Wilcox Pass – Jasper National Park – Hiking Alberta

The Wilcox Pass trailhead is clearly signed a short distance south (east) on the Icefields Parkway from Icefield Centre in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  The trailhead map lists the hike as 8 KM (5 miles) return with elevation gain/loss of 335 m (1,100 ft.).  The information at the trailhead kiosk is different from the trail shown on an older Gem Trek map, however the current trail is well-defined and heavily used.  The fickle weather is trending towards increased cloud cover with intermittent sunny periods.  Mel and I begin this hike in sun, but we are prepared for anything, following interesting hiking missions at Stanley Falls and the Athabasca Glacier.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The trailhead kiosk at the Wilcox Pass trailhead near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Excellent quality trail through old growth forest on the Wilcox Pass trail near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Excellent quality trail through old growth forest on the Wilcox Pass trail near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

New bridge construction traverses a drainage along the Wilcox Pass trail.  The old growth forest gives way to a clear section as we gain elevation moderately towards and above the Columbia Icefield on the opposite side of the Icefields Parkway.  The trail remains good but diminishes in quality as we enter another band of forest with a glacial erratic at trailside.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

An elaborate bridge crossing over and above a draw along the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hiking towards and above the Columbia Icefield on the Wilcox Pass trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A storm is approaching our position from mountains to the west above the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A glacial erratic along the Wilcox Pass trail above the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

As Mel and I gain elevation consistently on this section of the Wilcox Pass trail, there is a light, refreshing breeze which is countering the effort of the hike.  As we approach the treeline, the gentle breeze increases in intensity and there is clearly a squall heading towards us from the west.  It has been moving slowly to meet us but a noticeable increase in wind speed will rapidly close the distance between ourselves and the storm.  As we approach the view of the Athabasca Glacier, it is clear we will meet the front of the storm soon.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A storm is moving towards us from the west as we hike the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Boundary and Little A Glaciers from the Wilcox Pass trail across from the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Wilcox Pass trail levels as we hike across the top above the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Approaching the position on the Wilcox Pass trail above Icefield Centre and the Athabasca Glacier near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Boundary and Little A Glacier across from Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

As Mel and I approach the prominent red chairs at the viewpoint, other hikers are scurrying towards us with the hope of getting into forest before the storm engulfs them.  We concede defeat and don rain gear and a pack cover just in time to address the horizontal rain.  The storm is a quick, frantic punch that passes overhead and disappears into the distance revealing clear sunny skies close behind.  Within a few short minutes, it is necessary to put away the rain gear for relief from the heat.  Such is the way of the mountains.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hikers returning quickly from Wilcox Pass to beat the storm near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The prominent red chairs along the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The isolated storm rapidly disappears in the distance along Wilcox Pass trail near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Returning into the treeline along Wilcox Pass trail near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

As the sun returns, Mel and I descend the Wilcox Pass trail by the same route. Mountain and valley views are spectacular to the east and south past Nigel Peak.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Re-entering the forest along Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Back into old growth forest along Wilcox Pass trail near Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hiking through old growth forest near the bottom of Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On descent, a chance glance to my left reveals a faint trail through dark green, old growth forest to a brilliant green spot barely visible through the dense forest.  This will need to be investigated.  Normally, my trip photography has me trailing behind any hiking partner.  I  hike a very short distance to a small, open area containing reflective wetland backed by forest and tall mountains.  This tiny, easy-to-miss, oasis is breathtakingly beautiful.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wetland oasis hidden adjacent to the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wetland oasis hidden adjacent to the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wetland oasis hidden adjacent to the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wetland oasis hidden adjacent to the Wilcox Pass trail near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The final stretch through old growth forest on wide, flat trail leads to the trailhead kiosk and parking area.

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The final stretch on wide, flat trail through old growth forest at Wilcox Pass trailhead near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Wilcox Pass, Columbia Icefield, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Return to the parking area and biffy at the Wilcox Pass trailhead near the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On another day, with more stable weather, we would have completed the entire 4 KM, one-way hike including the short diversion to Wilcox Lake.  On a return visit, there is also another opportunity nearby to hike the Parker Ridge Trail for an excellent view of the Saskatchewan Glacier and the Hilda Creek Trail for a look at Hilda Glacier wedged between Mount Athabasca and Hilda Peak in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada.  So many trails, so little time.  Another day.

Photographs on this short hike to Wilcox Pass for spectacular views over the Icefield Centre to the Columbia Icefield were taken on August 19, 2014 in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.

