Thursday, 29 January 2009

Thursday Hikes - Tonquin Valley - Part 2

This is a continuation of the post from last week where the hike stopped at the Portal Creek campground. I have been to Tonquin Valley, but only through the other entrance via the Astoria River Trail past Lake Edith Cavell. The hike will be passing over that trail at the end of the series.

Beyond the Portal Creek campground the trail continues upward to Maccarib Pass along the meandering Maccarib Creek to the north end of Amethyst Lake.

[18- Climbing to Maccarib Pass]

[19 -Looking back down the Portal Creek Valley]

[20- View toward Maccarib Pass - click to enlarge]

Maccarib is the Quinnipac Indian word for caribou, which can be seen in this area.

[21- Woodland Caribou – These animals are legally designated as threatened Canada-wide and in Alberta. They rely on lichen for food, which is found only in old-growth forests. These forests are now fragmented as they are rapidly being cut down. Also, caribou avoid forests within one kilometre of a road, wherever it is: mountains, foothills or the boreal forest. The Woodland Caribou face imminent extirpation if not protected. There is a herd of 100 animals in South Jasper ranging between Tonquin Valley and Maligne, but are declining in numbers.]

[22- Maccarib Pass - click to enlarge]

From the summit it is all downhill.

[23- Wildflowers near Maccarib Pass]

[24- Wildflowers near Maccarib Pass]

[25-Hikers headed toward Tonquin Valley, coming down from Maccarib Pass in July]

[26- Heading down from Maccarib Pass]

[27- First glimpse of the Ramparts heading down the Maccarib Creek Valley - click to enlarge]

[28- Hiking down Maccarib Creek Valley toward the Ramparts - click to enlarge]

[29- Hiking down Maccarib Creek Valley toward Ramparts - click to enlarge]

[30- Looking back towards Maccarib Pass]

The willow wetlands west of Maccarib Pass are infested with mosquitos, so roll down your sleeves and slip pants back on. DEET is recommended.

[31-Wetlands west of Maccarib Pass - click to enlarge]

[32-Ramparts from Maccarib Trail - click to enlarge]

[33- Mount Maccarib - click to enlarge]

[34 - Maccarib Creek and the Ramparts - click to enlarge]

Maccarib campground has eight tent sites, bear cables, tables and privy.

Sources: ParksCanada link for backpacking into the wilderness here .
Maccarib Place Name
Woodland Caribou here

Photo Credits: [18][19][20][23][24][25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]-brilang CC=nc-sa-flickr; [21]-BinoCanada CC=nc-nd-flickr; [22]-Feffel CC=nc-sa-flickr.


Ruahines said...

Kia ora Barbara,
Beautiful photos, I especially enjoy the Ramparts. I could linger in places like that for days.

Barbara Martin said...

Robb, this particular area is true wilderness where it is recommended hikers travel in groups of six or more to discourage bears from coming too close.

Next week the photos will be better as the sun will be shining.


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Merisi said...

Good morning, Barbara!
You are a truly early bird. ;-)

I want to fetch my hiking books right now and hike those trails! Splendid landscapes, and those flowers, out of this world to find them in early spring. I think I have photographed the yellowish one in the Alpine Gardens of Belvedere Palace. I am going to call the chief gardener to ask if he would allow me access next week, to see if that flower is already showing through the snow (the Alpine Gardens are closed to the public during winter).

It is snowing hard here. Snow in the forecast for the next several days. I hope to feel well enough to get outdoors tomorrow afternoon.

Btw, my wallet got stolen while I was photographing the Lipizzan horses during their walk to the morning exercises. I had just come from church, where I took out my wallet to pay for a candle I lighted. The thieves must have observed where I put my wallet, because it was so well ensconced in the middle of my camera bag, that only who knew where to put the long fingers would have been able to find it. I had not been awared that it could be possible the reach the interior pocket of my bag by reaching in from the side. Sadly, that bag is now out of commission and I have my valuables in a money belt now. I am too distracted with my camera, even having the bag in front of me is not enough apparently. I remember somebody jostling me, but did not realize there was a reason. Sadly, these crimes happen again and again, organized professional groups of thieves, crossing borders so easily now, are having a hayday.

Raph G. Neckmann said...

What a sense of vastness! Love the pointed mountain in the background.

L.A. Mitchell said...

I would love to take that hike. It's beautiful and just about my speed. Thanks for the wonderful eye candy, B :)

Charles Gramlich said...

As always, the wild flowers are amazing.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

funny, it looks pretty dry then suddenly there are pics of a verdant and very green valley!

Teresa said...

I love the pictures, Barbara, especially of the caribou. How many days did this trek take you as you hiked it?

Barbara Martin said...

Naval, welcome. Feel free to return and browse any time.

Merisi, I'm not so much of an early bird, as a bird late to bed. As to the yellow flower I do not know the botanical name or its common one. This set of photos were taken in mid-July, so the flowers may have only bloomed within the week.

When one has been ill, they should remain resting even when beginning to get better.

When I worked in London, England it was recommended not to show others where you kept your money or valuables, as there were eyes everywhere, especially in the Tube and rail stations. Once I caught a man slipping his hand into my trenchcoat pocket where I had some small coin, like a couple of 25p and 10p. As he drew away I spoke loudly about how he should keep his hands to himself. The crowd turned on him, chastised him about groping women. The man was shocked over the turn of events.

Barbara Martin said...

Raph, the Maccarib Pass once held a glacier that has long since retreated leaving a scooped out bowl. I believe the pointed mountain may be Mt. Vesta.

L.A., I'm going slowly through this particular hike by stopping at each of the campgrounds. The distance from Portal Creek Campground to Maccarib Campground isn't far, about 9km.

There are those who travel with the outfiitters and go by horseback in a day to Tonquin Valley, as I did in the late 70s.

Barbara Martin said...

Charles, there are more flowers coming up.

Gary, the dry areas tend to be where the lichens have taken hold but no grasses grow there yet.

Teresa, as I mentioned to L.A., I've been in on horseback and it took a day in and a day out.

bindu said...

This trail looks SO gorgeous! I am ready to move!

BernardL said...

Looks like a wonderful trail. That's a neat single file traverse there in the last picture.

BNS said...

Beautiful series, Barbara. Thanks for taking us along.


Mihai A. said...

The landscapes are marvelous :)

Barbara Martin said...

Bindu, the next section is better yet.

Bernard, sometimes I worry about hikers who get too spread out due to the bear danger on that part of the trail.

Bobbie, you're very welcome. There's more of this series: another three, maybe four more posts. I am stopping at each of the campgrounds to keep the posts brief.

Mihai, I love this area of the Canadian Rockies too.