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Skyline Trail: Is it realistic to do Watchtower - Signal in one day?
posted by: emi.maquet@gmail.com   email this member
Posted Monday, Mar 28 at 4:46 PM
Mon, Mar 28 at 04:46 PM
Regarding trail Skyline Trail near Jasper, AB

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Hi there,

We are planning on doing the skytrail with my husband this summer (Early August). Because of limited campground availability, we have to do it over four days to keep the different steps manageable.

The campgrounds we could pick were the following: little shovel, WatchTower and Signal.

I realize the third day will be quite challenging but I was wondering if it was nonetheless realistic.

Could you please advise?

Thanks,

Emi


Click to reply to this message There are 3 replies to this message.

trails page for seekerofsolaceRe: Skyline Trail: Is it realistic to do Watchtower - Signal in one day?
seekerofsolace  email this member
Posted Monday, Mar 28 at 5:01 PM
Mon, Mar 28 at 05:01 PM
Regarding trail Skyline Trail near Jasper, AB

ht tp://www.trailpeak.com/index.jsp?con=trail&val=1515
< BR>Hi Emi,

My first time on the Skyline a few years ago followed that route and, even as an avid hiker, it was gruelling. Mind you I encountered snow on my way out of Watchtower to Signal which made for an even longer slog. I'm a glutton for punishment so - I loved it, but the days DO become more about making good time rather than enjoying the experience in my opinion. The elevation gain from the Watchtower junction on through Tekerra is substantial.

I would be sure to leave Little Shovel and Watchtower early! The Watchtower basin is as stunning when you crest the col however and you'll be glad you made the dip into the valley!

Enjoy your trek!
Robert


trails page for mike wesbrookRe: Skyline Trail: Is it realistic to do Watchtower - Signal in one day?
mike wesbrook  email this member
Posted Monday, Mar 28 at 7:35 PM
Mon, Mar 28 at 07:35 PM
Regarding trail Skyline Trail near Jasper, AB

ht tp://www.trailpeak.com/index.jsp?con=trail&val=1515
< BR>Hi
Your first day to Little Shovel Pass will be an easy start. It is located 8 km from the trail head with 365 m of elevation gain. Your second day is long with two and a half passes, but it is a great alpine hike. Watchtower trail and campground have not be maintained for several years, insure you have a 1:50,000 scale map with the campground location UTM (GPS location) as it can be difficult to find. I would also bring a long section of rope to tie your food / packs as high up a tree as possible, as I don’t know the condition of the bear pole at this time. An alternative to staying at Watchtower Campground is to book into Skyline Trail Rides – Shove Pass Lodge. It is located just below Curator Campground and will make your day much easier. You can find out the costs and availability on line. . I would call the trail office and check the online campground booking site prior to your trip to see if there are any cancellations for Curator Lake Campground. I would check the web site on May 1st to see if anything has changed.
Your third day is once again a long hike between Watchtower and Signal campgrounds, however, again it is a wonderful alpine hike the entire way. You will have to go up Watchtower Pass and then the “Notch” (which is a steep pass) early in the day. I would leave as early as possible on both your second and third days.
Your last day will be short, Signal Campground is on the edge of tree line with a hike down an old fire road to the trailhead. You could sleep in this day, even do a short alpine walk and then head down to the trailhead.
To determine the time it might take you to hike each day, the average hiker moves at between 3 – 4 km/hr., add 1 hour for each 1,000 ft. or 300m in elevation gain. Remember you will be at high elevation with less oxygen and lots of looking around so plan on walking slower then you normally would.
Although a couple of your days will be long, they are reasonable if you leave early, don’t overload your packs and rest a few times during the day, perhaps even have dinner along the trail and arrive just prior to going to bed for the night. The campgrounds often have more mosquitoes then the trail as they are near trees and wetter areas, so eating dinner along the trail and close to your final destination is often nice.
Bring a topographic map (particularly if you’re staying at Watchtower Campground), and a blister kit.
You can always contact Jasper National Park Trail office at 780-852-6177 or 6245 for further information
Have a great hike
Mike


trails page for KaNaDiaNRe: Skyline Trail: Is it realistic to do Watchtower - Signal in one day?
KaNaDiaN  email this member
Posted Monday, Mar 28 at 8:52 PM
Mon, Mar 28 at 08:52 PM
Regarding trail Skyline Trail near Jasper, AB

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< BR>The third day will be the gruelling one, as mike wesbrook said be prepared to leave early as the notch is a steep hard climb, once at the top though the walk down is much less intense.
I did Skyline last year with my 6 year old son, we only made it Snow Bowl before he gave out and we had to turn back. I'll be doing it again this August (less the kids) starting with Little Shovel, Curator and Signal and we plan on leaving early from curator to ensure we make Signal before dark.

Cheers.



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