Seeking advice for a 5 or 6 night Banff or Jasper backpacking trip for a married couple with different ideas of what awesome is!!!

Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
9
Hopefully last week of August.

Haven't nailed down permits yet so we may be limited.

My wife has fears, many unwarranted...she'd allow those to decide where we went...and I'd be car camping in some boring place with no wildlife to worry (or for me, be excited) about!

She'd like to see people around.

I'd like a few around but not many.

She'd like to hike only a few miles a day...

I think we could do 8 to 10 miles a day.

We'd both like incredible vistas and nature.

I'd like to go into a remote place but not panic attack remote!

She would be happy with whatever landscapes we come across...

I actually DON'T like being so far above tree line that everything looks like a rocky lunar landscape! (I don't mind being above tree line, I just don't want to spend the majority of our trip there)

I'd like lots of forest, beautiful creeks and streams, beautiful ponds and lakes, with mountains as backdrops...and the chance to see just about any and every kind of wildlife that is in the park!

Appreciate any and all suggestions!

PS - Who is going to invent something where couples can get together with other couples for backpacking trips so that wives calm down and understand that there is probably little to worry about?!
 

Chuck the Mauler

Formally known as "kcwins"
Joined
Aug 20, 2014
Messages
417
We just backpacked the Brazeau Lake loop in Jasper National Park. You'll likely see the same 4 - 6 people in camp each night.

Here was a quick review from our trip.

This was a 5 day/4 night backpacking trip along the southern border of Jasper National Park in late July 2019. It was a loop that both started and ended at Nigel Creek trailhead in Banff and crossed into Jasper very quickly over Nigel Pass. The loop required us to hike over 4 mountain passes and walk around 77 kilometers. We camped along the way at Four Point, Brazeau Lake, Jonas Cutoff, and Boulder Creek; which were communal backcountry camps that allowed us to meet and socialize with other back packers along the way.

This trip was significant for me. It was my first time leaving the American Border. My first time going into a foreign country, even if it is only Canada. It would be the people I spent this time with that made this outing extra special. This trip was coined with quality camp time with Chuck Wolfe, Paul Chandler, and Joey Coconato. All offered great conversation in the form of "camp-talk". Chuck "the mauler" likes to leave you guessing as to how he got his nick name. Paul Chandler is a baseball coach for the University of Florida and is the newest member to Chuck's band. Joey makes Youtube videos of all his adventures and has a very diversified hiking portfolio. Listening to Joey and Chuck talk was like listening to a talk radio show, both are good communicators. I had been waiting for this trip to come around for a very long time. For all of us, it was our introduction to the backcountry of the Northern Rockies. Lots of good talk around a camp fire.

Joey's video will tell the human story of this backpacking trip. I love to tell the geologic story. The story of the Rocky Mountains is a long one to tell because there are a lot of events involved. Scientists have spent their careers studying and mapping the rocks and forces that created the Canadian Rockies. I am a mere speck of dust compared to them but I will try to explain.

The Rocky Mountains of Canada were in place before the Rockies we know in the States. First, sediments were deposited and solidified into solid rock in horizontal layers. There is both Limestone, which is Calcium Carbonate from organic seashells, and clastic sedimentary rocks, made from broken fragments, or pieces, of other rocks re-cemented back into solid rock. Each layer tells a story of the environment that deposited it. Ancient tropical seas, coral reefs, river deltas, swamps, marshes, gravel bars, and back water estuaries; all different chapters of North America's slow journey around the surface of Earth from the northern latitudes to the equator. These layers tell a partial story of North America that begins 600 million years ago.

Next, beginning around 100 million years ago, Huge pieces of land got added to western North America along a long convergent boundary. This means huge compressional forces were at work. Continental sized chunks of foreign terrains, the size of giant islands riding on top of a subducting plate, docked against the west coast of ancient North America. Laying between the continent and the docking terrains was the layers and layers of sedimentary rocks. These were squeezed and forced up into a massive high plateau along several repeating reverse faults.

The Rockies today are much more dramatic then they looked during the Cretaceous. This is because they are no longer rising and have been demolished by the forces of erosion. It was repeated ice age glaciations that sculpted this high plateau into the dramatic range we see today. Glaciers have removed at least half of the rocks that used to make up the Rockies. All the deep "U" shaped valleys, pointy horns, and steep ridges are all features of glaciation. Flowing water, chemistry, and gravity have also taken there toll. Enjoy the Rockies, because they will continue to crumble away to foothills.

The weather for the trip was a menagerie of Rocky Mountain weather. For the majority of the trip, we had sunny dry weather which offered outstanding views and pleasant hiking conditions. We did get entertained by a classic Rocky Mountain thunderstorm from the safety of our tents on the last night, which is always exciting. That neon flash in the dark night, followed by the boom and rumble of the well paced thunder, echoing down all the deep mountain valleys. So awesome. Our exit from the trip was blessed with rain, wind, and wet conditions.

Any wildlife? Well, this trip did not meet expectations in this category of wildness. When we drove into the park, right away we saw the biggest bull elk I have probably ever seen, standing right next to the road. Massive. This set the bar and we thought we were going to see much more like it. Not so fast. Of course, there were plenty of rodents and birds. But we didn't seem to hear that much bird calls. We didn't see any Deer or Bears. On the last day I saw a pair of Moose sprinting across a basin, and we found other evidence of ungulates along the trail. But that was it, and this hike was very low in wildlife encounters. And of course, there were Billions of mosquitoes!
 
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
9
Thank you very much for your reply. This is actually a route I saw and considered while looking at maps. Another one is the Sawback area of Banff, basically starting from Lake Louise and I think finishing at Mount Norquay in Banff. Both trips WOULD be great, as far as comforting my wife goes. IF we DO see a small amount of people regularly through our trip. Honestly I will be nervous about going with her if she is extremely nervous and reluctant to go into such a wild place rarely seeing anyone else.

Anybody else have any other ideas?
 
Last edited:

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,546
Check on Facebook.. great divide trail hikers... They could chime in on stuff around there
 

Bob

Trailmaster
Joined
Mar 3, 2013
Messages
2,546
Looks like nobody has put any information on that Facebook page in a long time.
Must not looked at right page. It's very active. It is a closed group... Have to ask to belong
 
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