Thursday, 5 November 2009

Hiking Trails - Fryatt Valley (Day 1)

[1-Upper Fryatt Valley near glaciers - click to enlarge]

Fryatt Valley is in Jasper National Park, Alberta. This hike is best completed over 3 to 4 days or longer, because once you’re up there you won’t want to leave. The distance, one way, is 23.2km (14.4 miles). Fryatt Valley is a hanging valley, the remnant after the glacier retreated.

Elevation gain 800m (2,700ft)
Max elevation 2,040m (6,700ft)

Map: Athabasca Falls 83C/12

The trailhead can be reached by going to the Highway 93 junction at Athabasca Falls 31 km (19 miles) south of the Jasper townsite.

Follow hwy 93A north to the Geraldine Fire road slightly over 1km. this is a gravel road, where there is a small parking area and sign at the trailhead. This is also the trailhead to go to the Geraldine Lakes.

Hikers will need a ParksCanada wilderness pass.

[2-Mt Kerkeslin near Athabasca Falls]

The trail follows a relatively flat, old roadbed through the forest.

[3-Forest Arch]

At about 7km the trail comes alongside the Athabasca River.

[4-Athabasca River]

Here the hiker can see the Icefields Parkway 200m across to the other side.

[5-Icefields Parkway - click to enlarge]

[6-Bull elk]

Now the trail climbs away from the river, veering south to begin the climb into the Fryatt Valley.

It's a good idea to make noise while walking to alert any bears that may be nearby.

Viewpoint is at 8.6km.

[7- Looking up Fryatt Valley]

[8-Looking up toward Fryatt Valley]

[9-Looking down Fryatt Valley]

[10-Crossing Fryatt Creek]

Fryatt Creek is crossed to go to the east bank. Here the Lower Fryatt campground is located at a distance of about 12km, which is entered through a narrow gorge between Mt Fryatt and Mt. Christie.

At 15.9 km the trail crosses the creek and goes past gravel flats where views of the glaciated peaks can be seen at the head of the valley.

[11- Peaks across Athabasca Valley]

[12 - Looking down the lower Fryatt Valley]

[13 - Fryatt Lake and Headwall Falls]

The trail goes over a large rockslide for a kilometre.

[14-Fryatt Lake and Headwall Falls]

[15-Silt in Fryatt Lake]

The trail follows the west side of Fryatt Lake.

[16 - Fryatt Lake]

Beyond the lake, the hiker climbs through forest to the headwall and Brussels Campground.

[17 - Fryatt Lake rainforest - click to enlarge]

[18-Near Brussels campground in Fryatt Valley - click to enlarge]

At about 18km is the Brussels campground where it is warm and sunny throughout the day.

[19- Peaks visible from campground]


Sources: ParksCanada - Jasper

Photo Credits: [1][18]-HandsLive CC=flickr, [2][2][4][5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15][16][17][19]-brilang CC=nc-sa-flickr, [6]-sabindle CC=nc-nd-flickr.


Reader Wil said...

The country is so gorgeous and full of variations. Woods, water, mountains! Thanks for showing. Thanks also for your visit.

Charles Gramlich said...

I love that creek crossing. You'd definitely feel you were roughing it there. Very nice photos.

PERBS said...

What a great hiking trail! I would love it, I am sure. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Gary's third pottery blog said...

Whoa! You wouldn't want to leave indeed!

Ronda Laveen said...

Stunning and primordial looking. I've never heard of a hanging valley before.

Barbara Martin said...

Wil, next week will have the destination photos of the high valley where the views are outstanding.

Charles, this is a trail that goes into the wilderness and is not a regular tourist trail.

PERBS, I have been on the first leg of the trail, and not made it up to the glaciers. The climb up the headwall is quite the feat and difficult for someone with bad knees and hip (me).

Barbara Martin said...

Gary, the views up top are spectacular, so you'll have to return for them.

Ronda, a hanging valley is a glacial effect. I have linked the meaning into the post for readers who wish further information.

Teresa said...

The scenery is magnificent. I loved all the different terrain and the views of mountains, clouds, bull elk, and forests.

Sight Seer said...

What gorgeous place to go for a hike. I would agree that you might not want to come back! More info about hiking journeys is at

Barbara Martin said...

Sight Seer, welcome. With the national parks keeping the wilderness 'wild', there are many places to escape from the stress of city life.

Ken Mac said...

great shots

Barbara Martin said...

Ken Mac, welcome. Some of the photos were taken on an overcast drizzly day unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for visiting!Greet photos.

Sepiru Chris said...

I wasn't going to leave more posts, but I must say, each time I hit your hiking posts my breath get sucked away into remembrances of similar paths, or the same ones. It is a far cry from the reality of regular life in Hong Kong. And the hiking, here, is also quite different.

Barbara Martin said...

Nadine, return anytime to be whisked away to another place.

Chris, it's lovely to see you back blog hopping. I'm certain you'll be back for the best part of this post: the glacier remnants.

L.A. Mitchell said...

Thank you so much for that visual vacation. A feast for the eyes. I really needed that!

Take care :)