One morning we were awaken by what sounded like a 4th grader learning to play the trumpet. It quickly dawned on us that the sound wasn’t poor trumpeting, it was the unusual call of a male elk. So we quickly got out of bed and raised the shades. Just a few feet from us was this fellow.
He was standing guard while his “woman friend” and child enjoyed a tasty breakfast. Rutting season has begun!
While we were researching hikes in the Jasper area, a photo of a hiker standing on top of a high mountain ridge caught our eye. The hiker had just reached the summit of the Sulphur Skyline Hike. Although only about three miles one way, this hike is listed as challenging due to the 2,300 foot gain in altitude. We knew we just had to hike this trail.
Our last full day in Jasper was warm and sunny so we knew it was time to do this hike. To reach the trailhead we drove about 25 miles east on the main highway, then 10 miles south into the mountains on a side road to the Miette Hot Springs parking area. The hiking trail starts above and right of the pool complex.
From the parking lot we could see a snow covered peak in the distance.
Little did we know as we set out that the snow covered area was our target! The trail began on a nice paved path, but immediately began to gain elevation.
After hiking up and around numerous switchbacks on the trail for what seemed to be an eternity, we came to an open meadow just above the tree line. At last, we were at the summit!
But wait, are those hikers coming down at us? Oh no, the trail continues up that snow covered rock pile! But we can’t quit now, can we?
So after a brief rest we began the final quest for the summit!
The trail was covered with slush and snow as we climbed up.
As we neared the top we didn’t have to worry about the trail anymore as it just disappeared under the snow!
At that point you just picked a path and headed up. Loose gravel made the trek even more interesting.
It is a difficult climb, but the views from the summit make it all worth while.
We passed a number of small groups of hikers on the way up, but fortunately the summit was deserted for most of our visit. After enjoying the views and a light lunch it was time to make our way back down the mountain.
While the hike up the mountain was a bit of a challenge, we found the views from the top to be the most spectacular we have ever experience. In every direction there was a beautiful snow capped mountain in sight! If ever in Jasper, don’t miss this one!
So now our visit to Jasper is over. It’s time to head south about 180 miles to visit the town of Banff and the National Park. More on that later . . .