Autumn 2020 – Part 27 – Valley of the 5 Lakes Hike – Jasper National Park

October 1, 2020

  • distance – 4.6 km ( 3 miles) to 9.3 km ( 5 3/4 miles)
  • elevation gain/loss – 66 meters ( 216.5 feet)
  • Trailhead – 9 km South of Jasper townsite
  • rating – easy to moderate with some steep sections

We chose to stay away from this trail in June as it is a very popular trail. Many non-hikers come here to walk with children and pets in tow and many wear street shoes, flip flops and open toes sandals. This is not a recommendation to do the same, as there are many rocks and roots on the trail and injuries are possible, if you are not careful

On this day, the weather was again sparkling and we knew the lakes would be filled with colour, so we set off early. Despite, this there were still a large number of cars already in the parking lot.

The walk in from the parking lot is .9 km. The paths are fairly easy at this point and the paths were sun dappled.

Just before the main trail, you arrive at a marshy area with a boardwalk bridge spanning it. The colours of the shrubs and grasses screamed autumn and we were amazed how tall the shrubs had grown up since our last visit in May 2019. Apologies for the lens flares on shot 4, but I do like to shoot into the sun.

Just after the boardwalk, you meet the main trail and have 2 options, clockwise and see the lakes from 1-5 or counterclockwise and see the lakes from 5-1. That’s right, no naming difficulty here…First Lake, Second Lake, Third Lake, Fourth Lake, Fifth Lake. We always go counterclockwise as we feel this route gives the best views and less congestion.

We were now back in the trees and the path steepened. Squirrels were scampering about doing their fall squirrel things and we lost and gained our 66 meters a few times. The body of water in this slide show is a small pond and not one of the five lakes.

At long last, we arrived at Fifth Lake and the views and colours were stunning. The white spots you see on some of the shots are not an indication of a dirty camera lens. There was all kinds of plant fluff in the area, as plants and flowers did their best to propagate.

Right after Fifth Lake, came Fourth Lake, surprise! At the far end, you will see a small outlet that leads to Third Lake.

After walking along beside Fourth Lake, we stopped to play awhile at Third Lake. The reflections in the still water were stunning.

The Parks Canada Red Chairs were situated on a the land between Third and Second Lakes. Second Lake was just as beautiful as the others.

At First Lake you have a choice to make, walk between Second and First Lakes and back to the car park (short loop) or continue on down First Lake (much longer and quite boring actually, as we have done this before) and take the long way home….or continue on to Old Fort Point, even longer.

We opted for lunch at First Lake (next post) and paused beside the lake for a while.

Lunch over, we completed our walk back to the car.

A very satisfying hike with only a few awkward physical distancing issues.

Published by kagould17

Not much to tell. After working for 3 companies over 43+ years (38 years 7 months with my last company), I finally got that promotion I had waited my entire career for……retirement. I have been exploring this new career for the past 7+ 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 wants has been very fulfilling. Early on, there was a long list of projects in my “to-do” hopper and I attacked these projects with a vengeance for the first 9 months of retirement. Eventually, my brain told me that this was not what retirement was about, so it took me another 5 months before my industriousness again took over and I attacked another line of projects, this time somewhat shorter and less complicated, as well as many new projects related to the family weddings in 2016. After going hard for 6 weeks and 3 weddings, my body was telling me to relax, then the flu bug hit and as soon as that was done with me, my sciatic acted up. No rest for the wicked. In 2020 and 2021, the Covid 19 pandemic changed the whole retirement gig. I was lucky to not be still working, for sure. 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 never become wealthy in any of these pursuits, but I already feel I am rich in life experiences far beyond any expectation.

28 thoughts on “Autumn 2020 – Part 27 – Valley of the 5 Lakes Hike – Jasper National Park

    1. I knew procrastination would pay off. Yes, I am also enjoying re-seeing these colours almost 2 months later. Thanks for reading Bernie. Glad you are enjoying. We have hiked the 5 Lakes trail about 6 times and this was the most colourful version we have ever seen. Allan

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    1. Thanks guys. It was a real eye popping day, for sure, but wait……there’s more!!!! Glad you are enjoying. I am reworking my Japan project, hopefully ready for Zoom view. Allan

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  1. A beautiful nature, it is a good thing to have been able to fill up before the winter lockdown. I am happy to see on your photos that there were a few people to enjoy it. Everything is white in Toronto too.

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  2. This brings back such fond memories of when we hiked this trail a few years ago on the drive from Jasper to Banff. I can see why it’s so popular. I still can’t get over that people think flip flops are appropriate footwear for hiking in general, but especially in the mountains.

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    1. It was a great day, for sure. So many people do not prepare for the trail or the elements. In NZ, we saw a lady hiking a very steep rocky trail to a glacier and she was wearing high heels and a dress and carrying a Gucci bag. Appearance is everything. Thanks for reading and commenting. Allan

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  3. Your photographs are insanely beautiful, Allan and the emerald colour of the water is something I haven’t seen that often. I guess you can take any trail in Jasper National Park and be rewarded with stunning views and animal encounters. I love your squirrel photos, they still remain my favourite creatures. Thanks for sharing and have a lovely day 😀 Aiva

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    1. I have to admit they even surprised me when I did my proof read last night. It was a glorious place on a glorious day. Oh, there are some ugly weather days and some uglier trails, but any day in the Rockies is a good day. The squirrels were everywhere busily gathering winter provisions and they were not amused that we were in their territory. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay well Aiva. Allan

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  4. No shortage of water in your part of the world, Allan! Nor in mine, at present, but that really isn’t the norm for me. I popped over from Inside my Slingbag and enjoyed your slide shows. Autumn is the most beautiful time for this type of walk. I’d like to include it in my next walks collection. Nice to meet you 🙂 🙂

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    1. It was a great week in the mountains, for sure. We used to go here every fall when the kids were younger and never saw this kind of weather. Maybe 2020 was just making it all up to us. Thanks for stopping by. Allan

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  5. Stunning photos. The turquoise of the lake, the thick woods, the expanse of greenery…I never knew such places exist, I have only seen them in desktop pictures. Thank you for sharing

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