Giorgio Zanetti

.

.

. Hiking
.......................... in the
Magnificent
Canadian Rockies
....

   SUMMER 2003

HOME PAGE

*** INTRODUCTION ***

The following is a description of an 18 days self-organized hiking tour in the Canadian Rockies that my wife Lidia and I undertook in the summer of 2003.

Please, Also Check The Following Trips In the Rockies

TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2002   | | |   TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2006

TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2010   | | |   TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2011

TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2012   | | |   TRIP DESCRIPTION AND PHOTO ALBUMS - 2013

TOWNS WHERE WE STAYED AT
FIELD JASPER CANMORE
**** 2003 PHOTO ALBUM ****

YOHO BANFF ICELINE TRAIL JASPER - ROBSON LAKE O'HARA & MCARTHUR


USEFUL LINKS


*** CHRONOLOGICAL ITINERARY ***

CALGARY ARRIVAL - JULY 15th

  • 6 nights first stop in Field
  • 6 nights in Jasper
  • 4 nights second stop back in Field
  • 1 night in Canmore
CALGARY DEPARTURE - AUGUST 1th

*** DISTANCES ***
  • FIELD - LAKE LOUISE = 27 Km. to the village (58 Km. to the lake)
  • FIELD - JASPER = 260 Km.
  • FIELD - BANFF = 85 Km.
  • BANFF - CALGARY = 128 Km.
  • CANMORE - CALGARY = 102 Km.
* We drove approximately 3,000 Km.
* We hiked for a total of approximately 122 Km.
* Total elevation gained was equal to 4,600 m.
TRAILS WE HIKED

  • NIGEL PASS
  • KINNEY LAKE
  • SENTINEL PASS
  • HAMILTON LAKE
  • STANLEY GLACIER
  • GRASSI LAKES
  • PARKER RIDGE
  • SHERBROOKE LAKE
  • THE ICELINE (via Celeste lake jct)
  • LAKE O'HARA - LAKE MCARTHUR - ODARAY
  • EMERALD LAKE LOOP
  • EDITH CAVELL MEADOWS
  • GERALDINE LAKES (partially)
  • WHISTLERS SUMMIT (Jasper)
  • JULY 15 - 20

    and again SECOND STOP

    AUGUST 5-7

    FIELD (elevation 1,243 m. asl)
    in YOHO NATIONAL PARK

    We stayed at: COYOTE'S DEN GUESTHOUSE; hosted by Elaine; Ph: 250 343-6034

    The B&B is just behind the white church and a good distance from the highway and the train tracks!

    A TRAVEL GUIDE TO FIELD

    FIELD ACCOMMODATION GUIDE

    BURGESS SHALE FOUNDATION

    MAP OF PARK

    FIRST STOP IN FIELD
    JULY 15 - 20

    The village of Field dates from 1884 when the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway reached this point in the rockies. It was named after Cyrus W. Field, promoter of the Trans-Atlantic cable, who visited the area. The present site was surveyed in 1904 after the north side of the village was destroyed by an avalanche off Mt. Burgess.

    Yoho Park was named as such by Deville and it means "wonder, astonishment" in Cree Indian.

    At the time of our stay in Field the weather was superb; hot but with low humidity [one afternoon the temperature reached 32 0C in the shade; humidity kept around 25%]. The trails were most often dusty.

    . TRAILS WE HIKED

    NAME: HAMILTON LAKE
    TIME: 3 hrs. up - 2 hrs. and 40 mn. down LENGTH: 5.5 Km. to lake
    ELEVATION GAIN: 855 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,149 m.

    NOTES: On the morning after we arrived in Field, and after a very early rise in order to be first in line at the Parks Canada Information Centre and get 2 day passes for Lake O'HARA (for the next day), we bravely tackled the hike to Hamilton lake.
    We started from the trailhead at quarter to 8 in the morning. The weather was beautiful, by the time we arrived back at the parking lot the temperature had reached 24 0C.
    This trail is indeed rather steep, but definitely well worth the effort. It seems that this is not a popular trail; we encountered only one other hiker.

    Hamilton lake setting is very picturesque.

    NAME: LAKE O'HARA LOOP - LAKE MCARTHUR - ODARAY
    TIME: 5.5 hrs. total LENGTH:11.8 km. total
    ELEVATION GAIN: 338 m. [Odaray] MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,350 m. [Odaray]

    NOTES: The weather was just perfect, hardly a cloud in the sky. Our visit to Lake O'HARA had 3 main objectives: Lake McArthur, Odaray Highline and the loop around Lake O'HARA.

    The hike to Lake McArthur took 1 hour. At McArthur Pass we opted for the High Level cut off; the first view of the lake from this trail is remarkable. On the way back we took the Lower McArthur trail.
    At the time of our visit, the access to the Odaray trail was restricted to only 4 parties a day [must sign in before proceeding]. We went as far as the junction that leads to the Odaray Grandview. From here there is a fine view of Lake O'HARA and surrounding peaks.

