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February 17, 2018


by swebackpacker


It was time to leave Banff and travel north to Jasper National Park. After Lake Louise Highway of Heroes (Trans Canada 1) turns west and continues up in the mountains to the famous railway spiral tunnels at Kicking Horse pass. I travelled north on Highway 93 Icefields Parkway of many considered the most beautiful Highway of the world.


Icefields Parkway is 270 km long so it´s necessary to start early in the morning to reach Jasper before dusk. There are a lot to see on Icefields Parkway and you can´t see it all in one go, if you don´t camp somewhere halfway and increase the travel time to two days.


My first priority was to see Peyto Lake which is located in the very north of Banff National Park far away from both Banff and Jasper!


The seven first pictures of this post are all taken at different places around Peyto Lake. The Lakes name comes from a trail guide and trapper called Bill Peyto who lived in Banff area!


The surface elevation of the lake is 1860 meter. It´s not too demanding to walk up to the view point of the lake. It´s 1200 meters uphill walking on a well maintained path from the parking lot.


Many people might think it´s not possible, Peyto Lake can´t have that colors! But the water does have the most brilliant shade of turquoise color one can imagine! It´s considered the most beautiful lake of the world. In my point of view Peyto Lake, Lake Titicaca and Lake Atitlán are the competitors of the title the most beautiful lake of the world.


I show one last picture of the wonderful Peyto Lake. It´s possible to take a small path from the main view point of Peyto Lake. Instead of walking back to the parking lot one turns right and follow a path along the rim of the mountains for maybe one to two km. Most of the pictures are taken from this rim and only a couple from the official view point!


Bird Eye View to the south of Icefields Parkway. I have travelled for a couple of hours from Peyto Lake. Turning east from the same viewpoint I took the picture of Icefield Parkway, a waterfall is coming down from the Maligne Glacier Mountains. I am now in Jasper National Park just south of the word famous Athabasca Glacier Mountains.


When I arrived at Athabasca Glacier Mountains it was late in the afternoon. I needed the travel time to Whistler Camping area in Jasper so just one quick picture from Athabasca Glacier Mountains. I was not fond of an ice cold walk on the glacier.


I had a cold camping night in Whistler Camping it was about four to five degree Celsius during the night, this isn’t a problem in a tent as long as the temperature stays over zero degree Celsius. I decided to visit the western parts of Jasper National Park I drove to Medicine Lake in the early morning.


I ate my breakfast at Medicine Lake rest area; there is a danger that you will have bear visits during your breakfast since they can smell your food from one thousand meters! Suddenly a car drove into the rest area a woman said go into the car a bear are on its way into the rest area. I collected my things and went into the car but no bear appear. I decided to put a 300 mm lens on my camera a left the car again to see what had happened? The other people collected mobile phones and IPads from their cars and went out to look at the bear. The bear was less than thirty meters from the rest area; I was too close to take pictures so I withdrew for two reasons to get pictures and safety. Other people were close to the black bear taking pictures with their cellphones. The bear was complete calm eating grass for breakfast and didn´t mind all the people hunting for pictures!


After the breakfast the black bear went for a morning swim in Medicine Lake! One the lake shore a tourist had arranged his camera on a tripod for a nice view out over Medicine Lake. The tourist had no idea a bear was approaching him behind his back. Another tourist shouted there is a bear behind you! The tourist turned around and seemed very surprised to see the black bear maybe only fifteen meters away. For an intensively moment the black bear looked at the tourist and the tourist at the bear! The tourist behaved very well in this most dangerous situation. He looked way to the side of the bear and not straight on it and walked slowly away with his tripod and camera. The bear strolled into the water for his morning swim.


They do have bear spray in Canada, if one comes into the situation like the one I just described! The instruction is waiting calmly until the bear is six meter away, spray bear spray onto the nose of the bear and after that on the ground in-between you and the bear. I have no idea, how a surprised and disoriented bear will behave but I believe our tourist solved it in a very safe way. But if the bear really do charge bear spray might be the last resort to safe one’s life!


After the swim the black bear was hungry again and it was time for lunch. It was probably mountain goat for lunch? This black bear has hidden its food in a very ingenious way. The goat was taken to a rest area for humans, buried in the ground down below the rest area (maybe five meter lower than the rest area) on the other side was the lake. It´s unlikely a Wolf, Grizzly Bear or Puma would come into the rest area to steal the black bears food. For several reasons, humans in this area, and very difficult to smell the food!


A view a cross Moose Lake and the last place for today’s journey before returning again Jasper!


On the way back to Jasper I discovered a Bald Eagle nest at Medicine Lake about one hundred to one hundred fifty meter from Medicine Lake rest area there I did see the black bear. The Bald Eagle had chicks in the nest. Unfortunately a long way to the birds nest and of course a restricted area!



After couple of cold nights the weather turned sharply from very cold to very warm weather. I couldn´t believe the temperature gauge in the car than it displayed thirty degree Celsius! My last visit in Jasper National Park was Mount Edith Cavell.


Mount Edith Cavell was restricted area only a certain amount of people was allowed to enter each hour into this glacier mountain. One needed to pay the tourist visitor center in Jasper an early morning visit to pick up a permit and specify the hour one would like to enter! It pays off to be early, since the amount of permits is limited and early hour permits goes first!Jasper Info Visitor Center


The name Mount Edith Cavell from a British nurse who saved Allied soldiers life during world war one in Belgium! She was later accused by the German to be a spy and was executed! She became a hero in common wealth countries!  The Telegraph


In August 2012 Mount Edith Cavell had a spectacular massive icefall which changes the valley forever.Massive Ice fall


Walking in Mount Edith Cavell was restricted doe to an angry Grizzly Bear one was allowed to walk up to the pass to the next valley but not over to the next valley there all the flowers are in the summer time. I am near the pass then taking this photo.


I did see elk two times in Jasper National Park. The first time was at Whistler Camping area about ten meters from my tent. The second time was on the road out of Jasper on the famous National road 16 the so called Yellowhead Highway!


© SWEBackpacker, 2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material including pictures without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to SWEBackpacker with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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