Jacques Lake Trail Jasper National Park


Trail Length: 12.2km 7.6mi

Difficulty: Moderate
Park Amenities:
Boat Launch
Wilderness Camp
X Country Skiing
Dog Walking
Horseback Riding
Mountain Biking
Pet Friendly
Wildlife Watching

Jacques Lake Trail

Jasper National Park Backpacking Adventures 

Jacques Lake Trail is located off of Maligne Lake Road in Jasper National Park in Jasper Alberta, Canada. The parking area and trailhead are across the road from Medicine Lake. This trail is rated by Parks Canada as being  easy. There is minimal elevation gains over the 12.2 km long one-way on-and-out and back trail. These features make the Jacques Lake Trail a great weekend backpacking destination complete with mountain views, wildlife and four wilderness lakes to enjoy.

Beaver Lake

At 1.6km in from the trailhead is Beaver Lake. This is the first of four wilderness lakes along the Jacques Lake Trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. it is a small but beatiful emerald green lake with crystal clear water. Beaver lake is a popular fishing spot. Boat rentals are available from outfitters located in Jasper. There is also a small picnic area for day trippers to enjoy.

Summit Lakes

A nice, easy and relatively flat hiking trail from Beaver Lake leads hikers 3km further to the two Summit Lakes. These small lakes are beautiful and have fantastic mountain views. Although there are no picnic tables, both make nice rest stops suitable for a casual picnic.

Trail Beyond the First Summit Lake

After the First Summit Lake, the trail narrows and becomes slightly more challenging. The trail crosses over some avalanche scree and passes through a densly forested area that crosses over several small creeks. This section of the trail has slightly more elevation gains. From the lakes, it is another 7.6km to reach the Jacques Lake Campground.

Jacques Lake Campground

With only 8 sites, Jacques Lake Campground is a small backcountry campsite. Amenities include an outdoor privy, known as a green throne, food storage lockers and an eating area with three picnic tables and a firepit. Although the campground is small it is located on Jacques Lake's shoreline providing backpackers with nice wilderness lake and mountain views.

Alpine Club of Canada (ACC) Cabin

The ACC cabin at Jacques Lake is available for overnight bookings during the winter.

Wildlife Corridor

The Jacques Lake Trail is in a wildlife corridor making animal sightings a fairly common occurrence. We saw evidence of bears, elk, and deer. Moose are also a common site as they enjoy snacking on the grass at the Jacques Lake Campground at dawn and dusk. In fact, we awoke to four moose wandering around our campsite eating their breakfasts. 

Trip Planning Cosiderations

Trail distance is about 12.2 km one-way or just over 24km round trip. The hike typically takes 1 - 2 days. The trail has 240m of elevation gain and 185m of loss over the course of its 12km.

Permitted Uses

Horses and dogs on leash are permitted on the trail. Bikes are also permitted but only as far as the Summit Lakes.

Open year round, the Jacques Lake Trail is a popular trail for crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing during the winter months.


Since the Jacques Lake Trail is in Jasper National Park a Parks Canada Pass and a backcountry camping permit are required. For those wishing to fish, a fishing license is madatory.

Be Bear Aware

As bears are common, it is important to carry bear spray and to keep a clean campsite and eating area. Be sure to put all bear attractants such as food and toiletries into the food storage lockers.


Proper gear such as a good pair of hiking boots, wool socks, bug spray and walking poles are essential. The weather in the mountains can change rapidly so it is vital to be prepared with clothing suitable for all weather conditions. Just one weekend before our trip many people out for a nice summer backcountry experience were caught off guard when a sudden late season snow storm hit the park. Many found themselves to be ill prepared for the drastic change in weather.

Jacques Lake Trail

Jacques Lake Trail is a beautiful mountain backcountry trail in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. The four wilderness lakes break up the trip into manageable sections and keep the hike inteteresting. Each of the lakes are distinct and have stunning mountain vistas. The Jacques Lake Trail should be on every adventure seeker and hiking enthusiasts list.

Jacques Lake Trail Backpacking and Hiking
Jasper National Park in Jasper Alberta Canada


Jacques Lake Trail Jasper National Park
Jacques, Lake Trail, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0

How To Get ToJacques Lake Trail Jasper National Park

The Jacques Lake parking lot and trailhead are about a 35 minute drive from the Jasper Townsite. Located 28km in on Maligne Road, the Jacques Lake parking area is next to Medicine Lake along the left hand side of the road leading to Maligne Lake. The trailhead is just about the halfway point between Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake.
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