I just returned from a trip to Jasper National Park’s Tonquin Valley. The weather was hot and sunny! Here are the details.
July 1-3, 2006
Pre-trip accomodations: Mount Edith Cavell Hostel
Tonquin Valley 2006 Photoset on flickr.com | [piclens-lite-link]
Saturday, July 1
We started out on the Astoria River trail under a clear cloudless sky. Much sunscreen was applied! We stopped for lunch at the Astoria campground. At the Chrome Lake junction we stopped to fill our water bottles. Then we tackled the switchbacks in the heat of the day. A lot of sunscreen, insect repellent and water were consumed. We stopped again for water at a stream above Switchbacks campground and were swarmed by mosquitos. We then hiked through the mosquito infested slopes of Old Horn mountain until we reached Clitheroe campground.
Stats: Distance: 16.9 km; Elevation Gain: 400 m; Elevation Loss: 150 m. Hiking time: 8.5 hours.
Sunday, July 2
Another hot and sunny day. Our objective for the day was to explore the Eremite valley. We started off down the hill from mosquito infested Clitheroe campground, past the warden cabin, and through the bog at the southeast corner of Amethyst Lakes. When we reached the bridge over the outlet stream, we were pleasantly surprised to find very few mosquitoes were present. So we parked for a while and enjoyed the sunny day. We counted at least two dozen rainbow trout lingering in the outlet stream. Eventually we dragged ourselves from the bridge and back onto the trail. A short walk later, we arrived at Surprise Point campground where we took a snack break. Not as many mosquitos as Clitheroe campground but still more than enough. Then we hiked down a very rocky trail to Chrome lake. We stopped on the shore of Chrome lake for a mosquito free lunch break. Next we decided to visit the Wates-Gibson Alpine Club of Canada Hut on Outpost lake which is reached on a very steep trail. After a short look to see what the hut offered in terms of facilities, we returned back down to the Eremite valley junction. The mosquitoes were quite hungry at the hut. It was getting late in the day and we decided to leave the Eremite for a future trip and we returned to camp with another long lingering stay at the Amethyst Lake outlet stream.
Stats: Distance:about 12 km;. Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown.
Monday, July 3
Freedom from mosquito day! We woke early, had breakfast and got out of the campground as quickly as possible. A water stop above Switchbacks campground ensured that everyone had enough water to reach the bottom of the switchbacks on the third hot and sunny day in a row. We stopped for lunch and water near the Chrome Lake trail junction. A nice breeze was blowing and keeping the mosquitoes down. And that was the end of them for this trip. Another break at the Astoria river bridge and then the long trudge back uphill to the cars at the trailhead. On a hot day, that last 4.5 km is very monotonus and tiring.
Stats: Distance: 16.9 km; Elevation Gain: 150 m; Elevation Loss: 400 m; Hiking time: 7.25 hours.
Total Stats: Distance: 46 km; Elevation Gain/Loss: Unknown.
Edited: 2008-03-02 – Updated photo links to Flickr and updated the story.