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Kelowna/Jasper/Banff/Glacier Trip

Day 8 of 17

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Friday, July 24th
The Whistlers Summit hike

Our new neighbors were mountain bikers. In fact, our neighbors on both sides of us went out for bike rides this morning. I'm not sure what trails are open to cyclists, and I don't recall seeing any on the trails we did, but it seems pretty popular here. In fact I even saw someone ride to the top of Mt. Edith Cavell Road, stopping at the parking lot.

Today I wanted to do the hike at the top of the Jasper Tramway. I'd picked up a pamphlet the night before and went to their website. While you can make reservations, you have to do so at least 2 days in advance. I hoped the wait wouldn't be too long. We got in the car and made the short drive up Highway 93 and then left on the road to the tram before reaching the Jasper townsite. Then we took the tram and did the hike to The Whistlers Summit.

After the hike we had a bit of time before dinner, so I drove to Pyramid Lake, just north of Jasper townsite. There are trails in the area, but it's a recreational lake with boats and swimmers. I took a few pictures, then briefly stopped between Pyramid Lake and Patricia Lake. There's a beautiful aspen forest here; it must be great in the fall. I took some pictures then continued past Patricia Lake back to Jasper townsite where we picked up some groceries and ice.

Boats at Pyramid Lake

Aspen-lined trail near Pyramid Lake

We had dinner early enough that we had time for an after-dinner walk. I knew the Athabasca River was near the campground, so we set off in the general direction of the river. If you're staying at the Wapiti campground, just walk in the opposite direction from the main road (Highway 93) and you'll find the river. You can't miss it. We reached the river near site A. There's a trail that runs parallel to the river, about 20 feet above it. Unfortunately there weren't many great spots to walk down to the shore. We eventually found a nice rocky beach that didn't require too dangerous of a walk down.

Athabasca River

Athabasca River

The Athabasca River was pretty impressive, a huge flow of water rushing north, eventually headed to the Arctic Ocean. It was also quite wide, maybe 150 feet wide at this point. While we were there we saw some rafters, even though it was 9:15pm. There was still plenty of light, and we ended up staying there until almost 10pm. We enjoyed the beach, exploring the beautiful rocks, some purple in color. There are also tons of throwing rocks to choose from here. Too bad you can't skip them in the raging river. Our enjoyment was only briefly interrupted when some teenagers thought it would be fun to stand on the trail above us and fire flare guns into the sky. Thankfully they left us alone.

Rocks next to Athabasca River

Rocks next to Athabasca River


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