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