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Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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Removed on: 16 December 2015, 01:30
Banff, Canada
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for Banff, Banff National Park
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1. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

Those are good ideas. Since you're going to be in Yoho, you might add the circuit around Emerald Lake to your list -- some lovely scenery there. I also think you should consider the trail that runs out the old Sundance Road from the Cave and Basin in Banff, and the trail around behind Tunnel Mountain, starting from Surprise Corner. Both are close to town and well-travelled, but have spectacular scenery -- not in the Parker Ridge class, but still very good for photography.

Road safety -- well, you're right to think about black ice, although, in my experience, that is more of a spring thing than an autumn thing. Just pay attention to the weather and the forecasts.

Jasper, Canada
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2. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

At night, if driving other than the fenced-off TCH#1, you will also want to actively scan the margins at either side of the road for the tell-tale glow of critter eyes. Sometimes they do bolt or wander out into traffic.

For Jasper, the Old Fort Point loop is a worthwhile (and shorter - only 4 km or so) trail near town, and in September has awesome views of lots of golden aspens. Sometimes there are bighorn sheep there (generally harmless, just give them space). I like to do the loop clockwise, but if you only have a short time and don't mind a steep walk uphill, you can go up the stairs and be up at the top of the knoll (I read somewhere that apparently the correct term is "roche moutonée" - it's a glacial feature) in about fifteen minutes. This might be a good spot for night or sunrise/sunset photography since it gives a really good view of the Athasbaca valley, the town, and the "3 valley confluence" (Athabasca/Maligne/Miette valleys) but I would suggest having a headlamp or flashlight for walking down the steep trail and steps at night or in poor light.

I think the Wilcox Pass trail also fits your criteria... it is popular, so you will meet or see other people, but it never feels crowded. The trailhead is at Wilcox Creek campground just a couple of kilometres south of the Icefields Visitor Centre. You are only hiking in the trees for about the first 2 km or so, and then you are in subalpine and then alpine meadows, with amazing views. There are almost always bighorn sheep to be seen.

3. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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4. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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Jasper, Canada
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5. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

Mountain goats are not seen as often as bighorn sheep. They are commonly seen in spring-time at Goat Look-Out, a beautiful viewpoint and picnic area that has a mineral lick that attracts the goats, which is located on the Icefields Parkway about 5 km south of Athabasca Falls. It has steep slopes overlooking the river. I don't know if they are there in late summer or autumn though. The only time I have ever seen goats nearby while hiking, other than as a very small white speck on a distant cliff, is on Indian Ridge, which is accessed from the Jasper Tramway. My father also got quite close to a couple of goats one time while walking along the summit ridge of The Whistlers, the peak the tramway is on - he walked to the end of the ridge to take in the view, looked down and there they were, on the cliffs not far beneath him. The Tramway sometimes puts photos of the goats on their facebook page.

6. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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Toronto
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7. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

Bring a good pair of binoculars because unless you catch em at a roadside salt lick, mountain goats are almost always high on the mountain sides. Look for white dots and then check them out with the binos. They can appear just about anywhere, I once spotted one on the scree slopes overlooking Lake Louise, not exactly a spot known for goat sightings. From my limited experience goat sightings happen more in the early summer than the late summer/fall, but best of luck.

salsa savant
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8. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

Last September we saw a nan and kid on the highway between icefield and jasper. The Parks Canada people were doing a filming of them. It was quite exciting but I do not think the nan and kid appreciated all of the attn. We have frequently seen goats along the plain of the 6 glaciers up in the alpine. Bring the binoculars as they are pretty far up. I 2nd the vote for Wilcox. The earlier you go I think the better your odds of seeing sheepies (in my opinion). Used to be they were right by the trail, and now they are on the other side of the chasm (I don't know what else to call the little canyon). Another neat walk is the one up Johnston Canyon. It doesn't rate very high but I love how lush it is on the walk. In my opinion the walk to the ink pots is not really worth the additional grunt though. Great burgers (I mean really awesome burgers) at the Johnston Canyon Resort. Does it get any better?

9. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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10. Re: Hiking Solo: Best Trails?

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