Verdant Pass

Jasper National Park

High meadows beneath twin cirques on Mount Edith Cavell’s lesser-seen backside.

Hiking Difficult

Distance
19 km
Ascent
688 m
Descent
688 m
Duration
4-5 hrs
Low Point
1.7 km
High Point
2.2 km
Gradient
Verdant Pass Map

Edith Cavell’s sheer north face is what most people recognize––ubiquitous in photos from Jasper. But the mountain’s “backside” is equally impressive in a different way. Here, Horseshoe-shaped cirques of vertical cliffs make the sides of Edith Cavell and her neighbor Chevron Mountain. The high pass between them is aptly named Verdant Pass, for its grass-covered and spruce-dotted meadows.

Description

Verdant Pass is not a well-known hike by Jasper standards, but it begins from the trailhead known by trekkers as the start of Tonquin Valley, which is Astoria Creek Trailhead. The hike commences by crossing a bridge, with a stunning view of Edith Cavell framing a small lake. It then continues through thick forest for some time before departing Astoria Creek on an inconspicuous side trail.

The trail becomes steeper as it goes, and navigation is tricky in some places. Nearing the timberline, views begin to open up, and keep getting better. You may encounter snow at these elevations. Soon come the alpine meadows surrounded by massive peaks. The best views of all are at the very top of the pass, so don’t shy from the effort to reach it, if you have the time and energy.

Note that dogs are not allowed on this trail.

Sources: https://heycolleen.wordpress.com/2013/12/07/verdant-pass-jasper-national-park/ https://trailpeak.com/trails/verdant-pass-near-jasper-ab-2264

Difficulty

Difficult

Hiking trails where obstacles such as rocks or roots are prevalent. Some obstacles can require care to step over or around. At times, the trail can be worn and eroded. The grade of the trail is generally quite steep, and can often lead to strenuous hiking.

Medium Exposure

2 out of 4

The trail contains some obstacles such as outcroppings and rock which could cause injury.

Remoteness

3 out of 4

Little chance of being seen or helped in case of an accident.

Best time to visit

June, July, August, September

Features

  • Alpine
  • Wildlife
  • Picturesque
  • Wild flowers
  • Water features
  • Forestry or heavy vegetation

Similar routes nearby

Guidebooks in this area