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Jasper Park in early May

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London, Canada
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Jasper Park in early May

Hi,

I'm visiting Canada and I will have two weeks (from May 1 to May 15) for travelling before I leave. And I am wondering will there be hiking trails in good condition in this time of year?

Calgary
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1. Re: Jasper Park in early May

Probably no. That is too early in the season. Maybe some lower altitude trail around the town site. Some higher altitude trails in Jasper do not open until July.

Jasper, Canada
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for Jasper, Jasper National Park, Canadian Rockies
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2. Re: Jasper Park in early May

Only the valley bottom and lower elevation trails will be accessible then. These are all forested trails, not the flower-filled subalpine and alpine meadows surrounded by peaks that you see on postcards. Hikes I typically do at that time of year - the Overlander Trail is one I normally do on Mother's Day; with only one vehicle, you would have to do an "out and back" from either end unless you can make transportation arrangements). The trails on Pyramid Bench are another possibility, although earlier in the month, definitely the more heavily forested ones will still have some snowy or icy areas, especially at the back of the Bench where it is a bit higher. Old Fort Point and the Valley of the Five Lakes (and the connector between them), Wabasso Lake (and the connector to Vof5), Sunwapta Falls/Big Bend CG, Trail 7 from Old Fort Point to Maligne Canyon ... these are all early season hikes.

London, Canada
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3. Re: Jasper Park in early May

thanks a lot

Edmonton, Canada
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4. Re: Jasper Park in early May

Best bet is to check with the park rangers at the information centre in town I am sure they will tell you what is open for hiking trails.

Jasper, Canada
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5. Re: Jasper Park in early May

In the interests of accuracy, we don't have park "rangers" here in the Canadian national parks (that is an American term), but yes, do check with the information centre staff (who are neither rangers nor wardens... wardens are law enforcement personnel, although the job title also used to include what are now known as resource conservation staff (and these are mainly biologists)). Information centre staff are visitor services staff; most of them are fluent in at least one second language.

There is also the online trail conditions report: www.pc.gc.ca/apps/tcond/cond_e.asp… but it can sometimes be a bit out of date, so I would definitely check with the staff at the visitor centre.

One thing I forgot to mention, and a very good reason to check with Parks Canada staff first ... in regards to Trail 7 - it is subject to spring closures because grizzly bears tend to concentrate on the JPL golf course in the spring. The golf course is one of the first places to "green up" and the bears feed on the grass. (Although they have a fearsome reputation, grizzlies' diets are something like 85% plant-based.) Parks Canada wildlife specialists haze them off the course and up onto Signal Mountain, and trail 7 traverses the very bottom of Signal, potentially putting trail users in close proximity to the bears, so the trail is closed during that time period.

6. Re: Jasper Park in early May

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