1,339 forum posts
Pouring rain in the morning, but our route from Ramparts Hostel to Jasper included a shot at Wilcox Pass. The history is interesting - before global warming started melting the Athabasca Glacier, the valley where the interpretative centre now stands was blocked off with ice, so Wilcox Pass was the route around it. Now, of course, the glacier has receded to the far side of the valley, and Hwy 93 takes you right through.
We were getting used to early starts just to dodge the tourists, and the rain eliminated most of the other people who would crowd the trails later on. Didn't see much except for a few mountain sheep (not sure where I put the photos of them), and had the whole pass pretty much to ourselves.
We started in a light drizzle, which showed hopeful signs of disappearing but still managed to make us all a bit damp. The first part of the trail is a steady climb, but not steep enough to require switchbacks. One section of bridge/stairs, then you get to the first viewpoint. From there, you have a view of the valley below, and the glaciers on the far side, all the way to the top. The forest opens up, and soon we were wandering through alpine meadows and eventually up onto the open tundra. Flowers everywhere, but I'll save those photos for the end. A not-too-difficult walk, hampered only by the rain (which came and went throughout the hike)and a sudden blast of frigid air when we stopped at the top for lunch.
And now, because it's Wilcox Pass, and it's summer, the mandatory flower shots: