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Canada Roadtrip (5): Jasper Park

After a cold night in the hostel, I went back to the resort in Saskatchewan Crossing to have a proper and warm breakfast, before resuming the path to the North. My first stop was a short hike that a Philosophy teacher, who knew the park very well, and who was one of the guests in the hotel, had recommended us. So I went to see the Panther Falls and the Bridal Veil Falls, although I had to go back before the latter, as the trail entailed some risks, there was nobody there, and it is not one of the popular trails in the park. Nevertheless, it is a nice place to go if you are at least two people.

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The following two stops were  the opposite: perfectly marked trail and very popular among the visitors to the park.
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The first one was the Parker Ridge Trail, which led the hikers to a wonderful view of the Saskatchewan Glacier, although a bit far. The next one was the Wilcox Trail, which leads you to a perfect spot to admire the Athabasca Glacier, the most popular one in the whole park due to its size, and the close it is to the parkway. The Icefields Columbia Centre is the basecamp for the different activities the glacier offers, and a good place where to stop, and have lunch in the terrace a few hundred metres away from the ice.
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I took easy the rest of the day, so I just drove to Jasper. Jasper is the other town in the parks, but less crowded than Banff. It is also true that I did not stay in any of the accommodations in the town, but in a hostel in the outskirts. This hostel was another wilderness hostel, so no water, and not even a sauna this time! The truth is that we had some good laughs with the rest of the guests, and managed to get some insights about North America: like the real estate situation or the cost for university.

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The morning after I drove some of them down to Maligne Lake: a German Mathematician working for an insurance company, who was solo travelling and hiking before he meets his Indian penfriend for 20 years, and an American lady and her daughter who happened to have lived in Madrid years ago. The morning was dark as it was cloudy, so the lake did not impress me that much, although it was probably nicer with more light. It was a nice opportunity to see the American talkative skills in place: they easily start conversations with strangers, and you always learn from those situations. In this case, I was part of some talks about fishing in the lake, and a masterclass about inflatable canoes.

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Apart from Maligne Lake, there was time to stop in Medicine Lake, which had a terrible landscape around, as most of the hillsides around it had been burnt in a fire a few years back. Before heading towards Edmonton, I stopped in the very famous Maligne Canyon, which is a long and deep canyon, well prepared for visitors staying in Jasper. I only did part of the trail around it, as it did not have that much new to offer, and I had a 4 hours drive yet to Edmonton, where I would fly the day after to Vancouver Island. I had been told there was nothing to see in Edmonton, so I just relaxed on the huge bed in the airport hotel.

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Banff and Jasper had not disappointed me at all: one of the most beautiful areas I had ever visited: both beautiful and impressive, and leaving me the feeling that I should have planned a longer trip in these parks to explore it better. Hopefully, life is long enough to bring me back there.

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