Mount Edith Cavell area
The Cavell area offers fragrant subalpine forest, new growth where a glacier recently retreated from the valley, flowery alpine meadows and spectacular views of Mt. Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier.
To get to the trailheads, go 7 km south of Jasper on Highway 93 and turn right onto Highway 93A. Travel 5.4 km and turn right onto the Cavell Road. The 12-km road is narrow and has tight switchbacks that are unsuitable for trailers (drop-off area at the start) and large motorhomes.
En route, pull-offs offer views of the lush Astoria Valley and the glaciers at its head.
Warning: Throughout the Cavell area, hikers should stay on the trails and away from the cliffs, where there is danger from falling boulders and avalanches of snow and ice. Do not approach the Angel Glacier. House-size blocks of ice crash down frequently.
Path of the Glacier trail
Trail 41 (moderate); 1.6 km return; 70 m elevation gain/loss; 1 hour
Trailhead: The end of the Cavell Road.
This short, well-used trail takes you toward the great north face of Mt. Edith Cavell, across a rocky landscape recently covered with glacial ice. Signs explain how the area is now being recolonized by plants and animals.
Start at the far end of the parking lot, by a display about Edith Cavell herself, and take the short stairway up to the trail, which is paved at the beginning. It climbs steadily for half a kilometre to a junction near the end of the pavement. Continue straight ahead to a commanding viewpoint overlooking Cavell Pond and the layered ice of Cavell Glacier. You may see icebergs that have fallen into the water. Across the valley the Angel Glacier rests her wings in the cirque between Mt. Edith Cavell (left) and Sorrow Peak (right). Follow the trail back along the hill you came from.
Recent large scale landscape change occurred in the summer of 2012, when the Ghost Glacier fell from Mount Edith Cavell, causing a massive debris flood down the valley. Terrain instability, falling rock and ice continue to pose significant hazards beyond the viewpoint area- travel to the pond’s edge of beneath the Angel Glacier is not advised. This area is now closed for your safety – please respect all signs, remain on trails and admire the scene from the viewpoints provided.
Cavell Meadows trail
Trail 42 (moderate); 6-7 km return; 500 m elevation gain/loss; 3-5 hours
Trailhead: The end of the Cavell Road
Take this moderately steep but well-graded trail to see classic examples of upper-subalpine forest, treeline vegetation and the alpine region beyond. Along the way there are spectacular views of Angel Glacier.
The upper section of the trail is often wet and easily damaged in early summer- travel not recommended- but by mid-July, you can usually count on a colorful display of mountain wildflowers.
Important: stay on the trail, so you don't damage the fragile tundra.
Follow the Path of the Glacier Loop to the end of the paved portion, turning hard left soon after onto the route to the meadows. Where the trail follows the edge of the bouldery moraine, watch for little gray pikas and chipmunk-like golden-mantled ground squirrels among the rocks. The trail levels out at treeline, angles left and loops back down to rejoin itself at the edge of the forest.