Lakes and Glaciers Near Jasper

Jasper, Alberta

While the weather here has been cold and a bit overcast, we have taken advantage of some breaks in the clouds to get out for a couple of hikes.  The first is a popular one in Jasper NP, the Trail of the Five Lakes.  It’s a hike of about six miles around a series of small lakes.

Bundling up for a September hike

Meriwether Lewis surveys the terrain

The glacial water in the lakes is quite beautiful

Hey Hector and Brenda, we found your chairs!  Blogger friends from Island Girl Walkabout  posted this picture during their visit to Jasper a few weeks ago and we quickly recognized it during our hike.  Unfortunately, it was too cold and windy to sit in the chairs for more than a few seconds.  We understand that Parks Canada places these chairs in various locations in Jasper National Park, but these are the only ones we came upon during our travels.

Later we drove a few miles further on the Icefields Parkway, then up a side road for about ten miles to check out the glaciers at the base of Edith Cavell Mountain.  Along the way we spotted a handsome group hiking across a rock face near the highway.

Edith Cavell Mountain is one of the highest in the Jasper area at 11,000 feet.  It is named after  a British nurse who worked in Brussels, Belgium during WWI.  She is celebrated for saving the lives of wounded soldiers from both sides of the conflict and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium, for which she was arrested.  She was subsequently court-martialed, found guilty of treason, and sentenced to death. Despite international pressure for mercy, she was shot by a German firing squad.  Many schools, streets, hospital facilities, and memorials throughout the British Commonwealth countries bear her name.

The path to the viewpoint

A short trail leads up to a viewing area where you can see glaciers along the face of the mountain.  In the picture below Angel Glacier is to the right, Cavell Glacier is at the bottom, and Ghost Glacier was, at one time, on the left.

Angel Glacier takes it’s name from the “wings” spreading out to the left and right.

Angel Glacier

Up until a couple of years ago there was a glacier in the center of the picture below.  But in 2012 it collapsed into the small Cavell Pond below it.  Like dropping a bowling ball into a tub of water, the impact threw most of the water out of the pond, causing a flash flood below it that took out most of the road and parking area (they are still repairing it).

The thick ice of Angel Glacier

Our time in Jasper is quickly coming to an end.  But we have two more exciting hikes left to do before we head south.

More on that later . . .

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24 Responses to Lakes and Glaciers Near Jasper

  1. Wow, another great hike ! The stunning scenery never ends! Thank you John and Pam for taking us along your brrr hike.

  2. Ingrid says:

    Love the photo of the goat. Looks like her coat is filling out and is nice and fluffy. Beautiful country I’m hoping to get to in the next year or two 🙂

  3. That water! Those glaciers! Absolutely gorgeous! This area is on my List!

  4. Great place for the chairs! Too bad you couldn’t stay a little longer. The pictures are fantastic.

  5. Dave & Skruffy ( says:

    We hope to visit the area on the way to Alaska next year….no hiking for us of course, just hope late May is not too cold. Love the pictures you have published while there. –Dave (

  6. Monica says:

    It looks cold there, but stunning. I love those red chairs. They are situated in a beautiful place.

  7. Jodee Gravel says:

    Loving this cold and beautiful area! Ol’ Meriweather lookin’ pretty healthy there 🙂 Glad you’ve got some more hiking to do, I’m not ready to leave!

  8. Great post! Did you notice how that mountain goat’s left legs are longer than his right legs?

  9. RJRVtravels says:

    Thanks for the memories…. JoAnne and I hiked to Angel Glacier about 20 years ago. Sat on the shore and watched the ice calving.

    PS – thanks for sending down some great weather – 81 in Glacier today

    • placestheygo says:

      Rick, you would notice the difference since part of the Ghost Glacier fell two years ago. You can’t get down to the water any more.

      Glad we could help with the warmer temps:) We have 70’s here in Banff, also. Sure is a nice change.

  10. Rick Doyle says:

    What a great hike and spectacular photos. Thanks for posting.

  11. Gay says:

    Just so beautiful!
    What is worse…colder temps or really hot temps? I am thinking I would rather bundle as long as my feet are warm! You two are real champs!

    • placestheygo says:

      Thanks, Gay:) We are most definitely cooler weather hikers. I don’t do heat well at all. I think low 60’s are perfect for hiking especially if there is any climbing. We can always take items off if we need to cool off a little.

  12. Beautiful! But it does look a bit cold. We’re having upper 70s in the Tetons, a nice surprise.

    • placestheygo says:

      Actually, Jim and Gayle, it wasn’t a bad temp to hike. We lost all the gloves, hats, and one coat shortly after we started to climb a little:) We are enjoying 70’s here in Banff now, also. Sure is nice!

  13. pmbweaver says:

    I love the color of the water that Lewis is looking at.
    Now that is a nice touch….adding the chairs for a gorgeous look at the lake.
    Those glaciers are fabulous. What an awesome hike. You two are sure seeing some kind of beauty!

  14. Sherry says:

    Wow these are just gorgeous pictures. What fabulous sites you are seeing. The mountain goat is just an amazing picture and so is the color of those waters. I really wasn’t envying you the snow but I sure am envying you this hike. Hate to hear the glacier that fell into the water. We are losing them so fast. Your picture of Angel Glacier is just super.

  15. Laurel says:

    Your photo of the mountain goat is fantastic! I’ve only ever seen them from a distance — would love to get up close like you did. And I’d like to be sitting in those red chairs with that view, too. The color of the water is amazing. Maybe next year….

  16. LuAnn says:

    What a fabulous image of that mountain goat! How fun to discover the red chairs that Brenda and Hector sat in. That glacial water is so beautiful. Look forward to more of your exciting hikes. 🙂

  17. Erin says:

    You’re bringing back such great memories … they didn’t have those red chairs back in 2009 … love the pop of color. We fared better with our weather in September, but the morning we did the Five Lakes, it was about 39F … warmed up nicely by the time reached the first lake (fifth one really) so we could sit near the shore and enjoy breakfast. The naturescape is forever changing … as proven by the loss of a big chunk of Ghost Glacier in 2012. That glacier sent down a big chunk of ice tumbling down when we were there in 2009, but nothing like what happened three years later. Nice shot of the mountain goat.

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