Hiking Sulphur Skyline–A walk-up summit in Jasper National Park

There are many hikes with spectacular view in Jasper National Park. Sulphur Skyline is one of them, albeit you’ll have to get to the summit for the best view.

Our friend, Sheri, highly recommended that we hike Sulphur Skyline Trail (not to be confused with a backcountry Skyline Trail in the Maligne Lake area). Sheri has posted the Sulphur Skyline hike that she and her husband, Bill, did. You can read about it here. It’s been a while since David and I did any great summit hikes. The two most memorable ones were Mt. Tallac and Mt. Ida. Sulphur Skyline would be a good opportunity for another summit hike.

Trailhead for the Sulphur Skyline is located at Miette Hot Springs. The drive on Hwy 16 from Jasper to Miette Road was very scenic. We might have not driven on this section of the road if we didn’t do this hike. On our way to Miette Hot Springs, we ran into a bighorn sheep jam on Hwy 16. There was a large herd of bighorn sheep on both sides of the road. There were several lambs in the herd. They were very cute.

A herd of bighorn sheep with lambs on the side of the road

When we arrived at Miette Hot Springs, there were many more bighorn sheep roaming the parking lot. Yes, bighorn sheep everywhere. Young ones were playing and running. The ones in a picture below were licking dirt from this fifthwheel. It must be some tasty salt in the dirt.

More bighorn sheep. Many of them were in the parking lot of Miette Hot Springs. Young ones were playing and running. This herd was interested in the dirt from this truck and a fifthwheel.

Most of Sulphur Skyline Trail was through mixed forests. Other than the last section up the summit, the trail wasn’t too steep. But it’s a constant up since it had to gain about 2,300 ft in a little over 2.5 miles. There were wildflowers to enjoy along the way with occasional view across the valley. We passed quite a few hikers on their way down from the summit. It appeared to be a popular hike.

The first shocking pink/magenta wild rose we saw on the trail.

After the main junction, the trail turned southward. After a series of switchbacks, we had this view.

There were several evidence of hikers made shortcuts on switchback sections. I never understood why people needed to do that. It destroys vegetation and erodes the trail. Besides, switchbacks actually makes the trail easier to hike. It was sad to see.

Once at the shoulder of the peak, we were above the tree line. The last section was on gravels and rocks, but it had decent footing. We were glad we had our hiking poles, though. Wind started picking up so we put on our jackets.

Soon we got up on top. The summit was a large area. There were several groups of hikers at the summit but it didn’t feel crowded at all. We found a place behind rocks that was protected from the wind. The view was amazing. See for yourself.

Summit view. The clouds gave this picture a cinematic feel.

Looking west

At the top of Sulphur Skyline Trail, we found a place to escape the wind.

Lots of squirrels at the summit. They were extremely active.

Sandwich lunch with this view. Yes, there were dark clouds, but they weren’t thunderclouds, thankfully.

A hiker approaching the summit. The background showed an interesting formation of Ashlar Ridge.

We spent about 40 minutes on the summit. It’s time to head back down. The hike down between the summit and the shoulder was easier than I anticipated. Nevertheless, we were careful to go slow. It won’t be good to slide down or, worse, tumble down the mountain regardless of how spectacular the view was.

After having lunch and drying our sweat, we headed down.

A road construction provided a good opportunity for taking pictures of the view along the highway.

Thanks to Sheri, we got to enjoy such an amazing view at the summit of the Sulphur Skyline. Compared to other great summit hike that we did in the past, this one by far had the most reward for the effort.

  • Date hiked: June 23, 2017
  • Hiking time: 4h 1m
  • Distance: 5.1 mi round-trip (out and back)
  • Elevation change: Approx. 2,300 ft gain

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