Jasper Parks Canada has provided the following information:
The Edith Cavell road will be closed in the beginning of the 2018 season to complete necessary upgrades to the road and Parking lot. We hope that the work will be completed by September 2018. It would be best to check on the road status in late August or early September for a current update on accessibility. Road Reports can be found at http://511.alberta.ca/ Check our website during the summer for information on the Mount Edith Cavell to see if permits will be required. http://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper
The trail to Cavell Meadows shares the same trail head as the Path Of The Glacier Trail , it breaks off a short distance from the uphill section of the loop. To protect the fragile sub-alpine meadows from foot traffic Parks Canada keeps the trail closed until it has a chance to dry out. It typically opens in mid-July. The viewpoint can be crowded in the summer, but has far fewer people than the Cavell Pond below.
The meadows are loaded with wildflowers from approximately mid-July to mid-August. We were too late to see them on this hike in early September.
The trail is a large 8km loop that leads towards a rocky knoll below the Cavell Meadows Summit. There is an elevation gain of 500 meters. It’s not a killer, but it’s not exactly a walk in the park either. The suggested time for the round trip hike is 3 to 5 hours, depending on how far up you decide to go.
You do not have to do the entire loop to enjoy the hike, shortly after you hike up the switchbacks through the forest, the meadows start to open up and there are some great viewpoints of the Angel Glacier and the meadows.
The trail works its way up through a boulder field. After leveling for a short distance it ascends into the forest where it quickly gets you above the treeline into a sub-alpine and alpine meadow. Once you are at the treeline there are two choices, you can take the direct route or a set of switchbacks to get to the top of the lookout.
A Hoary Marmot rests on a rock high up on the trail.
Up, up and away….. working our way farther and farther up the rocky moraine. You can go ashigh as you would like to keep taking in the spectacular views.
To get to the very top of the summit requires making your way up a scree. It is steep and not for the faint of heart, but if you are up to the challenge it is a good way to leave the summer crowds behind and seek some solitude. The views from the summit are superb. You can see the Jasper Parkway, Mount Columbia to the south and the huge north face of Mount Edith Cavell.
For directions to get to the Cavell Meadows Trail see our post on:
Tips For Hiking To Cavell Meadows
- Wildflowers are visible from mid July to mid August
- This is grizzly and caribou territory, use caution.
- If you are consider hiking the trail prior to mid-July, check with the information office in Jasper to find out if the trail is open for the season.
- Be prepared for mountain weather. During our hike it started off as a hot scorching day requiring sun protection. By the time we were descending back down from the summit a storm was coming in bringing pelting rain with it.
- Bring snacks and water, there are bathrooms near the trail head, but no nearby facilities to purchase anything.
- We used trekking poles for this hike, we highly recommend them. They are especially useful to help your balance when coming back down the steep parts of the trail.
- The forested part of the trail can have a lot of mosquitos, bring repellent or cover up to protect yourself.