Cavell Meadows is a stunning trail in Jasper National Park, and one of the easiest ways to hike in an alpine meadow. Get great views of the Angel Glacier and enjoy options to summit a nearby peak.
From Jasper, take route 93 south for approximately 12.0km. Turn right onto Mount Edith Cavell Rd. This road is extremely narrow and taking a campervan up the road is prohibited. Additionally, any trailer or fifth wheels must be removed and left in a lot at the bottom. Continue along the road as it winds uphill for almost 15.0km, until you reach the parking at the very end of the way.
|When to do|
June through October
Out and back
If you parked along the road before the parking lot, continue up the road to the parking lot, where you follow the partially paved path from the trailhead towards the Angel Glacier lookout. This trail climbs very gently for just over half a kilometer. Take the turnoff to the left that leads toward the Cavell Meadows. Here the trail switchbacks up over the moraine. Along these switchbacks make sure to stop and look up at the glacier and back down the valley for wonderful views of the red-tinted Franchere and Aquila Mountains.
Over the moraine you will continue climbing and enter a forest. There is an extremely high chance that you will meet several marmots, squirrels and mice – very cute to say the least. At certain times of the year you may also be swarmed with an outrageous number of mosquitoes, as well – not very cute. It is imperative that you bring bug spray.
As you continue climbing, you’ll soon pop out into a steep mountain meadow. Then, continue across a junction with directions towards Viewpoints #2 and #3. It is best to do the circuit clockwise, as it grants the best wildflower experience and views of the glacier.
Going left you will almost certainly see the gorgeous wildflowers that the Rocky Mountains are famous for. As you climb, you’ll soon reach a junction. Here, it’s possible to continue the very steep path up to the Viewpoint #3. However this path is very steep and for most people they chose to take the shortcut and hike towards the Viewpoint #2. After several well signposted junctions you come out 100m to the right of the lookout. Turn left, go down, and then back up to a gully to get to the viewpoint (marked by a yellow “U-turn” sign).
From the viewpoint you will find the absolute best outlooks down to the Angel Glacier and its moraine-formed lake. You can also look up at the peaks that surround Mt. Edith Cavell, creating a semicircle around the uppermost part of the glacier. Continue down the path and hang a left at all the junctions. You will reunite with the path you came up, switchback down through the forest and the moraine, and then find yourself on the same concrete path you came up on. Turn right and head down to the parking lot.
The drive to this hike is incredible, and many people stop to take pictures. We recommend not stopping to take pictures as the road is very narrow.
The Edith Cavell Hostel is a great base to explore this area. You can hike this Cavell Meadows hike one day and then head to Verdant Pass another day.
There is a wonderful backpacking trip up the Tonquin Valley from the nearby Verdant Pass trailhead. While you can camp, a stay at the Tonquin Backcountry Lodge, the ACC’s Wates-Gibson Hut or Tonquin Valley Adventure Lodge is a must-do if you love the backcountry.
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