Sunday, August 3, 2008

Edith Cavell hike, Jasper National park, Canada




It’s a long drive up a windy road to the parking lot where the trails begin. No trailers or campers are allowed, but a parking lot is provided at the beginning of this road to unhook your trailers and leave them. This is a very, very popular hiking area so go early in the day so you are done by mid-day when the people arrive in doves. The parking lot at the trail heads becomes full quickly and the road leading to the parking lot becomes lind with cars on both sides (not a very natural sight).

The main attraction is this canyon are the views of Angel Glacier hanging over the mountain melting into the lake below which is mainly covered by the Edith Cavell glacier. The lake has a light milky green color, and at the time of our hike contain several icebergs. The first hiking area focuses on hiking over mounds of rock piles left by the extinct glacier to the lake with your return via the valley floor back to the parking lot. These trails are totally open, so plan accordingly. The other trail in the valley follows a rock pile ridge on the south side of the valley. This gives you views of the lake from the mountain wall side and more views of Angel glacier. There is an ice cave to explore at the lakes edge as well. Opposite the mountain wall and Angel glacier is the hike up the north side of the canyon. This hike climbs 1500 feet in elevation and gives you great views of Angel glacier and the lake from above. This hike winds through several alpine meadows that are home to Woodland Caribou and Grizzlies. Both are very rare to see in this area. The hike has several loops of varying difficulty that you can take going to three distinctive lookouts. If time is short, we recommend at hiking to the first or the lower lookout and if time permits the second lookout is a little further…definitely worth the extra time. The third lookout is at the top of the canyon and much further from these first two viewpoints. The top lookout will give you views of the entire valley/canyon and other surrounding mountains. All this hiking is in alpine areas at or above the tree line so there are many great view points.

TIP - get here early to avoid the massive crowds. No dogs allowed on these trails for they scare the endangered Caribou (of course do these park warden think the massive amounts of cars and people in this area have no impact on these animals…you decide.)




Willa Caruso Steakhouse and Bar – We were looking for something light to eat, and came upon this restaurant. The hostesses were very nice, however our waiter was just okay, not very attentive and the food was the same – just okay. They have outside balcony seating, bar seating (where we sat), and a dinning area - all areas order from the same menu. It’s a steakhouse so maybe we just didn’t get the right food (onion soup, pita & hummus plate). – We were looking for something light to eat, and came upon this restaurant. The hostesses were very nice, however our waiter was just okay, not very attentive and the food was the same – just okay. They have outside balcony seating, bar seating (where we sat), and a dinning area - all areas order from the same menu. It’s a steakhouse so maybe we just didn’t get the right food (onion soup, pita & hummus plate).

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