Parker Ridge – Jasper National Park

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Saskatchewan Glacier

Parker Ridge, south of the Icefields Centre in Jasper National Park is an excellent hike. It doesn’t take too long to reach the top of the ridge and there’s an fascinating view of the Saskatchewan Glacier.

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Icefields Parkway

The trail starts at the edge of the parking lot, just off the side of the Icefields Parkway. It switchbacks through subalpine forest until you get into the alpine. When I did this hike it was pretty early in the morning and there was frost on the ground which made satisfying crunching sounds underfoot.

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Hiking out of the tree line

The views from the hike are excellent. Even early on the views are pretty good as the trees are shorter than on other hikes as you’re already in the subalpine.

Picture6When you’re out of the forest there are still a couple more swtichbacks before you get to the crest of the ridge. Be sure to follow the marked trail and don’t cut of switchbacks – the alpine ecosystem is fragile.

Picture4Once at the top of the trail, there is a fork which allows you to continue in either direction. Either way the views are beautiful and you get a real appreciation for the size of the Saskatchewan Glacier.

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Glacial Outwash Plain

Saskatchewan Glacier

The Saskatchewan Glacier

Picture12To return back to the trail head you follow the same route as on the way up. It’s a really great hike if you want to get out of your car and stretch your legs travelling Banff/Lake Louise and Jasper. I think it’s a great way to get a different perspective on the glaciers, as you’re a way back from the glacier and can appreciate it’s sense of scale in the landscape.

Picture7Overall the hike is approximately 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) in total, with an elevation gain of 250 metres (820 feet).

Picture3Ā© RockiesOutdoors 2014

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17 responses to “Parker Ridge – Jasper National Park

  1. I did this a couple of years ago with my two daughters. While enjoying the views from the top we noticed hundreds of tiny fossils. They were corral I think. If you ever get back up there have a look for them.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Five Shortish Hikes in the Canadian Rockies | rockiesoutdoors·

      • I’ve seen amazing pictures from Inger (Girl gone expat) and drooling in front of my computer for such a long time now… We should make the move. But it’s difficult for us to plan for long holiday this year, because I’m moving abroad in June. But next year, for sure !

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve yet to visit Jasper…and today, after reading and viewing your photos it feels as if I am there (instead of sitting in the middle of the business district in Hong Kong!). Cheers and enjoy ~

    Liked by 1 person

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