The valley that contains Beaver and Summit Lakes is sandwiched between the Colin and Queen Elizabeth Ranges of Jasper National Park. Limestone cliffs that tower above this narrow valley provide the occasional tantalizing view through the trees, drawing the hiker on with promises of good things to come.
This broad trail, which used to be a fire road, has only 60m of elevation gain and is great for families with large wheeled strollers or bike buggies. The shore of the 1st Summit Lake is a wonderful place for kids to play while Mom and Dad kick back and enjoy the view from the shade of the cottonwoods.
Head up the gated fire road from the parking lot and past the warden cabin. This trail is just the beginning of a 168km backpack odyssey known as the South Boundary Trail. When the wardens run patrol on the SBT they usually go on horse back, and the cabin and corral is their staging area.
Past the cabin the trail begins to climbs then runs alongside Beaver Creek to reach the shores of Beaver Lake in 1.5km. The shore of Beaver Lake is mostly forested but fine views can be had from the boat dock and a number of spur trails to its bank. The row boats at Beaver Lake are the best way to enjoy the view, they are available for rent from two outfitters in the town of Jasper. Online Sport and Tackle at 1-780-852-3630 or Curries Guiding at (http://www.jasperoutdooradventure.com/). The kitchen shelter at Beaver Lake has been removed but a table and outhouse still remain.
Past Beaver Lake the grade is very easy. Just before the 1st Summit Lake at 5km there is a trail sign and junction for Jacques Lake and the South Boundary continuation of the trail. Do not turn on to this trail, keep straight ahead to the shore of the lake 100m further and enjoy.
There is a rough 1km trail that continues to the 2nd Summit Lake but it is not suitable for child transport. The trail can be seen during times of low water, passing along the east shore of the lake and entering the forest. It winds its way through an avalanche runout path before emerging from the trees next to the 2nd Lake.
Return the way you came.
X-C Skiers Please Note: 300m before the 1st Summit Lake the trail crosses an avalanche runout path, it is only of concern during times of heavy snowfall. www.avalanche.ca. This trail is normally track-set to the 1st Summit Lake from December to March.
Parks Canada produces a 'Winter Trails' guide of this and other x-c ski trails in the park, it is available for free from the Jasper Information Centre. For map lovers there is the government topo 83 C/13 Medicine Lake @ 1:50,000 or Gremtrek's 'Jasper and Maligne Lake' @ 1:100,000. These maps are available from your The Friends of Jasper.
Submitted by 'mtncat'.
In winter please check the local avalanche conditions.
From the town of Jasper drive east for 2km on Hwy 16 and turn right on the Maligne Lake Road. Cross the bridge and follow the Maligne Lake Road for 29km to the Beaver Creek picnic area at the south end of Medicine Lake. The picnic area has a tables, fire boxes (but no firewood) and a panabode privy.
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Posted By: Jmglenn
- Fri Jul 27 02:34:42 UTC 2007
UpsideThis was a very good hike through thick bush on a well defined trail. The hike was very warm in july but summit lake provides a nice quick refreshing dip. DownsideBeware of the bears. We luckily didnt see any but there was 4 bear droppings within about 2 km range. So the bears are defiantely there. CommentYou can continue along the trail futher to get to Jaques Lake where there is an overnight camping area. We didnt get to do that but I'm sure it would have been amazing.