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Backpacking expedition into Jasper National Park

Join this spectacular backpacking journey into Jasper National Park. This tour alternates between the tundra of the alpine meadows and the lush conifer forests of the valleys below. It’s an area abundant in wildlife, don’t be surprised to see mountain caribou grazing on a distant ridge! In the remote headwaters of Jasper National Park's Brazeau River, where Poboktan and Jonas Creeks pass, are huge expanses of alpine meadows that are referred to as the Jasper Highlands. 

This hiking journey circumnavigates much of this expanse in a huge triangular route also known as the "Brazeau Loop". The South Branch of the Brazeau River which you will follow for the first two days is a very old trail long used by the indigenous people to be followed later by European trappers and explorers. Now this trail is used by backpackers and wildlife including wolves and the elusive mountain caribou. 

The ambiance of this valley plus that of the peaks and meadows above is evocative of all that is wild, remote and beautiful in the northern reaches of the Canadian Rockies in what is one of the most challenging hiking trips in the area.

$1595.00 CAD
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July to August

Moderate / Challenging

There will be a maximum of nine guests and a minimum of four. Your guide will be a fully-trained professional, licensed by Parks Canada.



This trip is fairly challenging. Prior backpacking experience is recommended for this hike and participants must be in good physical condition as they will be carrying backpacks of as much as 20 kg for as long as seven hours. The trails are mostly good but there are sections that have been damaged by horse traffic and some marshy (wet) sections. There are also a few stiff climbs involved.

This trip is rated challenging due to successive longish days (14 - 19km). On the first and second days backpack weights are heavier. 


Requirements: Sleeping bag, backpack, sleeping pad, hiking boots, plate spoon and large mug. 


Trips originate and end in Canmore, Alberta.  


Summer temperatures average 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Northern Rocky Mountains

Group camping and cooking gear, park permits, tents, transfers from Canmore.


Rain gear, fleece or wool underclothes, hat, hiking boots, running shoes, shorts, wool socks, warm pants.  A full clothing list will be supplied upon booking.  We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allow for fast and easy adjustment to best suit fast changing temperature conditions. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet. 


Camera, daypack, water bottle, pocketknife, sunglasses, sunscreen, lip balm, first aid kit, flashlight.


Accommodations are in tent camps along the trail. 



Your guides supply all meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 6. Groups generally go out for dinner in Canmore on the final evening (own cost).

Trail cuisine is prepared from lightweight wholesome ingredients including custom-made dehydrated dinners. For guests with dietary restrictions, we are able to modify the program food pack to meet your individual needs.

6 day tour, available July - August
$1595.00 / per person - CAD
2019 dates: July 14-19, August 11-16.
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.

A 35% deposit is required to hold your reservation.

Balance of payment is due 60 days before trip commencement.
You have 24 hours from when you make your booking to change or cancel with no charge to you (provided your booking does not depart within 15 days). If cancelling your program up to 8 weeks before the program start, $105 will be withheld. Higher amounts are withheld if cancelling Semesters or Expeditions (details on request). Between 8 and 6 weeks before the program start, the deposit is forfeited. Cancellation less than 6 weeks before the program start and during the program results in loss of entire amount paid. We will gladly accept a substitute guest should you not be able to attend provided they meet the prerequisites for the program. Cancellations must be received in writing (letter, fax or email).

6 day tour, available July - August

Day 1

At 7.30pm we meet at the office in Canmore. We'll go over the trip with you and check to see that you are properly outfitted.

Day 2

Nigel Pass Trailhead - Four Points Campground
We will pick you up after breakfast, deal with last minute gear issues, pack our food then head off. Driving north from Canmore on the Icefields Parkway we travel 190 km to the Nigel Pass Trailhead which is just a few km south fromthe Columbia Icefields. The drive along the Icefields Parkway is captivating. We begin our hike crossing the pretty limestone canyon of Nigel Creek as we head upstream to Camp Parker where carefully carved tree blazes date from early European visits in the late 1800's. Gradually, we climb through slide paths, forest and meadows to reach Nigel Pass and the Jasper Park boundary. Leaving spectacular views of Mt. Saskatchewan and the peaks south of the Columbia Icefields behind, we drop into the upper reaches of the Brazeau River to reach our first camp. Distance 14 km. Elevation gain & loss: +335m / -275m.

Day 3

Four Points  - Brazeau Lake
We'll lighten our loads and cache food for our last night before heading out. Today will be a longer day traversing lodge pole forests and frequenting lush meadows as we travel north along the Brazeau River. This is an old trail used by Natives and early European explorers. It is also used by wildlife as the tracks of bear, moose and wolf attest. Reaching the junction of the Brazeau North Branch, we follow it to our camp by Brazeau Lake. This turquoise marvel is one of the largest backcountry lakes in the Rockies! We'll enjoy relaxing on it's shores with a campfire in the evening. Distance 19 km. Elevation gain & loss: +90m / -150m.

Day 4

Brazeau Lake - Jonas Cutoff Campground
Today will be a more challenging day as we climb John-John Creek to Poboktan Pass (2300m) to enter the Jasper Highlands! These huge tundra-like meadows cover many square kilometers and are home of the Jonas Creek mountain caribou herd. The view from the pass is extensive, and we may see bighorn sheep or mountain caribou grazing nearby slopes. Views absorbed and photos taken we then hike several kilometers to our campsite at Jonas Cutoff . Distance 16km. Elevation gain & loss: +490m / -180m.

Day 5

Jonas Cutoff Camp - Four Point Campground
This day we'll enjoy one of the most impressive alpine traverses in the mountain parks, a 13 kilometer section of trail that never drops below timberline. After a day of spectacular views that includes several nearby glaciers and glaciated peaks, we drop steeply to the valley bottom and Four Points Campground. Here we retrieve our food and fuel cache having enjoyed relatively light backpacks for the day. This is a great camp where we can enjoy life in the hills around a campfire. Distance 19 km. Elevation gain & loss: +350m / -555m.

Day 6

Four Point Camp - Nigel Trailhead
At our camp by the Brazeau River we pack up for the last time. The 14km trail over Nigel Pass to the trailhead passes quickly with light packs and wonderful views. We'll meet our van and drive back to Canmore, to hot showers and an evening in which to celebrate our trip and time in the mountains. Distance 14km. Elevation gain & loss: +280m / -335m.