Jacques Lake


This unique trail travels through a narrow mountain valley, skirts four lakes and crosses a watershed—all in less than 13 km and with little change in elevation.

Fires are permitted at Jacques Lake Campground.

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Map of Jacques Lake

The details

  • 24.4 km return on the same trail, 1-2 days
  • Elevation gain: 240 m, elevation loss: 185 m
  • Maximum elevation: 1540 m

    Jacques Lake © R. Gruys

    This is a great one-night backpacking trip. The trail has very little elevation (240 m) and starts out on a fire road for the first 4.8 km. At 1.6 km you will arrive at Beaver Lake, a beautiful small lake with nice views. Continue on the trail for 3.2 km and you will arrive at the Summit Lakes. Some people will choose to ride their bikes to these lakes, then lock them up and continue the final 7.6 km on foot. The trail from Summit to Jacques Lake is an easy hike through a dense forest with many small creeks. Once you arrive at the campground, which sits right next to Jacques Lake, you are rewarded with beautiful views of the Queen Elizabeth Range.

    What you need to know

    The Jacques Lake Trail is a great early or late season hike; it can be quite muddy throughout the season but is generally in good condition. Watch for moose at the campground at dusk and dawn, they are quite commonly seen here.

    Special considerations

    The trail east of Jacques Lake Campground is impassable due to trail damage and fallen trees due to a large forest fire. The campground is a wildlife travel corridor. Always hang your food from the bear pole and keep the eating area clean.

    Suggested itineraries

    Two-day option
    Hike to the campground (12.2 km) and return the following day.

    Campground information

    Campground information
    Campground Description # of sites Fire pit UTM
    Jacques Lake
    Elevation: 1495 m
    This campground is located next to Jacques Lake. It offers wonderful views of the Queen Elizabeth Range. 8 Yes 11U 449874-5865109

    Trail distances (in km)

    Trail distances (in km)
    - Trailhead Beaver Lake Summit Lakes Jacques Lake
    Trailhead - 1.6 4.7 12.2
    Beaver Lake 1.6 - 3.2 10.6
    Summit Lakes 4.7 3.2 - 9
    Jacques Lake 12.2 10.6 9 -

    Elevation Profile

    Elevation Profile

    Maps, GPS data and elevations are provided for reference purposes only. Maps are not meant for navigation. Parks Canada Agency (PCA) makes no guarantees, representations or warranties respecting these data, either expressed or implied. PCA assumes no responsibility for damages or other liabilities due to the accuracy, availability, use or misuse of the information herein provided.

    Directions to trailhead

    From Jasper
    Take Highway 16 east towards Edmonton. Two km from Jasper, turn right across the bridge onto Maligne Road. Continue for 28 km south on the Maligne Road to the south end of Medicine Lake. Turn left into the parking lot.

    Safety in the backcountry

    You are responsible for your own safety. Be prepared for extreme weather and mountainous terrain. Cell phone coverage is unavailable in most areas.

    Trail report
    Before leaving, check the Jasper National Park Trail Report for up-to-date conditions at www.pc.gc.ca/jaspertrails

    Trail offices
    Trail Information, 780-852-6177

    General information
    Jasper Information Centre, 780-852-6176
    EMERGENCY: call 780-852-3100

    Carry a topo map
    Columbia Icefield 83C/3
    Sunwapta Peak 83C/6

    National Geographic
    Jasper South

    Leave no Trace

    Food storage
    To reduce your campsite’s attractiveness to bears, all food, garbage, toiletries and cooking equipment must be hung from the food storage cables provided at designated campsites. In wildland camping areas, bear-resistant containers are strongly recommended to store food.

    Human waste
    Use the pit toilet provided. When there are no facilities nearby, select a spot away from trails, campsites and at least 70 m from water sources. Dig a hole 12 to 16 cm into the dark-coloured, biologically active soil layer. Loosely fill the hole with soil afterward. Use as little toilet paper as possible.