Views · Wildflowers
The Old Fort Point Loop Trailhead sign can be found at the edge of the parking area to the right of the road, after crossing the bridge coming from Jasper. There are a few trail junctions along the way, so follow the yellow diamonds with #1 on them to hike the Old Fort Point Loop. The loop can be done in either direction. This description goes clockwise around the loop, taking one first through quietly beautiful forest on the northeast side of the loop, then finishing on the southwest side of the loop with its dramatic views and overlooks.
At the trailhead sign, take the path to the left of the sign to enter the mixed fir forest and begin hiking the Old Fort Point Loop. The first 1.1 miles climb gradually as the trail runs through the forest. A few trail junctions are passed—go to the right at each of them. At about the 1.1-mile mark the trail veers right and climbs steeply for 0.2 miles to make a wide U-turn. As the trail climbs, the woods thin and views of the surrounding mountains appear. Mount Tekarra and Signal Mountain can be seen to the left (east-southeast).
Finishing the U-turn at the 1.3-mile mark, the climb eases, and one is high on a hillside that drops off to the left (south-southwest) Mount Edith Cavell to the south can also be seen now through the very thin forest here. The thin forest then gives way to an open grassy hillside and more views open up.
At the 1.6-mile mark a very short spur trail to the right climbs a grassy knoll to a Red Chair viewpoint with 360-degrees views of Jasper and the surrounding mountains. One can see Pyramid Mountain, the Colin Range, Mount Tekarra, Mount Kerkeslin, Mount Edith Cavell, and more from this grassy viewpoint - well worth the short side trip.
Continuing on, the trail is in an open grassy area with great views to the south-southwest for the next 0.35 miles where a second short viewpoint spur at the 1.95 mile mark, is reached. Atop this viewpoint one can now ALSO see the Athabasca River far below, Whistlers Summit, Lac Beauvert, Pyramid Mountain, etc.
After coming down from the second viewpoint, the trail begins to descend, very steeply. It's hard not to get distracted by the amazing view of the Athabasca River nearby, far below, while descending. This steep descent continues for 0.3 miles when the parking area is reached. The bottom of the descent is so steep over rough terrain, that stairs have been built to take one down it.
Flora & Fauna
Mixed fir forest. Summer wildflowers.
Shared By: Joan Pendleton