#31 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Edith Cavell Meadows Trail
- Location: Jasper National Park
- Trailhead: Mount Edith Cavell Parking Lot
- Type: Lollypop Loop (Out-n-back with a large loop at the end)
- Rating: Difficult
- Total Distance: 5.5-miles (Both Spurs Included)
- Trailhead Elevation: 5,840′
- Total Elevation Gain: 1,781′
- Recommended Time: Half-day
- Recommended Season: Late June – Mid September
Edith Cavell Meadows Trail
Jasper National Park’s Edith Cavell Meadows Trail is one of those trails where at any moment you expect to see a moose chomping on a tree limb or a bear frolicking amongst the wildflowers whilst chopping down on the berries. The trail is beautiful but steep. This is an iconic Canadian Rockies Trail alongside Mount Edith Cavell which is one of the most prominent peaks in Jasper National Park.
A Difficult But Beautiful Path
The trail itself is no stroll through a meadow. It starts off on the paved Path of the Glacier Trail following it nearly all the way to the viewpoint of Cavell Pond (not to be confused with Cavell Lake) before splitting off and continuing an ascent up and over the ancient glacial moraine. Once beyond the boulder field, the path gets even steeper as it climbs through a set of switchbacks into the meadows loop.
The First Viewpoint
The meadow is not flat either as it continues to climb steeply up to two separate viewpoints. This is, however, where wildlife could be found at any moment enjoying the alpine meadow. The trail is usually hiked in a counterclockwise fashion. Going this way the first viewpoint is found off of a short spur with a birds-eye view (6,949’) of the Cavell Pond now very far below with the towering Mount Edith Cavell still far above. The Angel Glacier and Ghost Glacier, which have been constant companions for most of the trail, now sit at nearly eye level. This is an excellent spot to take in the entire landscape. Listen for the booming cracks within the glaciers as well as the occasional slide when a section lets loose.
The Second Viewpoint
The second viewpoint on the Edith Cavell Meadows Trail requires a grueling slog along a steep and somewhat loose incline up to a bench on the mountainside. Here, views back across the meadow and down the valley are sweeping and stunning. Marmots call this ledge home so keep your eyes open but most likely they will find you as they are inquisitive creatures. Please, do not feed them! While this ledge is technically the terminus of this trail the path does continue up onto the adjacent mountain’s peak. If you still have the energy you can continue your exploration of the area.