchased my souvenir Jasper Christmas ornament.

There is various private lodging available in Jasper and we chose to stay at the Cottonwood Suite in one of the residential homes.  It was a great choice for us since it had all the comforts of home and it was a short walk to the downtown area.

Jasper National Park, established in 1907, is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies with 4200 square miles of mountain wilderness. Jasper is also the wildest of the mountain parks, and contains backcountry trails as well as the world famous Columbia Icefields.  It is internationally-renowned for wildlife viewing and is home to healthy populations of grizzly bears, moose, caribou and wolves.

Punchbowl Falls

Punchbowl Falls

As we entered Jasper Park coming from Edmonton, we decided to drive out to Miette Hot Springs.  Along this road in the Fiddle Valley is Punchbowl Falls.  There is also good wildlife viewing along this road…we saw mountain sheep.  The falls are not visible from the road  so we had to find our own path and get the best shot possible.  It was not easy to get the photo and I would definitely NOT recommend this rickety trail for anyone with children.  I read later that the trail is actually closed but there were no signs to indicate the closure.

Since it was still fairly early in the day we decided to see Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake. Maligne Canyon is one of the most spectacular gorges in the Canadian Rockies. Limestone walls plunge to depths of over 165 ft.  There is an interpretive trail from the picnic area across four bridges where you can catch the spray from the thundering Maligne River.

Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies.  Located in the majestic Maligne Valley, this impressive lake stretches 14 miles. A boat cruise will take you past glacier-studded mountains peaks to world-famous Spirit Island. Located 30 miles from the Jasper townsite, Maligne Lake is the oldest attraction in Jasper National Park.

September 6 Friday

Angel Glacier

Angel Glacier

Mount Edith Cavell is clearly one of the dominant peaks from the northern end of the Icefield Parkway, being visible for some distance from the southeast and to Jasper and beyond on Highway 16. From Jasper, the mountain has a distinctive profile and the steep cliffs of its north face are always highlighted by snow. There is a narrow winding road that leads up the mountain.  At the top is parking and trails.  A short scenic walk on the Path of the Glacier trail takes you to an amazing view of Angel Glacier.

September 7  Saturday 

IMG_0130We started with a visit to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Loaded with amenities and activities, this is the premiere place to stay for those with good resources.  The grounds are superb and we enjoyed a stroll through the outdoor areas and checked out the shopping areas.  🙂

IMG_0168 The highlight was watching a group of elk on the far shore of the lake.  There were about 8 females and one male.  They were fun to watch, especially when they swam across the lake.

In the afternoon we visited nearby Annette Lake.  There were dogs playing in the lake, lots of picnickers and gorgeous scenery.  We also drove west on Hwy 16 to Yellowhead Lake, another scenic spot!

September 8  Sunday

Pyramid Lake

Pyramid Lake

Curved in a C-shape, Pyramid Lake sits near the base of Pyramid Mountain in the Canadian Rockies.  Pyramid Creek flows from the lake and discharges in the Athabasca River.  There is a small island connected to the land by a bridge and a resort sits on the edge of the lake. In the surrounding area, you may come across deer, beaver, bears and moose.

Patricia Lake is an activity, recreation and historic destination near the community of Jasper.  The lake is a natural attraction set in an aspen forest under the slopes of Pyramid Mountain and is adjacent to Pyramid Lake.

IMG_0307We returned to our favorite Maligne Lake area to see if we could spot wildlife.  Lucky for us, there were two moose back in the woods.  We watched for awhile and sure enough, one of the moose mosied out to greet us.   As we headed back to town we spotted an elk resting in the woods.

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For more photos of our trip to Jasper Park, click here

I like this place and could willingly waste my time in it.  ♥
William Shakespeare 

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