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Valley of the Five Lakes, Jasper Alberta
LOCATION: Trail is located just South of Jasper, Alberta. You can find the trailhead by following Highway 93 (towards Columbia Icefields/Banff) approximately 9km from town.
DIFFICULTY LEVEL: Moderate – I would give it about a 3/5 for difficulty.
DISTANCE/TIME: The trail is 9km round trip, which took us around 3-4 hours to complete mainly due to us stopping to enjoy the view, taking pictures, and having lunch.
WILDLIFE: We saw a few deers hanging out at the beginning of the trail (they were also there at the end of the trail so clearly they like to hang around this spot). We also ran into quite an agressive grouse (no joke – he did not want us to cross the trail). Other than a few chipmunks and squirrels, that was the extent of wildlife that we saw.
We were deep in the heart of bear country, and around this time they have only been out of hibernation for a couple of weeks. Upon arriving at the trailhead, we were greeted by a group of people just finishing the hike who warned us that there was a black bear hanging out around Lake 3. Normally this would freak me out enough to not want to go on the hike, but considering we were with a large group of people I felt completely safe. Throughout the hike we were told about the bear by passerbyers, even right up to the point where people had said they had seen it only a few hundred meters away from us. We didn’t end up seeing the bear however, likely due to the large number of people that were walking on the trail around the same time as us (we ran into another large group of people around the time we saw the grouse), and continued walking with them for a few km around where the bear was spotted.
The scenery on this walk was absolutely breathtaking. From the gorgeous crystal clear lakes thats colours paralleled some of the most beautiful lakes I have ever seen, to the lush green moss and sprinkle of wildflowers that we saw in the depths of the trail, the entire hike was incredibly visually appealing.
The trail had a few more hills than I was expecting after reading the elevation gain on the trail sign (88m). It was still well within my hiking ability though and added a nice workout to the hike. Here’s a sample of one of the hills we climbed.
We stopped and had our picnic lunches at Lake 4. The Lake was so clear that we could see several fish swimming around in the lake.
After lunch we continued on with our hike.
Out of the 6 of us, 2 were professional photographers, and one of them (Courtney from Clove Photography) took this picture of me, which ended up getting shared by Jasper Canadian Rockies from my Instagram account, which I though was pretty cool! Thanks Courtney for the awesome picture!
A huge thanks to my hubby who took most of the pictures you see in this post! You can find more of his nature photography over on his blog www.NatureHealsTheSoul.com
Remember to pick up this week’s copy of The Hinton Voice for a full hike synopsis, and also check out fellow blogger Sarah from Stop Nothing But Time‘s post HERE.