Autumn 2020 – Part 18 – Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond – Jasper National Park

September 30, 2020.

Mount Edith Cavell was named in 1916 for a British nurse who was executed by the Germans, during World War 1 for helping Allied soldiers escape.


When we visited Jasper in June 2020, Mount Edith Cavell Road was still closed and we were disappointed that we could not visit Cavell Pond and Angel Glacier. On this visit, it was open and we drove slowly up the 14 km. access road, past trees all dressed in their autumn colours. At times, it was like driving through a kaleidoscope.

Path of the Glacier Hike

  • distance – 1.2 km return (.75 miles)
  • elevation gain – 70 meters (230 feet)
  • duration – 1 hour

One of our first visits on this hike was with our young son B, dressed up in his snow suit, looking like the Michelin Man, playing in the autumn snow. Here are some comparison photos from 1987/88. Sad to see that like my hair line, the glacier size is now greatly reduced. There is no doubt climate change is real.

Over the years, we visited a few times more and took our Irish visitors here. After our last previous visit, disaster struck in August 2012. A huge piece of ice severed from the Ghost Glacier on the North face of Mount Edith Cavell and dropped tons of ice and rocks into Cavell Pond. This caused a veritable tsunami of water and ice that took out the trail, parking lot and outhouses, closing this tourist attraction for about a year.

Since the disaster, the trail stops at a viewing platform with firm recommendations that you proceed no further. Nonetheless, some risk takers continue on and play around the pond.

Views on the way up the Edith Cavell Road and from the parking lot.

Trail head

There were a large number of cars in the parking lot, so when the paved path met a junction with a gravel path, we took the gravel path past picnic tables, mushrooms, and the stream flowing out of Cavell Pond. As Angel Glacier came into view, we rejoined the asphalt path.

Waterfalls running off rock face from glacial meltwater.
Looking back down the valley.
Autumn colours with Cavell Pond in the background.
Pieces of ice repose on frozen pond surface.
Cavell Pond
Angel glacier, named for the shape.
You have been warned. We used to be able to walk a path right down to the shore of the pond.
We were here.

This was such a short hike, we opted to take the Cavell Meadows Trail (next post) for a better view.

Published by kagould17

After working for 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 3+ years and while it is not always exciting, the chance to do what I want for myself and my family instead of what my company wanted me to do has been rewarding. While I still miss the social aspect of working with a team of great people, I have managed to keep in touch with many from my former team and I have many friends and family members who now fulfill this part of my life. Now that my Patty has retired, we are able to spend more time in pursuits and with people who are near and dear to us. I enjoy photography, gardening, working with my hands, walking, cycling, skiing, travelling, reading and creating special photo and video productions obtained in my first pastime. I may not become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

17 thoughts on “Autumn 2020 – Part 18 – Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond – Jasper National Park

    1. Interesting. I have not seen a similar problem. Will check my slide show settings to see if there is an issue there. Yup, Climate Change is a real thing, even though your area and mine currently has more than their fair share of snow. Thanks for persevering and reading. Allan


  1. Only when you revisit certain places over and over you can see the changes that are happening. We are the first generation to know that we are destroying the planet, but we could be the last that can do anything about it. Stunning landscape and beautiful photos, Allan. Makes me dream about the day I’ll be able to see the mountains again. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always found it neat to return to the same place years later and do a “before” and “now” comparison with your pictures to see what’s changed with the landscape. You can easily see how much the glacier has retreated since 1987-88. I still don’t understand how some people think climate change isn’t real.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. We had been waiting a long time to get back here as we had so many happy memories. While it was nice to see it again, it was a bit sad to see how small it was getting. I think for may, $ signs get in their eyes and they do not wish to do anything which will reduce their profit or cost them money. As an Albertan, I was a bit this way when I was younger, but humans are ingenious. If they just take the same amount of time to study the matter as they do in denying it, solutions and a way forward will be found. Stay well and thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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