Heading towards Jasper, Alberta, we are always awestruck by the imposing grandeur of Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the B.C. Rockies.
The last time Michaela was in Jasper was 1988, where we hiked with an almost 3-yr old toddler and a six-month old in a snugli. The biggest hike was Mt. Edith Cavell and that was the hike we wanted to repeat. Alas, the access road is closed this year for re-development.
So, we found some other hikes.
First hike was the Old Fort Point loop that doubled in length (to 9.5 km) as we had to connect to the trailhead from Jasper Park Lodge (normal access road closed). It did allow us a lovely walk along Lake Beauvert, and the uphill hike through forest rewarded us with spectacular 360 degree views. We had an encounter with a couple Bighorn Sheep: the general rule is to stay 30 m away but in this case, we were walking down a narrow ridge path and the sheep were laying right on the side of the path. Stuart cautiously moved past them when they decided to move. So the male and Michaela had a bit of a staring contest trying to decide who would go first. We just stood still until they crossed over and scampered down the other side of the ridge. (The picture was taken from about 10 m away.)
On the way to East Jasper Park, we stopped briefly at Jasper House (a historic supply centre, now a monument), so Stuart could put his hands into the cold Athabasca River.
Second hike was the Sulphur Skyline hike at Miette Hot Springs (9.3km). This is rated a difficult hike in that it is steeply uphill to a summit, above the tree line, with the last 500m involving cool, gusty winds. Once again, views on the way up and all around the Sulphur valley from the top. Most of the way down, a particular butterfly kept flying just beside Michaela’s head, then would dart past and light upon a rock a few metres ahead, only to repeat the pattern when Michaela caught up. We like to think that perhaps her Mom was saying hello…
At the end of the hike, we enjoyed a fabulous soak in Miette Hot Springs (40C).
We ended the day in Beaverlodge, just beyond Grande Prairie, with the sunset at 10:15pm. The road between Hinton and Grande Prairie was adventurous in that it was in bad shape in many sections and no rest stops or pull-outs. Tomorrow, we will begin the Alaska Highway at Dawson Creek, B.C.