Hiking the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park – Part II
Last week I took you hiking on the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park but I only got you as far as the Tekarra Campground. Today I’ll take you back to your car.
For those of you who are new to the Skyline Trail let me tell you this.
The Skyline Trail is one of the top 10 backpacking trails in my experience in all of Canada.
What makes the hike so special is the fact that you are fully above treeline for over 30 kilometers – and the other 14.4 kilometers, save for the last five kilometers to the car are very beautiful as well.
I hadn’t expected the third day of hiking to deliver the first class scenery it did.
Beautiful Tekarra Mountain
The trail from the Tekarra Campground starts with a rock-hop across the creek. Then it’s an hour of gradual climbing around Tekarra Mountain onto the slopes of Signal Mountain. The views from Signal Mountain of the Maligne River Valley are superb.
It’s easy rock-hopping across the creek in September
Distant mountain views across the Maligne River Valley
Contouring around Tekarra Mountain
Looking back to where we’d been the day before – on the far ridge
Looking across the Maligne River Valley
Close-up of Tekarra Mountain
Looks like a meadow of cottonballs
Hiking in this landscape is phenomenal
We’re on the lookout for caribou – but see only one lone deer
The last 7.5 kilometers of the trail are on an old fire road with some views early on and then nothing but dense woods. Still, between mushrooms and bird sightings, there was enough to hold our attention to the very end.
We knocked off the 13.5 kilometers in four hours, with lots of stops for photos.
Avoid starting the Skyline Trail at the Signal Hill parking lot – our finish point. You end up adding 530 meters (1738 feet) to your total elevation gain.
The trees get densely packed near the bottom
This must be poisonous as it’s untouched by animals
Another mushroom that was new to me
The Spruce Grouse have got to be one of the dumbest birds out there!
The Skyline Trail is exceedingly popular. There is a very short window in which to hike it – late July until late September. Book reservations by calling Jasper National Park at (780) 852-6177 three months in advance of when you want to hike. The recorded message says they will return your call with 72 hours but I find they do it within the day.
Have you ever considered hiking the Skyline Trail?
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