Verdant pass Jasper

Verdant Pass

Verdant Pass

We drove south on hwy 93 then turned onto hwy 93a just pass the south park gate. A few kilo­me­ters up this road past Mar­mot Basin turn off is the Edith Cavell road.

Verdant Pass meadows
Ver­dant Pass mead­ows

The road is closed in the off sea­son, so check in at the parks office for infor­ma­tion on when the road clos­es, or else you might have to hike 14 extra kilo­me­ters to this trail head.

Verdant Pass meadows
Ver­dant Pass mead­ows

It was about 8:30am and the air tem­per­a­ture is still crisp. This trail is not list­ed on the park sig­nage that has fall­en due to lack of main­te­nance. You will find a park­ing area just past the Cavell youth hos­tel on the right where you can park your vehi­cle while you hike this trail. I rec­om­mend get­ting a topo­graph­ic map (Amethyst Lake Topo Map) of this area because there are many trails that start off at this point and mak­ing a mis­take is not fun.

Cathedral Mountain
Cathe­dral Moun­tain

Behind Edith Cavell
Behind Edith Cavell

After an hour of leisure walk­ing on a well beat­en trail, see­ing some grouse along the way,we arrived at the junc­tion to turn left onto the Ver­dant Pass trail. This junc­tion is not well marked, but if you reach the creek, you have gone too far and have to back track about 400 meters. The junc­tion has two large boul­ders direct­ly across the trail head. This is where we began our grad­ual accent through a wood­ed and lichen rich path. After an hour the path starts to real­ly climb and it brings you out above tree­line and you get a beau­ti­ful view of the pass fur­ther south.

Verdant pass Jasper
Ver­dant pass Jasper

We passed above a gul­ly and kept on the trail until it start­ed to bring us behind the south face of Edith Cavell (approx­i­mate­ly 11:30am) and this is where the path ends and we had to choose our own route towards Ver­dant Pass. You can explore almost any­where from here and get dis­tract­ed from your orig­i­nal plan. (You could even bag Cavell from here!)We used the first and sec­ond cirques of Edith Cavell as a hand rail to lead us right into the heart of the pass.

If you head straight into the sec­ond cirque, you will fall upon a beau­ti­ful alpine lake (tarn) where we had lunch. It was one o’clock and I was think­ing to myself if only we had got­ten a late start, the sun would have hit the tarn per­fect­ly for an awe inspir­ing pho­to! Nev­er­the­less, we had a great pic­nic and enjoyed the gor­geous day with the tem­per­a­ture ris­ing to the thir­ties (Cel­sius, of course) and Andy was think­ing to him­self , “This would be a great place to just hang out”.

Chan­tal had oth­er plans as she had already mapped out the turn around at anoth­er 5 or 6 km past this sweet spot. Half an hour lat­er we con­tin­ued south towards the ridge that over­looks the his­toric Whirlpool val­ley. We were in luck as the ter­rain which is usu­al bog was dry and we reached the ridge at three o’clock and soaked in the breath­tak­ing panoram­ic view of the area which you see below.

Edith Cavell in Background
Edith Cavell in Back­ground

We went on a pho­to fren­zy, fin­ished our grub, veg­ged out for half an hour and unfor­tu­nate­ly had to tear our­selves away from this majes­tic view. We arrived back to the car at 8:15pm with a beau­ti­ful sun­set.

August, 1998
Eddie Wong


Access: Hwy 93A — after the South park gates fol­low signs to Edith Cavell Road.

Park­ing: Yes

Trail­head: From Park­ing across from the Hos­tel

Dis­tance: depends on how far you want to go

Activ­i­ties: Sight­see­ing / Hik­ing


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