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Looking for a nice walk with a panoramic view of Jasper? The Wilcox Pass in Jasper National Park is the ideal route for those travelling the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper.
What makes the Wilcox Pass Trail ideal for walking is the fact that you have spectacular views from the start of the route.
If you don’t feel like taking a full walk, you can always stretch your legs and see the incredible Atabasca Glacier and the Rocky Mountains.
Now, if you have the time and energy, I strongly recommend a full hike, including the last 1.4 kilometers to Wilcox Ridge to find the best place to hike.
Here you will find everything you need to know about camping at Wilcox Pass Jasper.
Looking for something cooler than Jasper? I wrote a message about fun activities in Jasper National Park, among others where you can kayak in Jasper.
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Wilcox pass information
- Distance: 8 km round trip.
- Hill : 390 m
- The view from the walk: Round trip.
- It’s complicated: Moderate
- This is it: Calculate with 2 to 3 hours.
Where is the Wilcox pass?
107 km south of Jasper and 127 km north of Lake Louise.
If you drive from Lake Louise, just past the border between Jasper National Park and Banff National Park on the scenic Icefields Parkway, you will find Wilcox Pass and the footpath on the right side of the highway.
On the left, 6.4 km to the Wilcox Trail, follow the Parker Ridge Trail (another nice walk!).
Total distance of 127 km from Lake Louise.
If you are driving from Jasper, pass the Icefields Discovery Centre on the left and look for the 2.8km Wilcox Pass path on the Icefields Parkway.
Total distance of 107 km from Jasper.
Ice fields Parkway
The Icefields Parkway is the highway that connects Lake Louise and Jasper.
If you’ve never been to the Icefields Parkway, there’s a treat waiting for you. This 230 km ride includes several breathtaking places to photograph, hike, picnic and enjoy incredible views.
Read my article about the best places to stop on the Icefields Parkway, including the 5 best places to take pictures.
Wilcox Trek Description
The Wilcox Pass Trail was used many years ago to bypass a canyon in the Sunwapta River near the Atabaska Glacier. Walter Wilcox was a rock researcher and mountaineer.
The Wilcox Pass trail starts with a wooden staircase and a steep walk through the forest. Keep your eyes open, because there are a lot of tree roots on the path.
Watch out for birds, squirrels and squirrels in and around trees. We saw a partridge, although I don’t have a pretty picture, but at least you can see it’s a bird!
Once you get to the two red chairs, you can expect a strong wind during this hike. Stop and enjoy the view of the ice field, the Atabasca Glacier and the Dome Glacier.
As you continue on the path, it eventually flattens out and you see large and beautiful meadows and some streams crossing. Shortly after crossing the second stream we saw three sheep.
Did you know that male and female Bagharden sheep have big bent horns?
A sign indicates a 1.4 kilometer route to Wilcox Ridge. Climb this path to the top of the ridge, it is steep, but there is no need to climb it. Make sure the Cairns leave their mark.
Enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains and glaciers. Be prepared for extreme wind conditions on the ridge. That’s where I wanted to get the power from!
If you go straight ahead on the path instead of turning at Wilcox Ridge, remember that this part of the path has not been preserved. Since there are fewer people walking in this area, don’t forget to bring 10 walking equipment, which you have to bring with you on each trip.
Hiking tips for the Wilcox Jasper Pass
What you need on the Wilcox Crosswalk
- Wear hiking boots with good grip on the sole. The path can go downhill and there are some rocky areas.
- Wool socks are best suited for walking because they absorb moisture, insulate, even if they are quickly wet and dry.
- In winter, use staples on hiking boots to hold on to snow or ice spots.
- Bring a bottle of water and snacks or a picnic on top or on the way.
- Put on diapers and bring cold clothes (even in summer) if you go hiking in the mountains, because the weather changes quickly.
- Sunshades – especially on sunny days, but also on cloudy days – protect the skin against UV rays. I love Elta-MD sunscreen, and I’ve been using it since my dermatologist recommended it.
- Waterproof jacket or rain poncho (and something to put on the backpack)
- Bring a small backpack for your picnic and other camping equipment. It’s best to buy a waterproof backpack or bring a large plastic bag to cover your daypack in case it starts raining during the hike.
- Large coloured knitted cap to protect against sun, rain and ticks. I wore a sun hat (my favourite is that of the Wallaroo Hat Company), but I could use the current when walking in windy places – at higher altitudes it’s cooler and often windy!
- Insect repellent – in case of mosquito or fly bite. Even though I didn’t use anything on this campsite, I always liked it when it was convenient. Insecticide is necessary for walking on some jasper paths, such as the valley of the Five Lakes.
Tip: If you are staying at a hotel in Banfa, Lake Louise or Jasper, ask at reception if there is an extra bear spray. Many travelers leave their own behind because they can’t get on the plane.
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The buzzwords: Alberta, Jasper, national parks.