The Moat Lake trail in the Tonquin Valley
of Jasper National Park
is primarily used by horse parties bound for the Tonquin Valley Lodge http://tonquinvalley.com/ but the meadows beyond provide a different angle on the valley and access to further exploration.
From the junction with the Maccarib Pass
trail it is a quick 2km around the northern tip of the Amethyst Lakes to the lodge, which you can choose to go through or around. After that it's another 2km down through open meadow to the lake. Half way to the lake you will cross Moat Creek and the closer you get to the lake the wetter the trail becomes, especially in early summer or following a prolonged rain.
For people with good route finding skills a rough trail skirts the trees along the north side of Moat Lake and crosses the continental divide to an old horse camp in Mount Robson Provincial Park, 2km distant. Just before the camp a faint unsigned trail branches north to Vista Pass and Tonquin Hill. Blazed trees mark this faint trail all the way to the ridge over the pass. Study the trail well as you'll want to find it on the way back down. Vista Pass is gorgeous and the panorama from Tonquin Hill is glorious. Adding a trip to Tonquin Hill will add about another 8km to the day, making a return trip from the Maccarib Campground a respectable 18km.
The Friends of Jasper
have all the maps you'll need for this trip which is of course the 1:50,000 government topo '83D9 Amethyst Lakes', or you can opt for Gemtreks 'Jasper and Maligne Lake @ 1:100,000'.
Please be aware that camp fires are not permitted in the Tonquin Valley and dogs are now taboo as well.
Submitted by 'mtncat'.
The Moat Lake trail is best done from your camp at Maccarib c/g or the Tonquin Valley Lodge, see Maccarib Pass or Astoria River.
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