Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park website
We were here 27 march 2019
Normally this is a fairly easy trek with little to no elevation difference, but if you are stubborn like us and go out without any gear to overcome the heaps of snow it can be a really rough ride. If you are visiting Jasper National Park we would definitely recommend this trek. Both to get out if the crowds and to enjoy a gorgeous view at the campsite. Be prepared to camp on the snow in winter and to gather your own wood.
Time: 2 Days
Distance: 13,4 km
Elevation gain: 140 m
Type: Out and Back
Entry included in our annual Canadian ‘Discovery Pass’, 136 CAD
Camping: 9,8 CAD
Reservation fee 11 CAD
We booked at the visitor center the day we started the hike (It is not possible to book here in advance) and did not have to pay the reservation fee. This is not recommended in the high season as all the campsites might be full if you wait too long.
We suspect this hike has two faces. In summer this trail is supposed to be an easy trek. Follow the signposts to Big bend campsite. The trail ascends for a short while and then descends all the way to the campsite. Almost no intersections are present between the parking lot and the lake. When you hit the lake, keep right and follow the edge of the water until you hit the fire ring. This was the explanation of the ranger at the time and we thought we were in for an easy afternoon hike of maximum 2 hours. Now, in winter this trail becomes a lot more difficult. Prepare for potholing most of the way and reaching an average pace of 1,2 km/h or come really prepared (which we did not) and strap on your snowshoes or skis. Don’t do like us and think it will be okay! Also, keep in mind that when going back the route will be uphill for most of the way.
Since you are moving further away from the tourists spots your changes are becoming bigger to catch an actual wildlife sighting in the wild. Especially around the lake is supposed to be a good spot, but keep an eye out in the woods to. We saw a lot of fresh tracks, but sadly no wildlife. Furthermore, a couple of really beautiful mountains form the background of the lake. Especially sunrise is extra beautiful since the sun moves down the mountains and lights them up with reflections in the lake.
The Big Bend campsite comes with:
A good fire ring with an extra grid for cooking
An open-air compost toilet
Water from the lake
Gear up with
Wood gathering tools
In summer: Just your walking mood
In winter: Snowshoes or skis when the path is snowed in!