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Geraldine Lakes Hike, Jasper Nationwide Park

The Geraldine Lakes path hike in Jasper Nationwide Park isn’t practically as fashionable as different Jasper hikes – in all probability as a result of it entails a drive up a hearth highway and the problem of the path seemingly places many individuals off. The hike is simple so far as the primary lake, however the most effective views don’t kick in till you’re close to the upper of the 2 waterfalls. At that time the extent of problem rises dramatically.

The path doesn’t achieve loads of elevation, however when it does, it’s robust going. The reward is a fantastic view down the valley and the stark panorama across the second Geraldine Lake. There isn’t a proper climbing path previous the Geraldine Lake campsite however in response to Kathy and Craig Copeland, authors of Don’t Waste Your Time within the Canadian Rockies, “the third and fourth lakes are ethereal sights; swimming pools of deep teal liquid detained in emerald meadows.”

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Geraldine Lakes hike abstract

  • The Geraldine Lakes hike could be executed as a day journey or as an in a single day backpacking journey.
  • 4 Geraldine Lakes could be explored however most individuals don’t get previous the second. The primary is simple to get to, the second is on the troublesome aspect and the third and fourth Geraldine Lakes are a problem as you’ll must make your personal path.
  • Entry is by way of the filth Geraldine Hearth Highway close to Athabasca Falls. It was effective in our Subaru Outback, however I wouldn’t wish to drive it in a really low clearance automobile.
  • The hike alongside the second Geraldine Lake via the boulders to the campsite is troublesome. If the rock is moist, it’s particularly hazardous.
  • Many individuals flip round on the crest above the second lake. You may nonetheless take pleasure in a beautiful view from there.
Grand view down the valley towards the first lake
Grand view down the valley in the direction of the primary lake

Geraldine Lakes hike and backpack particulars

Distance spherical journey: 4.0 km to the primary lake; 10.5 km to the second lake; 13.0 km to the fourth lake

Elevation achieve: 127 metres to the primary lake, 407 metres to the second lake; 497 metres to the fourth lake

Issue: Tough to the second lake and difficult to the third and fourth lakes

Time wanted: 4 – 6 hours return to the second lake – with the upper determine associated to going so far as the campground; do it as an in a single day backpacking journey if you wish to hike to the third and fourth lakes

Location: The trailhead is on the finish of the Geraldine Hearth Highway – 1.1 km from Athabasca Falls by way of Freeway 93A.

Canine allowed: Sure, on a leash however it will be difficult for some to get via the boulder subject on path to the campground.

Map wanted: Gem Trek Jasper & Maligne Lake

Tenting: You may reserve a backcountry campsite on-line. This isn’t a backpacking journey for novice hikers. Hammocks aren’t permitted. Campfires aren’t allowed.

Don’t neglect: Bear spray and the 10 climbing necessities.

Earlier than you go: Test the climate forecast for those who’re planning to hike to the campground. The boulder subject could be robust going particularly when moist.

The view from First Geraldine Lake
The view on the First Geraldine Lake with Mount Fryatt within the background

Attending to the trailhead

From the Icefields Parkway (Freeway 93) take the Athabasca Falls exit onto Freeway 93A. Proceed 1.1 km previous the Athabasca Falls parking zone to achieve the signed Geraldine Hearth Highway. Drive 5.5 km up an usually slim and typically tough filth tough highway to the parking zone on the finish. You’ll go the trailhead for the Fryatt Valley path 2.0 km up the highway. It was simply executed in our Subaru Outback.

Geraldine Lakes hike route description

On the trailhead, you may’t miss the path signal and the extensive, well-marked path. Observe the root-laced path because it weaves via the forest, dodging the quite a few muddy sections the place you may. Attain the primary Geraldine Lake at 1.8 km. Admire Mount Fryatt and the view down the lake earlier than persevering with. The path stays on the west aspect of the lake to achieve the south finish of the lake. There are a few locations the place you will get all the way down to the lake – one thing we did on the return to soak our ft and benefit from the view. 

The extent of problem rises after you attain the top of the lake. The path will get rocky, slim, and steep as you climb up beside a 90-metre waterfall that cascades down over a sequence of steps. Proceed throughout a small boulder subject – on the lookout for cairns alongside the way in which. Go left and hold an eye fixed out for markers as you cross Geraldine Creek (hidden beneath boulders) to achieve the far aspect and apparent path within the forest. Proceed previous a few small tarns and into the timber, all the time heading in a southerly route.

Exit on the finish of the valley the place you’ll get a great view of Geraldine Falls. Observe the path, and in brief order go left and up VERY steeply on a tricky part of path – however at the least you’ll get an incredible view. It’s even tougher coming down so earlier than you commit, it is best to know that you would be able to get down. Climbing poles come in useful. Watch out that you simply don’t dislodge any rocks.

