Valley of the Five Lakes, Jasper National Park

We hiked one of the most popular trails in Jasper National Park. Valley of the Five Lakes Trail took us through a series of gorgeous and colorful lakes. The hike could be done as a short (2.8 mi) or a longer (5.5 mi) loop.

The trailhead of Valley of the Five Lakes is only about 11 km (7 mi) from the town of Jasper. We arrived at the trailhead around 3:00 pm on Saturday. There were quite a few cars at the parking lot. After getting stuff together, we hit the trail. There were many other hikers at the beginning of the trail until we reached a main trail junction.

David and I did this hike clockwise (we turned left after coming to the main trail junction), unlike Matthew of The Adventures of a Day Hiker who, with his wife, did this hike counterclockwise. Matthew has eloquently written about his experience of the hike and the beauty of the Five Lakes. You should check him out.

As soon as we turned left at the trail junction, we were mostly by ourselves. It appeared almost everyone chose to either do a short loop or a longer loop counterclockwise. The first part of the loop was through meadows with a nice view of mountains.

After turning left at the trail junction, we were mostly by ourselves.

View from the open meadows section

Once we entered the forest, we had to stop to apply insect repellent as mosquitoes were in full force. The forest section was very interesting. The ground was covered with lots of moss, more moss than we have seen for quite some time.

The forest floor was carpeted with moss.

 

Yes, these pink wild roses were everywhere.

The trail passed by an unnamed lake with dark coffee color. It’s not part of the Five Lakes, but good for a change in scenery. After a long section of dense forest, we emerged at First Lake. We had a quick stop for photo then continued to other lakes.

Not part of the Five Lakes, this lake with dark color was on our way to First Lake.

First Lake

Second Lake

Third Lake

There was a narrow strip of land between Third and Fourth Lakes. It’s where an outlet stream of Fourth Lake turned into an inlet stream of Third Lake. We found a good spot to have lunch. The color of these lakes were mostly green to blue. The lakes situated in a very beautiful setting with snow-capped mountains in the background. They were prettier than I expected, which is always welcome.

Inlet of Third Lake

Fourth Lake from our lunch spot

After lunch we continued on the trail leaving Fourth Lake behind. The Fifth Lake was the last and the least impressive one. I could see a hint of green color of the lake. However, from the viewing area, the light reflected off from the water at an angle that did not show off its color.

Fourth Lake from the high trail above it

Beautiful mountains above the emerald green Fourth Lake

Fifth Lake, the least colorful of all the Lakes, probably due to unfortunate lighting

After Fifth Lake, we returned to the trailhead. We noticed that the crowds were gone. During the last part of the hike after Fifth Lake, we saw only another family of three on the trail. We were back at the parking lot by 6:30 pm. There was still plenty of daylight left, so we decided to drive to Athabasca Falls, about 22 km (14 mi) down the road.

Heading back to the trail head

This guy was eating dandelion flowers on a bridge.

Bonus pictures of bears on the side of the road that we saw on that day

  • Date hiked: June 17, 2017
  • Hiking time: 3h 21m
  • Distance: 5.4 mi round-trip (loop)
  • Elevation change: Approx. 445 ft gain

15 Comments

  1. That second and third lake!! And the bears, wow! Quite the day for viewing gorgeous landscape and beautiful animals. That’s great that you had the trail mostly to yourselves, too. I love following along in your adventures, it looks like you both are having an amazing trip!

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    1. Thanks Ashley for following along. These days we enjoy the Rockies,so much I hardly have time to post many cool hikes. I have too many backlog.

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  2. Nice bear shots!

    Those pink roses are the wild roses of Alberta. They’re our provincial flower.

    There’s a saying here…. “You’re in Wild Rose country.” And that’s because they’re everywhere.

    That “Wild Rose Country” slogan is even on our licence plates and we have a relatively new provincial political party named after it as well… a rather clever naming trick for a new, fledgling party when it came about. The Wild Rose Party is extremely conservative and when the Conservative party was in power they tried to abolish that saying from our licence plates, feeling it was free advertising to the Wild Rose Party. They weren’t successful. 😉

    And here you probably thought those roses were just pretty flowers….🤣

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  3. Beautiful Hike.. how are the temperatures there currently ? It’s super muggy here and I would like to go for a hike but don’t feel like walking around in “my own sauce” .. so its “virtual hikes ” for me.. How far north are you planning on going ?

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    1. It has been cool but is getting a little warmer. Today will be in high 60s. Jasper NP is as farther north as we go. Next week we get down to Banff NP. We will be in the Rockies until end of July.

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