Short and steep, but very rewarding. The trail is divided into 2 parts. You start off on a short paved path; here you will be accompanied by the tennis shoe hikers and their whining children. Oh well. Past that it turns into a well-kept rocky trail. There is a steady incline here and the scenery is pretty ho-hum, unless of course, you just can't get enough of trees. There are a few occasional breaks and you get a great view of Sulpher Ridge to your right. At 2.6 km the trail branches, straight on to Mystery Lake and right to the summit. Go right and on up to the second leg of the journey.
NTS Map: 083f04
Elevation Gain: 700 m (2,300 ft).
Only 2 km to go but the trail gets a bit steeper here. Still lots of trees, but when you get a break, you have a great view of the valley you just walked up, as ell as the parking lot in the distance. Further up (will it never end? my burning legs ache!) you will come to an alpine meadow. There is a peculiar white rock in the middle that was left ages ago by some glacier. Follow the path through the meadow and on up to the summit. This last bit is very steep and verging on difficult. Upon reaching the rocky summit you are rewarded with a stunning view of the entire area. To the east you can see Fiddle River Valley and Mount Drinnan in the distance. West and south there is the Miette Range and Utopia Mountain. To the northwest you can see the Ashlar Ridge.
Ahhh, weather. Our favourite friend. It was overcast on my trip. I got rain, hail, and sunshine on the way up. The hail came on the way up to the summit. But the sun came out when I was on top. You are totally exposed and the wind will howl up from the south side of the ridge you are standing on at the summit. But step back a bit, sit down, and enjoy the view. You will only feel the wind if you stand on the edge. If you go on a sunny day, bring lots of water. The sun will shine down on you all along the trail.
Lastly, since you are at Miette Hot Springs, why not stop and soak in the heat of the natural mineral goodness. Ahhh. In winter, check avalanche conditions.
From Edmonton, follow the Yellowhead to Jasper Park. Go into Jasper Park. Watch for the sign that says Miette Hot. (About 7 km) Turn SOUTH (left) onto that road. Follow it up to the springs. Park in the place called 'Parking Lot'. Get out of your vehicle and begin walking.
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Posted By: SS
- Sat Jan 02 21:28:45 UTC 2016
UpsideVery quiet in the evening. Got hill to myself while family enjoyed hot springs in May 2007. DownsideWas alone and had read the warning sign on bears. Not got many of them in Scotland - none actually. CommentDifficulty akin to an easier Scottish Munro but the view from the summit was somewhat grander. I'd thoroughly recommend this to anyone looking for a short wander.
Posted By: Carli.mc
- Fri Oct 02 14:23:43 UTC 2015
Upside- amazing 360 views at the top - short trip - can visit the hot springs after Downside- too many people - no big views until the end CommentI did enjoy this trip as it was a perfect way to spend a few hours and get a good workout in. The last little bit is fairly steep but doable. Went mid-week in the shoulder season and still met tons of people. Never had anytime at the top to myself. Would still recommend however if you have already completed some of the more challenging hikes and are in the area.
Posted By: MOJOb
- Tue Sep 24 00:26:18 UTC 2013
UpsideThis is a very doable hike if you don't give up, and just dig in and go slow. Lovely views from the higher elevations, and definitely at the top! Well worth the blisters... DownsideNo real downside. But, we found that we were first up when we left very early in the a.m. We passed 50+ people heading up as we were heading down. We had 30 minutes at the ridge to ourselves. CommentGive it a try. Many seniors and people with little kids made it to the top so it's really not that bad!
Posted By: heinerdc
- Sun Aug 12 22:05:10 UTC 2012
UpsideIncredible hike and view(s)!!! Probably not for all hiking abilities. The nice thing about hiking is that you can take your time... lots of benches a long the way. DownsideNone - Someone posted a review that there was garbage... There will always be people that leave garbage. Too bad. We didn't see any. Parks Canada does a great job looking after this trail. CommentThird time for me. Always great! Miette Hot Springs is a great way to wrap up the day!
Posted By: scubasteve139
- Mon Jul 30 23:08:40 UTC 2012
UpsideStunning views, good workout! DownsideLitter on trail, high traffic CommentAwesome day, started with heavy rain - trail stayed in great condition. Challenging for novice hikers - steep sections. Hard work rewards amazing views! High traffic when rain stopped; had to pick up after people's trash.
Posted By: ClimbinCorey
- Tue Aug 03 16:29:40 UTC 2010
UpsideGreat views, especially once the switchbacks start. Good workout Very short on the way down (did it in 40 minutes!) The path from the treeline to the summit is a nice challenge and change of pace from the switchbacks. DownsidePretty steep! Major switchback shortcuts! Good for saving time, terrible because of the trail erosion they cause. Extremely busy in peak season (saw about 100 people on the way down) CommentThis hike is the one that sparked my love for nature and hiking, so it will always have a place in my heart. As my first summit, it really opened my eyes to the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Definitely a good way to spend three or four hours. The hot springs are nice if you're into that kind of thing as well.
Posted By: Jebbbbb
- Wed Sep 30 23:57:19 UTC 2009
UpsideThe destination was well worth the hard effort of the climb. The short cuts on the second part of the hike were great. DownsideAs a very first hike, this was extremely hard on my body. The summit was equally hard CommentLoved my time here
Posted By: Michel
- Sun Jun 10 15:17:32 UTC 2007
UpsideThe view was as beautifull as described. We were luckier with sun shine all day and a nice pool swim on our way back in the thermal pool. DownsideWe have had our first bears seeing. Two cubs. We did not stay to see the mother but from the testimony of other hicker she was there alright. CommentWould go back any time. It is not that hard of a hike. Nice day hike.
Posted By: mtncat
- Wed Apr 06 14:46:55 UTC 2005
CommentGreat trail description. Any summit hike in the Canadian Rockies rates a five with me. With 700m of vertical over 4.6km this hike would be considered difficult by most hikers. Note to MarvinH: Sulpur is spelled correctly.
Posted By: shasselmann
- Wed Jul 28 00:05:16 UTC 2004
CommentGreat workout and can be done on short notice. If you have children, they will be able to hike this trail which does offer spectacular view at the top. Bring water.