    The loop around lake O'HARA takes about 1 hr. [including shooting lots of pictures] and offers beautiful backdrops.

    The times for the return bus for the day-pass visitors had been changed to 6:30 and 7:30 p.m. (if seats are available you can take the two earlier buses, which are normally used for the guests at the lodge/chalets and for the campers).



    PLEASE NOTE


    AS OF 2006 ALL PASSES TO LAKE O'HARA CAN ONLY BE RESERVED BY PHONING THE PARK OFFICE IN FIELD STARTING AT 8:00 (DAY PASSES NORMALLY GONE BY 8:10)

    RESERVATIONS INFORMATION

    NAME: STANLEY GLACIER
    TIME: 2 hrs. to glacier viewpoint LENGTH: 4.2 Km.
    ELEVATION GAIN: 365 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,950 m.

    NOTES:We observed many butterflies along the upper part of the trail.

    NAME: SENTINEL PASS
    TIME: 2.5 hrs to reach the pass LENGTH: 5.8
    ELEVATION GAIN: 724 MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,611 m.

    NOTES:By 7:45 we were at Moraine lake and on our way to the pass. The morning temperature at the lake registered 10 0C.; when we returned in the afternoon it had reached 25 0C.

    The climb to Larch valley includes 10 long switchbacks. At the time of our visit, Parks Canada was not yet enforcing the "at least 6 in a group" policy, due to grizzly bear activity in the area. It was however enforced one week later, for both Larch valley and the Paradise valley trails.

    NAME: EMERALD LAKE LOOP
    TIME: 2 hrs. LENGTH: 5.2 Km.
    ELEVATION GAIN: negligible MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,361 m.

    NOTES:We walked the Emerald lake loop late one afternoon. The colour of the lake was different from when we visited it during the earlier hours of the day, but still beautiful nonetheless. We followed the trail clockwise and we found the first half (western side) to be more interesting than the east side, for the grand backdrops that it has to offers.

    NAME: NIGEL PASS
    TIME: 2.5 hrs. to the pass LENGTH: 6.1 Km. to the pass
    ELEVATION GAIN: 275 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,202 m.

    NOTES:On our way to Jasper we opted to hike the easy trail to Nigel pass, situated on the right of the highway just after the Bridal Veil Falls viewpoint.

    Lots of wild flowers along the trail. Had to ford a couple of creeks with a fair amount of rushing water.
    The Brazeau river had a fair amount of water so we decided not to attempt the crossing and stayed on top of the pass and have lunch instead.

    SECOND STOP IN FIELD
    JULY 27 - 31

    NAME: SHERBROOKE LAKE
    TIME: 1 hr. to the lake LENGTH: 3.1 Km. to the lake
    ELEVATION GAIN: 185 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,804 m.

    NOTES:Very hot day. The lake had calm waters reflecting the beautiful surrounding peaks.

    NAME: PARKER RIDGE
    TIME: 45 minutes to viewpoint LENGTH: 2.4 Km. to viewpoint
    ELEVATION GAIN: 275 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,270 m.

    NOTES:The weather was so great that we decided to drive back to Parker Ridge (1.5 hr. drive from Field); we hiked the same trail the previous year when the visibility wasn't that great.

    The temperature on the ridge was 180 C. and 250 C. at the parking lot on our way back.

    On this day, July 29, the temperature in Field was 32 0C. in the shade and 38 0C. in the sun; these reading were taken at 18:30.

    NAME: THE ICELINE
    TIME: 7 hrs. round trip LENGTH: 17.2 km. loop
    ELEVATION GAIN: 686 m. (in the first 6 Km.) MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,195 m.

    NOTES:We hiked the Iceline trail clockwise, following the Celeste lake connector down to the Yoho valley.
    Contrary to the previous year, today the weather was hot and sunny.
    When we started, at 8:45, the temperature was 15 0C. and 25 0 C. at 16:00 when we arrived back at the car.

    Because of the clear weather the view of the glaciers was most spectacular. From the Iceline trail we had an excellent view of Daly glacier and Takakkaw Falls (named by Van Horne, suggested to him by Deville, using the Cree Indian word for "it is wonderful"; total fall of 380 m.; free-fall 254 m.) across the Yoho valley. The sun beamed its first rays on the falls only at 11:15.

    The meltwater from the glaciers was quite abundant, therefore we had to cross, without much difficulty, a few rushing creeks.

    Back in Field the temperature was again reading 32 0C.

    TOWN LIST
    JULY 21 - 26

    JASPER (elevation 1,000 m. asl)
    in JASPER NATIONAL PARK

    We stayed at: BECKER'S CHALETS

    JASPER HOME ACCOMMODATION ASSOCIATION

    JASPER B&B - Trip Avisor

    MAP OF JASPER

    While in Jasper we had plan to hike the following trails: Sulphur Skyline but due to prescribed burn in one of the valley east of Jasper there was a lot of haze in the area of Miette; so we opted for other activities and trails instead; Opal hills was closed for grizzly with cubs (same as previous year).

