The Valley of the Five Lakes (Short Loop) in Jasper National Park is one of the best valley bottom hikes near the town of Jasper. The lakes themselves are striking in their beauty and varied in colour. With so many places to sit and enjoy the lakes and views, the trail takes longer than the distance warrants. This trail can be very busy during the peak summer months.
From the trailhead, follow trail #9a through the forest for one kilometre to the long bridge over Wabasso Creek. Across the creek the trail crosses trail #9, to the right it is 6km to Wabasso Lake, to the left it is about 8km to Old Fort Point. Keep straight ahead on trail #9a and begin the climb over a series of ridges to the Valley of the Five Lakes. Taking breaks as you climb the first ridge allows time to look back the great views behind you.
At the top of the hill is the junction with trail #9b, keep right and continue following trail #9a. Mountain bikers should exercise caution on this section of trail as it is easy to surprise or plow into unsuspecting hikers. The trail skirts around the end of a small unnamed lake then climbs another ridge. After crossing a third ridge the trail crosses the creek draining the Fifth Lake and enters an old picnic area. The boats at the Fifth Lake are available for rent in the town of Jasper at Online Sport and Tackle (1-780-852-3630) or Curries Guiding at (http://www.jasperoutdooradventure.com/). The lakes contain brook trout but the fishing is not what it used to be.
Passing through the old picnic area trail #9a continues past the Fourth Lake to a beautiful sunny point of land between the Fourth and Third Lakes. This is the perfect place to stop if you brought a picnic lunch but not in May when the ticks are out. If there are diving ducks (ie: golden eye) swimming about the Third Lake you are in for unique show. The water in the lake is very clear and it is possible to watch the ducks from the trail as they dive below the surface in search of food.
After passing the Second Lake, which is more of a pond, the second junction with trail#9b is reached. Turn left and descend steeply on trail #9b as it passes between the Second and First Lakes. Trail #9b climbs back over the ridges before reconnecting with trail #9a. Turn right on trail #9a and follow it down the hill, over the long bridge and back to the parking lot.
Jasper National Park produces a free day hiking guide called 'Summer Trails' of this and many other trails in the park, it is available at the Jasper Information Centre. Gemtrek produces two maps of the area 'Jasper Up Close' at 1:35,000 and 'Jasper and Maligne Lake' at 1:100,000. The Government topo '83 D/16 Jasper' at 1:50,000 shows the area as well but rare is the trail that is correctly plotted on this map.
Submitted by 'mtncat'
In winter please check the local avalanche bulletins.
Drive south of Jasper on Hwy 93 (The Icefields Parkway) for 9km to the well signed parking lot on the left side of the road. There is a pay phone, privy and garbage can in the parking lot.
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Posted By: ChrisMarry
- Tue Sep 03 01:29:22 UTC 2013
Upside5 lakes to admire in this one valley, definitely worth it! DownsideA walk in the forest, plain and simple. CommentWe hiked the Whistlers juts before and we though it would be great to see most of the lakes we saw from the summit, such we did! Little easy walk in the forest, but I think it's worth it as each of the 5 lakes have their own colour, different tint of green, really nice!