backpacking trails in Jasper National Park
backpacking trails in Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies and host to unbelievable landscapes replete with towering peaks, turquoise lakes, ancient glaciers, and diverse wildlife. Much of Jasper National Park is accessible to anyone who wants to venture out along the Icefields Parkway and take a day hike, however the unbelievable views and escape into nature are saved for those with a pack and a desire to sleep under the stars.
Backpacking in Jasper National Park is an amazing experience. There are over 1200.0km of trails with varying degrees of accessibility. There are exceptionally beautiful routes with well-maintained campsites and trails that can make for a fairly easy and safe trip. Backpackers can also find respite from the crowds and truly get into the wild along some less frequented routes and possibly unmaintained trails that require a little more work. Whatever type of backpacking experience you are seeking, you will not be disappointed backpacking in Jasper National Park.
- Skyline Trail (40.9km, 1500m, 3-4 days): Being Jasper's highest backpacking trail, The Skyline is a great way to experience the best the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park have to offer. Over 20.0kms of this trail are above treeline, and the majestic views continue into what seems like unreachable distances. For those new to the sterile beauty of the crumbling Rocky Mountains, three days spent on this trail will serve as an excellent introduction to backpacking in the Canadian Rockies, and definitely leave you wanting more!
- Maligne Pass and Replica Peak (38.7km, 1758m, 2-3 days): Maligne Pass is a wonderful alpine pass in a rarely-visited area of Jasper National Park. Here you will find one of the largest alpine passes in the Rockies, dotted with tarns and wildflowers and surrounded by some of the largest peaks in the Rockies.
- Tonquin Valley (42.2km, 966m, 3-5 days): The Tonquin Valley is a wide, 5.0km long pass with over 50.0km of hiking trails winding their way through this backcountry paradise. The prize of the trip is hiking below the Ramparts, a series of 10 castellated peaks atop a 1000m wall of limestone. Catch stunning reflections of this massive in the interconnected Amethyst Lakes. It is also one of the few remaining areas where it is still common to see the shy and elusive mountain caribou, an endangered species. The backpacking trip can be completed in three days, but many prefer to stay longer, allowing time for day trips to the Eremite Valley and Moat Lake.
- Berg Lake Trail at Mount Robson (56.6km, 910m, 3-5 days): Mount Robson is the highest mountain in the Canadian Rockies. The Berg Lake Trail is technically outside Jasper, but so close we added it here. The Berg Lake Trail is renowned as one of Canada’s best, and for good reason, it’s stunning. You’ll pass through lush valleys, impressive waterfalls, and rocky slopes to reach the aptly-named Berg Lake. The views of the Berg Glacier toeing off into the lake are unforgettable, and the day hikes from here will take you to icefields, caves, and stunning viewpoints.
- Cairn Pass (62.3km, 1984m, 3-5 days): Cairn Pass is one of the most isolated passes in the Canadian Rockies; you’re more likely to encounter bears than people on this route. Alpine meadows, the Medicine Tent River, and alpine lakes make up the variable scenery along this remote trip.
- Cataract and Cline Pass (37.2km, 1315m, 2-3 days): The trip to Cataract and Cline Pass covers vast meadows, uniquely-coloured rock, glacial streams, and high glaciers of Cataract Pass, making this a truly unique backpacking destination in Jasper National Park.
The best backpacking trails in Jasper National Park
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