    . TRAILS WE HIKED

    NAME: KINNEY LAKE - MT. ROBSON PROVINCIAL PARK
    TIME: 1 hr. 15 minutes LENGTH: 4.5 Km.
    ELEVATION GAIN: 144 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,006 m.

    NOTES: From Jasper we drove westbound for about 1 hour to Robson Provincial Park. At 8:30 the temperature at the trailhead was 10 0C. Beautiful sunny day; we were told that the summit of Mt. Robson (elev. 3,954; highest point in the Canadian Rockies) is only visible 12 times in the course of a year, but this year it had been visible already for over two consecutive weeks.

    The roar of the fast flowing Robson river is ever present till you reach the vicinity of Kinney lake, where the water suddenly becomes calm. The peak of Mt. Robson is practically visible all along the trail.

    NAME: EDITH CAVELL MEADOWS
    TIME: 2.5 hrs. return LENGTH: 8 km. return
    ELEVATION GAIN: 290 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,043 m.

    NOTES: When we arrived at the parking lot at 8:00 there were only 4 other cars. By the time we got back, at 10:30, the parking lot was completely jammed.
    The road to Edith Cavell was in very bad shape with several huge potholes in the pavement , especially the upper section.

    NAME: GERALDINE LAKES
    TIME: 3 hrs. return (to just above first lake) LENGTH: 7.6 km. return
    ELEVATION GAIN: 275 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,800 m.

    NOTES: We were driving to Sulphur Skyline trail when the haze and smoke from the forest fire was obscuring sections of the road ahead and the valley, so we decided to turn back and hike the Geraldine Lakes trail south of Jasper.

    This trail has long sections of exposed tree roots, especially when following the trail along the shore of the first lake.
    The first lake setting is very nice with Mt. Fryatt (3,361 m.) reflecting in the green calm water and the roar of the falls tumbling down from the upper lake.
    At the end of the first lake the trail gets very rough and steep (300 m. gain) crossing over several huge boulders sections and it is marked only by cairns; slow going.

    This is where we turned back because the trail section that takes up to the second lake is even steeper and longer than this section (enough said).

    NAME: WHISTLERS SUMMIT
    TIME: 1 hr. return (to/from gondola) LENGTH: 1.1 Km. to summit
    ELEVATION GAIN: 200 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 2,466 m.

    NOTES: We naturally took the gondola, even so the climb to the top is rather steep.

    The weather was just great and it allowed a breathtaking 3600panorama from the top. Mt. Robson was clearly visible to the west, rising above everything else in sight.

    TOWN LIST
    JULY 31

    CANMORE (elevation 1,341 m. asl)

    We stayed at:
    A HAVEN OF REST
    814 - 3rd Street
    Canmore, Alberta
    Phone: 403-678-5706

    CANMORE ACCOMMODATION

    CANMORE B&B

    . TRAILS WE HIKED

    NAME: GRASSI LAKES
    TIME: 1.5 hrs. loop LENGTH: 4 Km. loop
    ELEVATION GAIN: 244 m. MAXIMUM ELEVATION: 1,500 m.

    NOTES: We hiked the trail clockwise following the scenic route that takes you by the beautiful falls. The two lakes are small but very picturesque. The trail was built by the beloved Lawrence Grassi himself.

    When we left Canmore for Calgary on August 1st, the smoke from the forest fires was obscuring the view of the mountains towards Banff.

    TOWN LIST
    TOWNS WHERE WE STAYED AT
    FIELD JASPER CANMORE
    **** 2003 PHOTO ALBUM ****

    YOHO BANFF ICELINE TRAIL JASPER - ROBSON LAKE O'HARA & MCARTHUR

    Bibliography

    1) The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide; Brian Patton and Bart Robinson, Summerthought Publication, Banff, Canada - Second edition, 1978
    2) Plants of the Rocky Mountains; L. Kershaw, A. McKinnon, J. Pojar, Lone Pine Pub. Canada & USA - 1998
    3) Tour Book; AAA & CAA, AAA Pub. - 2001
    4) Maps by Gem Trek Publishing; Cochrane, Alberta, Canada
    5) Classic Hikes in the Canadian Rockies; Graeme Pole, Altitude Publishing Canada Ltd. , Vancouver - 1999
    6) The Wonder of Yoho; Don Beers, Rocky Mountain Books, Calgary - 1994

    DISCLAIMER
    Hiking can be potentially hazardous. Hikers must be prepared for any changes in weather, trail conditions and wild animals behaviour, and must keep in mind that safety must be their first priority and must use sound judgement accordingly. The data and descriptions contained in this web page must be used for general information purpose, and therefore I disclaim any liability for mishaps of any kind to anyone using the information found herein.

    PLEASE GO TO MY HOME PAGE FOR E-MAIL ADDRESS

    Copyright © 12 - September - 2006 ||| Giorgio Zanetti

    LINKS CHECKED SEPTEMBER 2012