We Should Have Known Better

NOTE: This post contains slideshows and if you are reading it on your phone, it is best viewed direct from the SITE, rather than in the READER.

All photos taken on May 11, 2021, during our Valley of the 5 Lakes hike.

Valley of the 5 Lakes hike

Trailhead: Parking Lot P15, 9 km South of Jasper on Highway 93

Distance: 4.6 km (3 miles) up to 9.3 km (5 3/4 miles)

Elevation Gain/Loss: 56 m (5 3/4 miles)

Facilities: Pit toilets

Description: A moderately difficult trail, littered with rocks and roots. Watch your step and wear sturdy boots. We saw one little guy take a spill and his mother, busy on her phone and with her friends had neither the time or the empathy to comfort him. He at the very least, needed a hug.

And now, about the title. When we drove back from the Columbia Icefields yesterday at about 2:00 PM, the Valley of the 5 Lakes hike parking lot was mobbed, with people everywhere. We arrived this day at about 11:30 AM and the parking lot was not too bad. However, there were still people milling about, both coming and going and we knew physical distancing would be a challenge on many of the narrow portions of the trail. We were not wrong. So, without further ado, the hike in photos…

The loop begins at the top of the hill after the boardwalk. You can walk in either direction, but we have found the counter clockwise route (towards Fifth Lake) gives the best views. There are some steep rocky sections on this part.

Arriving at Fifth Lake, it was busy, but we found a place to sit and eat lunch. Once some of the crowd moved on, we moved to the water’s edge. Here are the shots of Fifth Lake.

As more and more hikers arrived, we opted to mosey along and soon found ourselves at Fourth Lake. It was a different shade of green and the reflections were spectacular.

We paused at the Red Chairs at the end of Third Lake to let some of the foot traffic come and go. The path along Third Lake was a narrow traverse on a side hill, so distancing would be difficult.

Second Lake was not very pretty, but it did have a goofy Common Goldeneye doing the backstroke in it.

There is a trail between Second and First Lake that takes you back to the parking lot. Views of First Lake were limited, but we did manage to spot a red squirrel and an alpine crocus.

The hikers were coming fast and furious now, so there were many places where we had to pull aside and wait for the path to clear. Before long, we found ourselves back at the boardwalk and I found more alpine crocus flowers. It would be a good day, if we could get back to the parking lot without further incident.

No such luck. Hikers were coming in bunches now, as it approached 2:00 PM. At long last, we arrived at the parking lot which had many more vehicles than when we arrived. Driving back to our bungalow, we knew It just had to be wine o’clock.

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.

32 thoughts on “We Should Have Known Better

  1. I love that you regularly get out and enjoy the beautiful scenery and fresh air in your neck of the woods while getting some exercise. Thanks for sharing the amazing photos. They inspire me to use a couple of the greenway trails near me. The scenery is different but the exercise is definitely helpful. John

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks John. One of our greatest pleasures is to go for a walk. After the same old same old during Covid, it was nice to get back to some of our favourites. We all need to keep moving for our own health and sanity. Wishing you many happy walks. Allan


    1. Hi Lyssy. Hope your week is going well. It was a good hike, except for the crowds. These lakes change colour depending on the time of year and amount of sunlight. There are plenty of green lakes in Jasper, due to the sunlight reflected from the glacial till suspended in the water. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It was our last day, so we squeezed in 2 hikes. Our first hike went well as nobody was up and about yet. The 2nd hike is very popular for some reason and many who hike there are ill prepared for the rough track. Still, no regrets. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry that so many people were there. In some ways, it’s not just physical distancing, it’s also whether they disturb the peace

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They were definitely harshing my mellow. A couple of groups were even walking with radios playing music, most were on their phones, ignoring nature and their kids. Sad. Thanks for reading. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh dear! My Mum worked at Yosemite and the names they have for people like that are “turkeys”. Any time we see people like that, it’s like, “gobble, gobble, gobble!”

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah. It amazes me how some people parent these days. Taking the baby for a stroller ride or walk, but totally absorbed in their blue light screen. Glad there were no mobiles until our kids were mostly grown. The walk was beautiful. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the day. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

    1. The lake colours are beautiful to be sure. I am not sure why the lakes are only numbered not named, perhaps, the finder was unimaginative or perhaps he was whimsical. I can find no explanation. Thanks for reading Marion. Allan

      Liked by 1 person

  3. What a majestic trail, Allan! The colour of the water is simply stunning and so are those pristine forests. All five lakes are absolutely beautiful and awe-inspiring and any hiker will love the vibrant colour of the water in unique shades of blue and green and how crystal clear they are. Thanks for sharing and have a good day 🙂 Aiva

    Liked by 1 person

  4. It looks like a very pretty hiking trail, and I’m sorry that there were so many other hikers on it. As for that mother, I have no words. Who can’t spare a minute to comfort a child in need?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. What’s better than seeing one lake? Five lakes! I’ve hiked this trail before and it was one of my favourites from my first visit out west. I remember that we arrived at the trailhead pretty early and even then it was still busy.

    Liked by 1 person

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