Our next couple days were cloudy and hazy. Not sure if it was smoke from the fires that are still burning in British Columbia but we didn’t smell anything, it just made for some uninspiring scenery. We did take a hike close to town on the Old Fort Trail, about a three mile loop that initially climbs steeply to great views of the Athabasca River and Jasper.
The Athabasca originates from the Columbia Icefields, flowing north through the Rockies to the Arctic Ocean.
View of Jasper Townsite across the river.
This would be a really great hike on a clear day.
Looking down on the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on the shore of pretty Lake Beauvert.
Part of the trail goes through an aspen forest.
Parks Canada places red chairs at scenic locations along trails.
We actually thought there were more scenic places along the trail than this but it could have been the weather and the fact that so many trees are dead due to pine beetle infestation.
Our wildlife sighting for the day.
From there we drove a few more miles to check out Pyramid Lake, where Chuck and Carla were planning to kayak. Just a few weeks ago a woman was attacked unprovoked by a female elk as she was walking to a restroom at one of the Pyramid Lake picnic areas. It knocked her unconscious, face first, and pounded on her with its hooves. She had 5 broken ribs, a punctured lung, and a leg wound to the bone that took 100 stitches. People don’t realize how dangerous these animals can be. Jim and I had a bull elk walk out of the woods about a car length away from us as we were walking back from Chuck and Carla’s site one evening. We hung back and got behind a car but it made us a little nervous being so close to such a large, powerful creature.
There is a trail and bridge that goes out to Pyramid Island. I can never get Chuck, Carla and Jim to pose.
The next day we took a bike ride from the campground on the trails to Lake Beauvert. There is a huge trail system in Jasper which allows mountain bikes with only a few exceptions. We stayed on the easier trails for a pleasant 12 mile ride.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge golf course.
Athabasca River again.
When the sun finally came back out we decided to return to this area for a hike. Along the way we passed by Alpine Village, a very cute inn overlooking the Athabasca River.
Sad that most of their pines are dead.
We parked in the guest lot of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, where you can access trails along Lake Beauvert.
A view of the pool from the steps to the lobby.
There is a main lodge building and numerous chalets and cabins.
Scenes from our hike.
A Canadian duck.
We continued on trails through the woods to Lake Annette, where there is a paved loop around the entire lake.
A first for us.
Jim was reminded of a Cialis commercial.
The day before we left Jasper it rained off and on so we decided to go to town and do laundry. Coin Clean Laundry is a crazy busy place, with a coffee shop inside of the laundromat. If you make a purchase they give you the WiFi code, but only for 30 free minutes. We got coffee and I tried to publish a blog post but it was too slow and kept timing out. At least we came out with clean clothes.
When we got back I took a walk up the road to towards the Skytram to check out the views. The trees were too dense to see much but I found the beginnings of fall.
We left Whistler’s campground on Monday with quite a send-off from the elk. When I raised the blinds that morning the herd of at least a dozen were all around us but the bull was nowhere to be seen.
A short time later we heard his bugling, then he proceeded to walk through our site.
I could see one female who was lagging behind the herd, and he would not follow the rest until she joined them. He turned around and bugled, then went back to coax her along.
I’m hanging out the window taking pictures. You can see the bull to the right making sure she comes along.
He again walked right beside our rig, while Jim kept his hand poised on the window to slam it shut in case he decided he didn’t like us looking at him.
It was a great ending to our stay in Jasper.
Next stop, Lake Louise.