May 05 - Jasper, Alberta

Before I had even arrived in Jasper I had decided I would hire a mountain bike and explore as much of the area as possible. Today despite the falling snow I hired a bike and headed out of town to the east along highway 16 in the direction of which I had arrived at Jasper. Cycling on the right-hand side of the road, which is the opposite from where I am from, was a bit strange but it was a case of ‘either learn it quickly or get splattered’. I learnt quickly.

On the edge of the town a group of female elk were standing by the roadside quite content to munch on grass as traffic went past.

As I headed east the snow stopped so I could actually see where I was going at last. I crossed the Athabasca River and headed along a riverside trail to towards the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Along the trail I could see many bear tracks in the mud and snow. One I noticed was much larger than any other I had seen so far. I didn’t want to meet that face to face. The snow began to fall again as I passed the lodge and headed around Lac Beauvert (a lake).

The terrain around this area was a bit different to the walk the day before and there were lots of wolf tracks in the mud. I didn’t see any wolves or bears today. The only other animal I saw today was Elk. 2 were standing in the ensuing snow in the middle of the river. I’m not sure why they would be doing that, it certainly must have been cold, even for deer.

By the time I reached the highway at the edge of town the snow had stopped falling again. I cycled down a forest fire road that followed the CN railroad west. I crossed the tracks after about 3km and headed into the mountains again. This became a very hard cycle and when I came across a downhill trail back to town I took it. This proved just as hard. The trails are no wider and 40cm and have rocks and tree roots sticking out all over the place. The snow on the ground and the steep hillside was quite difficult to ride along, especially when I picked up speed even if I didn’t want to. Lucky for me I made it back to town alive and very sore.

Related Pages

Travel Guide - Alberta
Travel Guide - Jasper
Photographs of Jasper

Travel Diary

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