October 2, 2020
In my first post in this Jasper series, I talked about our disappointment at seeing the Miette Road was still closed, meaning we would not be able to hike the Sulphur Skyline Trail. Wahhhhh.
The Wilcox pass hike was our best substitute and lest you think we were settling for second best, I think these next few posts will disavow you of those notions.
Wilcox Pass Hike
- Trailhead – 3.1 km (2 miles) South of Icefields Centre on Highway 93 – 107 km ( 66 1/2 miles) South and East of Jasper town
- distance – 3.4 km. (2 1/8 miles) out and back trail to red chairs – 6.8 km ( 4 1/4 miles) out and back trail to junction with Wilcox Ridge Trail
- elevation gain – 360 m (1,181 feet) to red chairs – 396 m ( 1,299 feet) to junction with Wilcox Ridge trail
- steep, strenuous portions up to Red chairs, then easier once you get to the meadows.
- always prepare for the worst on this trail, sturdy hiking shoes, trekking poles, water, snacks, bear spray and extra layers. Portions of the trail are extremely exposed and weather can be very changeable. This hike is not for those with knee problems, unless, like my Patty you use trekking poles. Also, if you try this with young children and pets, be prepared to carry them down, when they tire.
Starting off from parking lot. At this point, there were a number of cars in the lot, so we knew we would have company.
Up to Red Chairs
Onward up into the Meadows
On, up to the trail junction, at last.
We had never hiked the Wilcox Ridge Trail before and as some fellow hikers, up ahead hollered out, “if you are looking for them, they are over there”, we decided to go for it. Who were “them” and why were they “over there”?
After all, it was a beautiful day and shirtsleeve weather at +17 C. When would we ever get such a chance again on October 2 at this elevation?
So, stay tuned for 2 more posts about that hike, after this one. Hint, hint: We survived.
Still in a euphoric high, we now started our descent back to the car. The autumn colours of the meadow shrubbery shone, not unlike heather on a Scottish hillside. As close as this habitat would ever get to it, in any event.
Back down to the Red chairs, where it was all downhill from there.