Day 6 — Wilcox Pass & To Lake Louise - Lookout Point

This was my last day in Jasper National Park (until I returned for my train ride back), so I started off early heading south towards Lake Louise. Along the way I would enjoy some fantastic driving on the Icefields Parkway, pass by the well-known Columbia Icefield Center, hike the Wilcox Pass trail and settle at the Fairmont in Lake Louise.

A long but productive day.

Day 6 — Wilcox Pass & To Lake Louise

  • Athabasca Falls

    Athabasca Falls, Jasper National Park Leaving Jasper and heading south the next day, I passed by Athabasca Falls. The summer melt from the glaciers is in full swing.

  • Ice-Capped Mountain

    Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park Along the Icefields Parkway, scenic views of ice-capped peaks. The ice at the top is part of the Columbia Icefield.

  • Mt. Athabasca

    Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park Took a little stop just before the Columbia Icefield Center to admire this view of Mt. Athabasca.

  • Athabasca Glacier & Columbia Icefield Center

    Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park Taking in the sights at the Columbia Icefield Center. The glacier near center is the Athabasca Glacier. There are guided tours that go onto the glacier, but I didn't take one this time.

Wilcox Pass

Gallery
  • Along the Wilcox Pass Trail

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park Wilcox Pass is a trail right around the Columbia Icefield Center. After the initial ascent, the trees are less dense. The trail continues for a bit until the trees stop entirely.

  • Athabasca Glacier Between Mountains

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park A higher vantage point of the Athabasca Glacier and surrounding peaks from along the trail of Wilcox Pass.

  • Wilcox Pass Meadow Trail

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park Looking backwards along the trail. At this point I've passed the trees and enjoying the wide-open views.

  • Athabasca Glacier Over the Hill

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park Athabasca Glacier again, this time behind the rising hills of this side of the valley. There's a stream running in the depression and the trail from this point on veers away from the edge, leaving less wide views of the glacier.

  • Mt. Wilcox

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park Wilcox Pass and Mt. Wilcox. It's an impressive mountain that seems to appear out of nowhere. This trail is not a loop and it continues to another trailhead at the Icefields Parkway. I turned back at this point to retrace my steps and switched to examining the interesting wild flora in the area.

There were a lot of various wildflowers along the Wilcox Pass trail. Despite the light rain, which really added some aspects to the photos, I spent a lot of time on the way back to take a closer look at them.

  • Leafy Contrast

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park The trees here are evergreen, but there are still leafy plants to be found. These leaves are probably from a previous season.

  • Fluffy Flower

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park A strange but interesting flower, if that's the right term.

  • Colourful Bloom

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park This may be a more mature version of the previous flower. If so, it has added yellow to its colourful image.

  • Wildflowers

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park A variety of the flora that I saw.

  • Fresh Rain

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park Along my way back. it started to rain. This looks like the same type of flower as previous shots, but this one has leaves around it.

  • Vivid Red Indian Paintbrush

    Wilcox Pass, Jasper National Park A vivid Red Indian Paintbrush flower. These stood out in the meadows.

To Lake Louise

  • The Big Bend

    Icefields Parkway, Jasper National Park Further south along the Icefields Parkway, there is a section called the Big Bend. It's like a one long switchback for vehicles to get through some significant elevation change. Soon after, I would cross over into Banff National Park.

  • Lake Louise

    Lake Louise, Banff National Park After arriving at Lake Louise and checking in to the Fairmont, I took in the early evening views of the Lake. This is a fairly iconic view (and one I've seen before in person before), but it was exciting to be here again. Fairview Mountain is on the left, Victoria Glacier in the distant center and a number of smaller peaks on the right side.

  • Chateau Lake Louise

    Lake Louise, Banff National Park As part of my "why not" approach to this trip, I booked a stay at the Fairmont. It's a really nice hotel with a great location and view. However, I almost certainly didn't maximize my stay here since I ended up out hiking most of the time.

Lake Louise - an iconic place that I'm sure many have seen in photos, if not outright visited. It seemed busier here than even Jasper, although that may be just the influx of tour busses here.

I stayed at the Fairmont for two nights, having found discounts on rooms here (I think it was still more expensive than a normal hotel room though). I think it was worth it for at least a few nights, given its location (it's right on Lake Louise and also fairly central among the three national parks). They also had "fancy" food and drinks.

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