4 - 5
FATMAP difficulty grade
This is the toughest day of the Brazeau Loop, no matter which direction it’s hiked.
Most trekkers hike the circuit counter-clockwise, making this the 4th day on a 5-day itinerary.
In this direction, the day begins at Jonus Cutoff, which is already high enough to be near the timberline.
But it’s up and up some more to reach the highest point on the Brazeau Loop.
Jonas Shoulder, sometimes called Jonas Pass, is a high-elevation saddle between two sweeping glacial valleys.
The hiking is not only steep, but also tricky on rock-strewn slopes.
In early or late season you may encounter snow.
When you can look up from your feet, though, you’ll see the views are worth the work. After crossing over the shoulder, you’ll descend through similar terrain with equally impressive views into the adjacent valley.
Once beneath the talus slopes, it’s an easier path through grassy meadows, along a trickling stream and beside small ponds.
The openness lasts quite a while before the trail re-enters the forest and continues to Four Point.
On a 5-day trek, that is the end of day 4, and day 5 retraces the route of day 1 back to Nigel Creek Trailhead. Sources: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/activ/passez-stay/arrierepays-backcountry/sugg-sentiers_trip-ideas/Brazeau https://theridgelinereport.com/the-brazeau-loop/ https://simplestoke.com/2019/09/12/magical-days-on-the-brazeau-loop/