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Athabasca Glacier – Jasper – Hiking Alberta

The Columbia Icefield connects Banff National Park and Jasper National Park near the Continental Divide between Alberta and British Columbia, Canada.  Sunwapta Pass along the Icefields Parkwaydefines the border between Banff National Park and Jasper National Park.  The massive Icefield hosts some of the tallest mountains in the Canadian Rockies.  As Mel and I drive south on the Icefields Parkway, following our hike into Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek, we will take the opportunity to make the short hike into the toe of the Athabasca Glacier.  We stop at a large parking area north of Icefield Centre to soak up the incredible scenery which is perhaps similar to visiting another planet.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Little A Glacier and two smaller unnamed glaciers on the flanks of Mount Athabasca and Mount Andromeda in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Seeding wildflowers border a river of melting water from many glaciers with Little A Glacier in the background at Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A long lens view of Little A Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Two unnamed glaciers hang over Mount Andromeda from the Columbia Icefield above Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Dome Glacier hangs from the 3,451 m (11,322 ft.) Snow Dome.  The Snow Dome is a hydrographic apex where meltwaters drain to three different oceans; the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Arctic Oceans.  Ravaged rock, scoured smooth over thousands of years by the advance and retreat of massive ice flow, leaves lateral and terminal moraines which are reluctant to foster new growth.  The breeze from the ice above is both chilling and refreshing in combination with the sun.  A formidable river of cascading water, rendered a milky turquoise by suspended rock flour, establishes an impressive foreground.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Dome Glacier hangs from the Snow Dome where prominent lateral moraines remain as evidence of its original size in modern times at Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Views are complemented by the feel of a cool breeze from the Icefield and the sound of fast, white and turquoise water.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rock has been chewed up and abandoned in the path of the glacier’s retreat near Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A long lense view of Dome Glacier and the rock debris left by advancing and retreating ice flow at the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The size and fathom are difficult to grasp.

From the cool and calm environment at the viewpoint, we proceed the short distance south to the massive and frantic parking area at Icefield Centre.  As well as providing accommodation and a variety of dining options, the Icefield Centre is central command for the Parks Canada Visitor Information Centre, the Glacier Gallery and tickets for a variety of fascinating local excursions including Glacier Adventure interpretive tours on the surface of massive Athabasca Glacier via huge coaches specially designed for travel on the surface of a glacier.  There are unique experiences available here.  One of the most recent is transportation to and from the Glacier Skywalk with glass-floored views of the deep and rugged valley beneath.  Mel and I climb the stairs to the outdoor patio overlooking the Athabasca Glacier and find a table to enjoy our packed lunches previously prepared for us at the David Thompson Resort.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Little A Glacier past an emerald pond from the patio at Icefield Centre across Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Athabasca Glacier from the patio balcony at the Icefield Centre in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Following lunch, Mel and I leave the hustle and bustle of the Icefield Centre and drive across the Icefields Parkway to the busy parking area near the trailhead for a closer view of the toe of the Athabasca Glacier.  Near the parking area there is a busy Parks Canada booth and the opportunity to engage in an Icewalk Tour for a fee.  We cross the bridge and make the moderate ascent past year markers which gauge the pace of the Athabasca Glacier’s retreat.  The short trail, 1.0 KM (0.63 mile) return, is crowded.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Crossing the bridge at the Athabasca Glacier trailhead in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. People on the distant trail ahead provide scale.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A view north of one meltwater runoff near Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Barren, rock debris landscape along the trail to Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Passing the 1982 trail marker which indicates where the toe of the Athabasca Glacier was at that time in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

We crest the hill at the 1992 trail marker and begin a gentle descent towards the toe of the Athabasca Glacier on a well-defined path with rope barriers for definition.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Passing the 1992 trail marker which indicates where the toe of the Athabasca Glacier was at that time in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view straight on to the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view to the left on the approach to the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view at the end of the loop trail at the toe of the  Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Small ponds and a large lateral moraine on the north side of the massive Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A formidable water flow past the front of the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

As the loop trail turns north at the toe of the Athabasca Glacier, barren terrain hosts the meltwater carving into rock, debris-laden ice beneath lateral moraines.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The barren landscape at the base of Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Blue ice beneath rock debris at the end of a lateral moraine at Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Bed rock scraped smooth by the advance and retreat of Athabasca Glacier over centuries in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The return hike passes interesting rock feature with a sweeping view of massive mountains to the north and east.  Throngs of visitors, bundled up for warmth, provide scale as Mel and I hike back to the trailhead.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Nigel Peak past the Icefield Centre at Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rock scraped round and smooth by the advance and retreat of the  Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Bundled up hikers on the short trail from Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view north from the Athabasca Glacier trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

As we close in on the trailhead, there is an excellent and expanding view of the Icefield Centre beneath the ridge which hosts the trail to Wilcox Pass and Wilcox Lake.  Soon Mel and I will be hiking along the top of that ridge for elevated views of the Columbia  Icefield.

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Icefield Centre beneath sheer cliffs which host Wilcox Pass above Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Athabasca Glacier, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Icefield Centre from the trailhead at Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

It is a short, crowded, tourist hike but anyone in the vicinity, who has not hiked this short, easy trail in the past, is well advised to throw on a warm layer or two and take advantage of the unique experience.  For Mel and I, it is an update for glacier status and fond memories of previous visits in younger years and times long past.  We are here and I am glad we take the time.

