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 RockiesTRIP 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
JULY 15 - 20
and again SECOND STOP
FIELD (elevation 1,243 m. asl)
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!
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.
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.
Hamilton lake setting is very picturesque.
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.
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).
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)
NOTES:We observed many butterflies along the upper part of the trail.
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.
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.
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.
NOTES:Very hot day. The lake had calm waters reflecting the beautiful surrounding peaks.
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.
NOTES:We hiked the Iceline trail clockwise, following the Celeste lake connector down to the Yoho valley.
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.
JULY 21 - 26
(elevation 1,000 m. asl)
We stayed at: BECKER'S CHALETS
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).
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
(elevation 1,341 m. asl)
We stayed at:
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.
|TOWNS WHERE WE STAYED AT|
|**** 2003 PHOTO ALBUM ****|
1) The Canadian Rockies Trail Guide; Brian Patton and Bart Robinson, Summerthought Publication, Banff, Canada - Second edition, 1978