It should be warned that there is little in the way of affordable public transportation in Jasper National Park. For people without a vehicle the park becomes a very big place indeed. Fortunately, one of the best short hikes in the park is close to town and should be considered a must do by all people visiting the town of Jasper. Besides, more often than not, you'll be in the company of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep.
Exiting from the Jasper Heritage Railway Station (http://www.pc.gc.ca/clmhc hsmbc/gfp hrs/ab_E.asp) turn left and walk past the old 6015 Mountain Class Steam Engine. (http://www.steamlocomotive.com/mountain/cnr.html). Turn left at the traffic lights at Hazel Street, cross the railway tracks, then take the second left after the tracks into the Parks Canada Maintenance Compound. A short distance down the Compound Road, a crosswalk sign on the right indicates the beginning of Trail#1c. The trail travels along side the Compound Road before dropping to and crossing Hwy 16.
On the far side of Hwy 16 the trail descends a little hill next to one the Twin Lakes. Across the valley is a fine view of Old Fort Point below Mount Tekarra. Passing the tarn the trail crosses a gravel road, then connects with the paved Old Fort Point Road. Turn left on the paved road and cross the bridge over the Athabasca River to the Old Fort Point parking lot. There is a panabode privy in the parking lot.
In the corner of the parking lot is a large wooden staircase hidden behind some trees, locate it and head up, this is Trail#1 . At the top of the stairs is a monument to the Athabasca River, which was been designated a Canadian Heritage River. (http://www.chrs.ca/Rivers/Athabasca/Athabasca_e.htm) in 1989. Keep left at the junction with Trail#9c and go up, up, up... it's only 130m of elevation but it'll feel like more.
The trail wraps around the summit before the final ascent through a gap in the rock from behind. Be careful with children as you pass through the gap, a few steps to the right is a big cliff. The rock on the summit is far from smooth but there are a few comfy spots to sit and take in the view. The rock itself is some of the oldest in the Rockies, almost 800 million years old. Once you've had your fill of the panorama, return the way you came.
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'.
Start from the train station in the town of Jasper.
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