You’ll prime out on a rocky crest above the waterfall – the place you may take pleasure in a unbelievable view down the valley to the First Geraldine Lake. Turning round on the crest could be a great possibility for those who’re not comfy climbing throughout boulder fields. In case you are, proceed down on a well-trodden path in the direction of the second and largest of the Geraldine Lakes. The path skirts the east shore of the lake, crossing a big boulder subject – that’s fairly difficult, particularly when moist because it will get tremendous slick. Once you’re via that, it’s a brief stroll to the campground on the finish of the Second Geraldine Lake.

Permit 4 hours return for those who cease on the crest above Geraldine Falls. I’d add one other hour every strategy to hike to the campground and again to the crest.

Excellent signage on the Geraldine Lakes trail
Wonderful signage on the Geraldine Lakes path
Expect to run into mud on the way to the first of the Geraldine Lakes
Count on to run into mud on the way in which to the primary of the Geraldine Lakes
Almost at the first of the Geraldine Lakes
Virtually on the first of the Geraldine Lakes
You’ll discover actually useful indicators on this hike
Crossing the primary of many boulder fields
The first waterfall you reach on the Geraldine Lakes hike
The primary waterfall you attain on the Geraldine Lakes hike
There are several boulder fields to navigate but at least this one is easy
There are a number of boulder fields to navigate however at the least this one is simple
Note the yellow marker indicating the trail at the left edge of the boulder field
Be aware the yellow marker indicating the path on the left fringe of the boulder subject
Pass by these tarns on route to the Geraldine Lakes
Move by these tarns on path to Second Geraldine Lake
Pretty reflection in the tarn
Fairly reflection within the tarn
Geraldine Falls is an impressive sight
Geraldine Falls is a powerful sight


Starting up a rough, steep 150 metre climb
Half method up a tough, steep 150 metre climb
An impressive view of the upper falls
A terrific view of Geraldine Falls
Looking down the valley towards the first Geraldine Lake
Trying down the valley in the direction of First Geraldine Lake
Heading towards the campsite at the far end of the second of the Geraldine Lakes
Heading in the direction of the campsite on the far finish of the Second Geraldine Lake
Pretty but very difficult hiking on the lichen covered boulders
Fairly however very troublesome climbing on the lichen coated boulders although the small ones are straightforward sufficient; it’s the large ones which might be robust
We were very lucky it didn't rain when we were hiking through the boulder section by the Second Geraldine Lake
We have been very fortunate it didn’t rain after we have been climbing via the boulder part by Second Geraldine Lake

Tenting at Geraldine Lakes

The campsite on the finish of Second Geraldine Lake is within the woods by the river outlet with a little bit of a view down the lake. It’s a great place to ebook for a number of nights for those who’re inquisitive about exploring the third and fourth Geraldine Lakes. We handed a number of hikers simply getting into for an evening. I personally wouldn’t be so eager on carrying a giant pack throughout the boulder subject however that’s simply me.

Campfires aren’t allowed regardless of what you see within the photograph. There are picnic tables, easy accessibility to water and respectable spots for tenting. 

Some campsites have a view of the second Geraldine Lake
Some campsites have a view of the second Geraldine Lake
A good place to hang out
An excellent place to hang around
Fresh water and picnic tables are close by
Recent water and picnic tables are shut by

Location map

The map under is a tough information solely. The Geraldine Hearth Highway doesn’t present up on Google maps, however it is extremely a lot there!


What to tackle the hike

On this hike a pair of collapsible climbing poles would come in useful on the descent off the steep part. 

Carry a can of bear spray and know how you can use it. It must be simply accessible by way of a holster or a clip on the entrance of your pack.

For lunch time breaks I like to recommend a smooth blow-up cushion.

In summer time a pocket information to wildflowers is a good addition to any hike. 

Don’t neglect bug spray and a few vitality bars.

The place to remain in Jasper

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is in a fantastic location nevertheless it positive comes with a hefty price ticket. Nonetheless, you may rely on a great deal of facilities and plenty of actions both on their grounds or shut by.

One other wonderful alternative is Bear Hill Lodge. And for simple entry to a fantastic lake and all of the actions round Pyramid Lake, head for Pyramid Lake Resort.

On the strip on the town try The Crimson Jasper, adjoining to Terra, a restaurant providing scrumptious meals.

Additional studying on hikes in Jasper Nationwide Park

Click on on the photograph to bookmark to your Pinterest boards.

The Geraldine Lakes Trail hike in Jasper National Park - with the option to camp at the end of the second lake




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