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Canada ’17 – River to Mountain

After our late dash to Jasper last night due to our sunset stop at Rearguard Falls, we arrived at our AirBnB accommodation in Hinton, about an hour outside of Jasper quite late (pretty close to midnight actually). With summer in full swing, the accommodation is Jasper is either booked out or out of price range, so this little AirBnB seemed like a good second option. It was a 1 bedroom, basement apartment and we were pretty happy with it when we arrived. It had plenty of space and was clean and comfortable.

After a few big days, we had a lazy start to the day with a bit of a sleep in and we headed to the Visitor Centre in Hinton for some current maps and to check out if there was anything new we should visit since our last time here in Jasper (way back in 2006).

Given it was dark on our way out, we obviously didn’t get a good look at the drive from Jasper to Hinton, so we were keen to hit the road this morning, our destination today Athabasca Falls.

We weren’t too far into our drive out of Hinton before we started to follow the Athabasca River and those glorious milky glacial waters, so when there was a pullover, we had to stop.

Oh my word, road trips take on a whole new meaning over here!

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Just you know, the view out the front window!

We stop at the Mount Hardisty, Mount Edith Cavell and Athabasca Pass lookout. The pullout gives some really good views of the mountain peaks, and there are little wooden plaques pointing to each of the mountains.

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Rodger just chillin at the lookout.
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More stunning road trip views.

We finally arrive at our intended destination – the majestic Athabasca Falls.

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Unlike many of the other falls, these start off quite unassuming.
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Stunning views of Athabasca River and Mt. Kerkeslin.

As you make your way along the path, the falls start to take shape, however, at this point first time visitors still can’t see the full falls, but can start to hear them.

… and then around a small bend in the path they start to open up

The walk is all paved and there a few bridges crossing the river giving spectacular views back to the falls and of the mighty canyons it has gauged its way through over the centuries.

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Looking downstream

You can also walk around to the other side of the falls.

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Looking back across the falls.

 

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Almost at the bottom

We walked all the way down to river level

After spending probably way too much time at the falls, we headed back towards town. We made a few stops along the way.

We were jumping back and forth about what to do next – do we go up the summit again or head out to Pyramid Lake where we hadn’t been. Even though we had done it before, with the weather and skies being so clear we decided to hit the Jasper Sky Tram.

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Who can resist bears!
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Alright! Going Up!

It’s always a little difficult in most gondala’s/trams etc to get a really shot as the glass is usually quite thick, scratched and throws serious glare and shadows, but i wasn’t going to miss this view.

Looking back down to the base station.

Looking over the township of Jasper

Looking up the valley

Boy did we make the right decision. The view was spectactular and the skies were even clearer than we thought, so much so that Mt Robson was visible, which we are told is extremely rare – score!

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Mt Robson in all her glory.

So its 6 o’clock at night, what do you do? You decided to summit the mountain! Yep we figured we were there, the weather was perfect let’s do it.

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We’re going up there, over there to the right
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and when we get over there, keep going.

Its possible we are idiots! But up we go …

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Look at that view.
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Pretty sure even this dude was throwing some shade our way for walking up here.
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Still climbing
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These chairs are synonymous with Parks Canada, so finding them up here was pretty cool.

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We took a side trail
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Looking back – you just see the top of the Sky Tram summit station to the left in front of the rocks.
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The views are certainly worth the hike.
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Whoo Hoo we made it! Whistler’s Peak conquered.

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We didn’t do too bad, making the summit in about an hour with quite a few stops along the way, but it was 7.30pm and we were getting pretty hungry so we humped back to the Sky Tram station to get us back to the bottom of the mountain.

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This little guy was keeping watch on everyone as we made our way back down.
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I love the patterns that nature makes all on its own.
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The light on the way back down the Sky Tram was stunning.

We eventually made it back to the bottom of the mountain by about 8pm, so considering i think we did alright.

We headed back into town and smashed some chinese, and i mean smashed because we were starving and watching this sunset unfold, whilst the Rocky Mountaineer prepared to leave – i mean come on! I’m supposed to be on holidays here!

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There she goes – Rocky Mountaineer leaving Jasper on sunset.

and on that note, it was time for us to head for the hills and get home for a somewhat early night.

 

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