Day 8, Castle Mountain to Camp north of Jasper

We did a medium day of driving today from Castle Mountain in the Banff National park over several passes to Jasper National Park. It was cloudy on the first part of the trip but as the morning warmed (or we ascended above the clouds) the views were spectacular. Glacier National Park is good but this place is MASSIVE and has range after range.

Along the way, as the clouds cleared, we stopped to take some pictures. I noticed some fresh scat on the ground and asked Carl what it might be… about 10 seconds later he said Bear… as there were two black bears eating the grass about 50 feet from us. So I have gone from not seeing bears to having seen 5 so far. Pretty cool.

We stopped at Athabasca Glacier at the pass to look around. The visitor’s center was not impressive, but rather a large kiosk to get you on tours. So we decided to do a short hike. It was only about 30 minutes and unless we buy an ice climbing tour with cramp-ons, we got to look from about a quarter mile away. We figured we will get some other options for glaciers on our trip. The Athabasca glacier is only one of many at the edge of a huge ice field. It was impressive.

We stopped in Jasper to get some fuel and taste some local favorites; like the Jasper Brewery. The red ale was really good as was the special Dunkel. We decided to head across the street to a local place that had everything from biscuits and gravy to Greek Kabobs. Interesting.

We finished the night with a bit of 4×4 on some forest roads and found a campsite at an abandoned horse property. It was complete with an out-house that we decided not to try. If I can get the apple phone to play with me and get the photos uploaded to the cloud, I might be able to attach them.

Notice the Ice Cap on the top.

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