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Backpacking Expedition into Jasper National Park

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Join this spectacular backpacking journey into Jasper National Park, through the Brazeau Loop


This tour alternates between the tundra of the alpine meadows and the lush conifer forests of the valleys below. The Jasper Highlands are abundant in wildlife, don’t be surprised to see mountain caribou grazing on a distant ridge!


  • Brazeau Lake
  • Nigel Pass Trailhead
  • Jonas Cutoff Camp
  • Tundra-like meadows of the Jasper Highlands
  • Jonas Creek mountain caribou herd
  • Spectacular views of Mt. Saskatchewan

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.

  • Personal Experience
  • Trusted Tour Operator
  • Local Guides
  • Small group
Availability July
Duration 6 days
Departs From Canmore, AB
Difficulty Moderate / Challenging
Group maximum 8 people
Meet on Location Yes
Pick Up No
Region Alberta


1 459
  • Best Price Guarantee
  • International number: +1 778 348 1676

Availability (2024):

    July 9-14

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What's Included


  • All meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 6
  • Accommodations are in tent camps along the trail.
  • Group camping and cooking gear
  • Park permits
  • Tents (accommodations are in tent camps along the trail)
  • Transfers from Canmore
  • All meals and trail snacks from lunch on Day 2 to lunch on Day 6

Suggested Clothing

  • Rain gear
  • Fleece or wool underclothes
  • Hat
  • Hiking boots
  • Running shoes
  • Shorts
  • Wool socks
  • Warm pants
  • *We suggest layers of light, easily carried clothing that allows for fast and easy adjustment to best suit fast changing temperature conditions. We discourage cotton clothing as it causes rapid heat loss when wet
  • *A full clothing list will be supplied upon booking

What to bring

  • Sleeping bag (required)
  • Backpack (required)
  • Sleeping pad (required)
  • Hiking boots (required)
  • Plate spoon (required)
  • Large mug (required)

Contact us for more Information about this tour


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Find out more details about the tour and its highlights


Guide information: 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 the 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.

Transportation: Trips originate and end in Canmore, Alberta.

Weather: Summer temperatures average 15 to 25 degrees Celsius.

Meals & Dining: 

The guides will 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.

street in canmore town canada

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

road near icefields parkway in canada

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 from the 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 1800s. 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.

Brazeau River in summer in canadian rockies

We'll lighten our loads and cache food for our last night before heading out. Today will be a longer day traversing lodgepole 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.

bighorn sheep in canadian park

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.

hiking near moraine lake in canada

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.

Brazeau River in canadian rockies at summer

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.

Payment Details

Deposit and taxes
Pricing does not include: 5.00% GST.
A 35% deposit is required to hold your reservation.
Balance of payment is due 57 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 canceling your public or private program anytime between the time of booking and up to 57 days before the program start, you will receive a full refund less a $100.00 (plus tax) administration fee and less a 4% service fee.  The 4% service fee is calculated on the total amount being refunded for the canceled program. This includes the program fee, any program add-ons (such as gear rental) and taxes.

Cancellation less than 42 days before the program start and during the program results in a loss of the 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.

Between 56 days and 42 days before the program start, 60% of the program cost will be refunded.

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).