Cavell Meadows Hike Jasper National Park August 9, 2014
For Shawn and Jenn's fifth wedding anniversary, we went to Jasper for our annual anniversary trip, but this time we had a third person! We camped at the Wabasso front-country campground, about 16km south of the Jasper townsite. (www.shawnbenbow.ca/jasper2014
On Saturday we had a leisurely morning at the campground before heading up the Mount Edith Cavell Road to the parking lot at the end of the road. Two years prior, a significant chunk of the Ghost Glacier fell off the side of Mount Edith Cavell into Cavell Pond. Massive amounts of water, ice, and debris flowed along the valley bottom, destroying the 'Path of the Glacier' trail, a portion of the parking lot, numerous benches and other infrastructure, including one outhouse. Thankfully this all happened at night and no people were injured through the event. Some of the infrastructure had since been repaired, but a large section of the previous trail along the creek has been permanently closed, and there's still damage to the road at the parking lot.
We took the trail on the left side of the valley and quickly made our way up and over a large glacial moraine. We spent a few minutes watching some picas and marmots along the moraine before continuing further up into the meadows.
The trail basically makes a loop to three noted viewpoints. We hiked to the first two viewpoints, but turned around at the second viewpoint. James was just over four months old, so he wasn't used to hiking for a long distance. And, this was his first time hiking any significant distance in the pack, so he wasn't really sure what to think of this new way of being carried.
It was a spectacular day when we visited, and we were able to see over 50 kilometres away to the Queen Elizabeth Range (just beyond Medicine Lake), and of course the spectacular Mount Edith Cavell and it's glaciers. When we stopped for snacks at the second viewpoint, we even watched a few ptarmigans walking around near the viewpoint!
Trip Length: 7.7km
Cumulative Ascent/Descent: 400m