Photographs for this short but spectacular hike at the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada, along the Icefield Parkway were captured on August 19, 2014.

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Stanley Falls – Jasper National Park – Hiking Alberta

The trailhead for Stanley Falls, along Beauty Creek, is accessed via a small, unsigned parking area on the Icefields Parkway north of the Columbia Icefields between the Stutfield Glacier Viewpoint (also unsigned?) and the Beauty Creek Hostel in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  This is one of the most commonly accessed, relatively easy and spectacular hikes in Jasper National Park.  This popular hike is 2.3 KM (1.4 miles) one-way with minor elevation differential.  Beauty Creek is a major drainage between 3,001 m (9,486 ft.) Tangle Ridge to the south and 3,315 m (10,875 ft.) Sunwapta Peak on the north.  Mel and I make an early start from David Thompson Resort in Bighorn Backcountry for the 1 ½ hour drive to the Stanley Falls trailhead.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view south of the location for the Stanley Falls trailhead with Tangle Ridge in the background in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The trailhead for Stanley Falls beside Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The beginning of the trail to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Initial, good-gravel trail morphs to a short section of rooty, damp trail leading to excellent quality trail hosting beautiful border carpets of wildflowers in seed alongside Beauty Creek.  At one time, this flat section of the trail was paved and although the surface has nearly returned to gravel, it is easy walking to the Y junction where Beauty Creek heads up and along the north edge of the narrow canyon.  At some time in the past this trail also crossed a bridge over Beauty Creek and continued south.  This brief steep ascent leads to good trail along the narrow Beauty Creek canyon hosting roaring, white water.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A short, more rustic section of trail to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Straight, once paved path with seeded borders along the level approach to Stanley Falls on Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The formidable profile of Tangle Ridge is in the background.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Y junction, left to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek, straight to an impasse over Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Remains of an old bridge over Beauty Creek which connected to similar trail on the other side in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

There are no words which will enhance the experience of hiking the edge of a narrow canyon containing frothing, roaring, white and turquoise water accompanied by the musty odor of wet, mossy rock combined with damp, forest aroma.  All senses are on overload.  You need to be there.  Please enjoy these sequential photographs captured on the short, easy hike above the narrow, twisting, turning canyon.  Hundreds of photographs are taken.  These few are perhaps most representative of the indelibly memorable experience.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Along the route to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

On the way to Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. Tangle Ridge in the background.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The natural gateway to the largest of Stanley Falls on this hike along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Trail between two old, weathered boulders leads quickly to the largest waterfall.  The sound of crashing water reverberates in the canyon bowl which contains it.  This ethereal experience is uniquely exhilarating and as Mel and I walk around the edge of the bowl, the beautiful waterfall reveals its multiple facades.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Approaching the largest of the tiered Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A closer view of Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

From near top of Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The cascading feed into Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Old sea bottom table rock beside the white, turquoise, glacial-fed water above Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The trail continues along Beauty Creek but Mel and I, on this day, are planning to make the short, easy hike to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier at the Columbia Icefield and also the trail to Wilcox Pass before returning to David Thompson Resort.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view back along Beauty Creek towards Mushroom Peak in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The view back towards Stutfield Glacier on the return hike along Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The chockstone wedged in the top of the narrow canyon above Beauty Creek in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

From the Stanley Falls trailhead, Mel and I drive south on the Icefields Parkway to the viewpoint for Stutfield Glacier before a brief stop at impressive roadside Tangle Falls, then a short distance further south past Tangle Falls for spectacular views from the large viewpoint along Icefields Parkway of the massive Kitchener Glacier and Dome Glacier on the flank of Mount Kitchener and the Snow Dome.  The massive Columbia Icefields occupy a huge section of the Continental Divide and channel water to the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic Oceans.  It is a very large and fascinating chunk of ice.

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Tangle Falls at roadside on the Icefields Parkway north of the Columbia Icefield in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

The Stutfield Glacier from the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls, Beauty Creek, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

A long lens view of the blue ice of the Stutfield Glacier along the Icefields Parkway in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Stanley Falls is an outstanding hike north of the incredible Columbia Icefields.  Mel and I stop at the crowded, beyond-capacity Icefield Centre to enjoy lunch on the elevated stone patio adjacent to the dining room where throngs of visitors are paying $30 Cdn a plate for a buffet lunch.  It’s a captive audience in a short season.  The thick, Texas-toast bread used by David Thompson Resort for our packed lunches is a challenge for me.  After lunch we drive across the Icefield Parkway to parking near the trailhead for a short hike to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier.  Cloud cover is building and getting moody.  Weather is becoming difficult to predict.  We are prepared for anything.

Photographs for this outstanding hike to Stanley Falls along Beauty Creek were taken on August 19, 2014 in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada.  Highly recommend this one when you are in the world famous area.

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