Final Jasper Day: Mount Edith Cavell & Sunwapta Falls

It’s only 74 km (46 mi) from Whistlers Campground in Jasper to the Hinton-Jasper KOA Campground, so we had almost another full day to explore around Jasper on Day 42 of the trip – Saturday, June 4th. We wanted another shot at a good experience at Mount Edith Cavell, as we hadn’t seen much on our visit last September.

The 14-km climb from Highway 93a to Mount Edith Cavell is spectacular. There are several very tight switchbacks and steep climbs, so no motorhomes or trailers are supposed to be driven up it, though some small RVS make it. The mountain, 3,363 meters high (11,033 feet), is named after a British nurse executed during World War I for her part in helping Allied prisoners escape to the Netherlands from occupied Brussels.

Mount Edith Cavell, Alberta
There are some stunning views along the road.

Along the road to Mount Edith Cavell, Alberta
Conditions were near perfect for a hike with the dogs this time. The Path of the Glacier trail is the best one for great views. It’s just under a kilometer long, with a moderate climb. The upper few thousand feet of the mountain had gotten a dusting of snow the previous day.

Path of the Glacier trail, Mount Edith Cavell
The Angel Glacier, the most impressive of 3 glaciers seen from the trail.

Angel Glacier, Mount Edith Cavell
Looking down the valley from the trail. In August 2012, a large part of the Ghost Glacier fell about 1,000 meters (3,300 feet) into Cavell Pond, causing a flash flood that did a lot of damage to trails, the picnic site and the road.

The valley below Mount Edith Cavell
The Cavell Glacier at the base of the mountain. We saw a couple of avalanches come down – anybody who goes beyond the signs saying not to proceed is certainly risking their lives even on a beautiful day like this.

Cavell Glacier, Mount Edith Cavell
After spending a while at the viewpoint, Cathy took Bella and Tucker back to the car while I detoured up the Cavell Meadows trail to the right. No dogs are allowed on that trail because of possible wildlife conflicts.

Cavell Meadows trail, Mount Edith Cavell
I didn’t find the Cavell Meadows trail likely to be very rewarding in the time I had, so only hiked up a kilometer or so, and had already hit patches of deep snow. When I shot this photo back at the parking lot, we’d been at the base of the mountain for just over an hour.

Mount Edith Cavell
Back down on Highway 93a, we decided to follow it all the way south to Athabasca Falls. Here, the road crosses the Whirlpool River.

Whirlpool River, Jasper National Park
This was a nice quiet route that I’d never driven before, always having been stopped by snow on previous attempts.

A lake along Highway 93a in Jasper National Park
We didn’t stop at Athabasca Falls, deciding instead to drive about 20 km further south to see Sunwapta Falls, which neither of us had seen yet. This dramatic peak is along the Icefields Parkway on the way.

Sunwapta Falls above the footbridge…

Sunwapta Falls
…and the canyon below the bridge.

Sunwapta Falls canyon
At about 1:30, we left Sunwapta Falls and headed back to Jasper. We had moved the motorhome from the campground to the RV/bus parking lot in Jasper before starting out, so by 2:30 we were on Highway 16 headed for Hinton.

Highway 16 north of Jasper
A beautiful day for a drive along the Rockies.

Highway 16 north of Jasper
Some sheep on the road and not wanting to move off it, and climbing the cliffs beside the road, entertained us for a few minutes 🙂

Sheep on Highway 16 north of Jasper

Sheep on Highway 16 north of Jasper

Sheep beside Highway 16 north of Jasper

Sheep on Highway 16 north of Jasper
Soon we were set up at the KOA and had time for a refreshing beverage from The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company in Canmore before going in to town to see my son and his family.

The Grizzly Paw Brewing Company

We’d be in the Hinton area for 4 nights, but mostly at the provincial park to the north, not at the KOA.


Final Jasper Day: Mount Edith Cavell & Sunwapta Falls — 2 Comments

  1. some of that scenery rivals anything I have seen in Alaska, the Rockies (USA), the Sierras or WA state…stunning. Murrayu, always cool to see this through your practiced eyes (and camera).