Have you smelled the woods, eaten lunch with bears, heard the hauling of wolves lately? If not, come with us on a long distance backcountry hike in Jasper Nationalpark! I promise a true hiking experience. And I keep my promises. Promise. Now that you are in the team I should introduce our small hiking party. We - that is Mona, 28, my girlfriend, just finished university and me, mostly I answer to the name of Jakob, 26. And so far you missed a little bit, because we started our adventure six weeks ago in Denali National Park, Alaska. We hiked, canoed, hitch-hiked and took a ferry on our way to Jasper National Park in Alberta. But now you are here. This is our story.
Right after we had arrived in Jasper we went straight to the Backcountry Information Center talked to the rangers and bought a permit. There was no need in staying any longer in this town than necessary. We were desperate to hike again. Before we took the ferry from Skagway, Alaska, to Prince Rupert, BC, we had canoed over 300km on the Yukon river from Whitehorse to Carmacks. So we haven’t hiked in quite a while. You might ask ‘Why Jasper?’. I don’t know actually. But is supposed to be quite nice and not as overcrowded as the rest of the Canadian Rockies (e.g. Banff NP).
We had three major goals we wanted to experience. Number one: solitude. We decided to do a 10 day backcountry hike and wanted to be by ourselves without meeting another party. Goal number two: wildlife. Yes, we have seen a bit of wildlife on our trip so far, including grizzlies, moose, caribou.., but if it’s just about hiking in solitude, we could have gone to Norway or Iceland. And for me there is nothing more majestic than seeing a wild animal in the wilderness. Particularly game and bears. Goal number three was to see great nature. That shouldn’t be too difficult in Jasper. And every day we will measure the trail based on these three goals! The ranger recommended the North Boundary Trail, 180 km long with the last day on the Berg Lake Trail along Mount Robson (highest Peak in the Canadian Rockies). We packed food for twelve days, even finishing the trail in 10 days was the plan. We felt more comfortable with some emergency rations. Of course the backpacks were unbelievable heavy. I mean when you buy the food and pack the rucksack you know it’s going to be heavy and actually not really enjoyable walking with these massive things attached to your back. And they were massive. The backpacks weighted about 20kg each. This is almost a third of my body weight. And this is not a joke. Mona and I did a lot of hiking before, so we knew before what we will face.
Click the links below to read more about the hike through Jasper National Park
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