Backpacking in Jasper National Park on the Jacques Lake Trail

The Jacques Lake Trail in Jasper National Park Alberta Canada is roughly a 24km out and back hike. This is a high priority trail for Parks Canada so it is regularly maintained and is generally considered to be easy. It was for these reasons that...
The Jacques Lake Trail in Jasper National Park Alberta Canada is roughly a 24km out and back hike. This is a high priority trail for Parks Canada so it is regularly maintained and is generally considered to be easy. It was for these reasons that we chose this for an early season training overnight hike. We had just purchased some new gear and wanted to test it out. We also needed a good mountain getaway.

The week of our trip, Jasper received a sudden and heavy snowfall. There was more than 30cm! This snow fall was followed by a few days of heavy rains. Together, the two storms caused a lot of damage. Trees fell, roads and trails were impassable and some roads were even washed away. The sun came out and the temperatures quickly warmed up melting the snow almost as fast as it had accumulated.

We knew that there would still be snow and lots of snow melt on the backcountry trails in the park and that some trees would have come down. In fact, Parks Canada rated pretty much ever single trail in the park as being in poor condition. That didn't stop us though, we chose to continue with our plans as the trail was open after all. We just made sure that we were prepared for whatever might come our way.

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24 June 2023 at   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
The Jacques Lake parking lot and trailhead are about a 35 minute drive from the Jasper Townsite. The parking lot and trailhead are 28km in on Maligne Road, next to Medicine Lake. The trailhead is just about the halfway point between Maligne...
The Jacques Lake parking lot and trailhead are about a 35 minute drive from the Jasper Townsite. The parking lot and trailhead are 28km in on Maligne Road, next to Medicine Lake. The trailhead is just about the halfway point between Maligne Canyon and Maligne Lake.
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24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Beaver Lake is the first of four wilderness lakes on the Jacques Lake Trail. This one is easily reached as it is only 1.6km in from the trailhead.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Beaver Lake's crystal clear emerald waters make it a favourite fishing spot in Jasper National Park. Many people hike in carrying inflatable boats, however fishing boat rentals are available, like this one from Curries Guiding in Jasper.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Since Beaver Lake is an excellent day trip location there is a small picnic area for nature lovers to enjoy.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Jacques Lake Trail runs through a narrow mountain valley and treats hikers with views of the Cline and Queen Elizabeth II mountain ranges
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Hikers don't need to travel far for stunning mountain views on the Jacques Lake Trail in Jasper National Park
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
The Jacques Lake Trail from the parking lot to the First Summit Lake is fairly easy as it is nice and wide and has little elevation gain.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
First Summit Lake is spectacular with its tranquil waters, green grass and beautiful mountain vista. Hikers will discover this lake about 3km beyond Beaver Lake.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Enjoying a little bit of Zen-time resting on a large rock at the First Summit Lake in Jasper National Park
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Not long after a stop at the First Summit Lake, adventure seekers will come across the Second Summit Lake. We found a nice bench-like log to sit on and have a snack while enjoying the view of the Rocky Mountains.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
This is an old avalanche scree field near the Second Summit Lake. It is fairly easy to cross, however backpackers will need to pay attention to where the trail is.
25 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
After the First Summit Lake, the trail became quite challenging as there must have been hundreds of fallen trees blocking the path. Some we had to climb over, others we crawled under and some we needed to find a new way around.
25 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
If we weren't climbing over trees then we were navigating through flooded trails and swollen stream crossings. Needless to say we were thankful for good hiking boots and wool socks as our feet got soaked, but at least they were still warm.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
We did take breaks from tree climbing and stream crossing to enjoy the mountain views along the trail to Jacques Lake.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
Finally, we made it to the Jacques Lake Campground. The hike took a couple of hours longer than expected. We set up our tent in the snow and quickly changed out of our wet footwear.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
The Jacques Lake views from the campground quickly erased any fatigue or frustrations we had during the hike and a feeling of contentment took over.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
The trek may have been a challenge today but we are still happy campers who love spending time in the Canadian Rocky Mountains.
24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
There are three picnic tables and a fire pit on the lakeshore at the Jacques Lake Campground. It was a nice place to hang out next to the lake and to enjoy the mountain views. Two other backpacking groups braved the poor trail conditions and...
There are three picnic tables and a fire pit on the lakeshore at the Jacques Lake Campground. It was a nice place to hang out next to the lake and to enjoy the mountain views. Two other backpacking groups braved the poor trail conditions and joined us at the Jacques Lake Campground.
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24 June 2023 ·   10 months ago taken in   Jacques Lake, Improvement District No. 12, AB T0E 0E0, Canada
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