Autumn 2020 – Part 38 – Wilcox Pass Hike – Jasper National Park

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

Magnificent views across the valley
Majestic peaks.
Looking across at the Icefields. Even if you stop now, you have accomplished a lot.

Onward up into the Meadows

Soaring views.

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.

One last pause to take in the view.

Back down to the Red chairs, where it was all downhill from there.

We thought we were getting close at this point, but, it still took another 20 minutes from here. By the time we reached the parking lot, we had been on the trail for 4.5 hours. Now, for the drive home………………

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.

13 thoughts on “Autumn 2020 – Part 38 – Wilcox Pass Hike – Jasper National Park

    1. I guess we could say it wasn’t choice 1A, but it was a good choice 1B. And to hike at that altitude in October in shirtsleeves was a bonus. Also, we found the Ridge, which was an unexpected bonus. The Red Chairs are a good program, for sure. They are everywhere in Jasper and provide a pop of colour. Thanks for reading and commenting. Stay well. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Maggie. This is about the 5th time we have hiked here, but only the 2nd time we went this far. In June, we tried, but the deep snow lingered. This time it was perfect, especially when we found the sign for the Ridge Trail (later post). We will definitely do this again and again. Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a great hike and there are actually three more parts. It was an unbelievable day, Bernie, full of surprises, including the weather. Thanks for reading. Hope all is well. Allan


  1. Wow, yet another set of stunning landscape and mountain photos! I’m in love with Canadian peaks! 😃 Looks like you had a really good weather for exploring Jasper. There’s nothing fun about hiking in the rain. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. I hope all is well 😃 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was a sterling day and what we needed, to be in the mountain peaks. A doable climb for the views. We hope to do this one again. Thanks for reading Aiva. We are now going into added restrictions her (4 weeks too late). Not sure how we can make our bubble much smaller. We just added Happy Skype Year to our Merry Skypemas. Stay well and stay safe. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

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