This is a continuation of the post from last week where the hike stopped at the Switchback campground in the Astoria River Valley on Old Horn Mountain.
Today’s final hike on the Astoria River Trail of about 13 km goes to the Mt. Edith Cavell parking lot to return to civilization.
[1-Switchback Campground - click to enlarge]
[3-Stream below Switchback Campground at top of cascades - click to enlarge]
About 100 m from the campground, the trail down Old Horn Mountain begins. Be prepared for approximately 15 very steep switchbacks.
[5-Coming down Old Horn Mountain]
[6-Peaks through the trees]
While in the forest it is a good idea to make extra noise to alert any bears in the area of your presence. The trail slowly loses elevation on the way down.
Down the trail about 5km farther is a packhorse rest stop.
[7-Traditional resting place for packhorses, hitching posts]
[9 –Astoria River]
[10-Rear of Mt. Edith Cavell]
[11-– Old Horn Mountain from Astoria River Bridge]
[12– Chak Peak across Astoria Valley]
[13– Crossing Astoria River]
[14- Trail back with Throne Mountain in background]
From the bridge over Verdant Creek it is another 4km to Mt. Edit Cavell.
[15- Throne Mountain and Verdant Creek]
[16-Hikers crossing stream]
[19-Bull Moose near Lake Edith Cavell]
[20-Lake Edith Cavell and Mt. Edith Cavell, path through trees]
Mt Edith Cavell is 11,033 ft (3,363m) in height and was officially named in March 1916, five months after a British nurse was executed during World War I for assisting Allied prisoners to escape occupied Brussels.
In the summer (July) winter conditions and storms can leave up to a foot of snow on the highway, with deeper snow and colder conditions in the higher elevations. When hiking backcountry trails, a seasoned hiker will carry enough supplies and equipment for making an emergency bivouac should the need arise.
At Edith Cavell there is a wilderness hostel with limited comforts: no running water, no showers, and no flush toilets. There is purified water for cooking, a refrigerator, propane stove and lights. From October to May in the winter the road up to the hostel is closed as it is not plowed free of snow. Those wanting to use the facilities must ski, hike or snowshoe in from the highway, a distance of about 11 km. Hostel information can be found here: http://www.hostelworld.com/hosteldetails.php/HIMt-Edith-Cavell/Jasper/31491
Sources: ParksCanada = http://www.pc.gc.ca/pn-np/ab/jasper/index_e.asp
Canada Natural Resources - The Atlas of Canada = http://atlas.nrcan.gc.ca/site/english/maps/archives/national_park/mcr_0221?maxwidth=1200&maxheight=1000&mode=navigator&upperleftx=0&upperlefty=0&lowerrightx=7584&lowerrighty=6432&mag=0.03125
Photo Credits: -brilang CC=nc-sa-flickr, -purplejavatroll CC=Dnc-sa-flickr, -vteen CC=nc-nd-flickr.
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