Sulphur Skyline, Jasper National Park

Distance: 8 km round trip, half day trip, allow 3-4 hours.

Access: 7km west of the Jasper Park East Gate turn onto the Miette Hot Springs Road south for 17 km to the Miette Hot Springs pool parking lot. The trail head is on the right side of the pool complex.

Tip: Bring water! Steep, dry, but totally worth it. Pack a bathing suit too so that you can take a dip in the hot springs afterwards. 

Sulphur Skyline doesn’t actually stink like the name might imply. Skyline however does accurately describe what the hike is. The hike takes you high up for incredible 360° views of the surrounding valleys, peaks, and rivers. It really is one of the best half-day trip in Jasper. I usually hike this in late spring when all the flowers are in bloom, it’s really incredible and a nice sight to see when you’re trudging up, up, and up.

The trail begins next to the Hot Springs pools and for about 1 km the track is a broad paved path which begins climbing immediately. The trail then turns into single-track roadbed and steadily climbs for 2.2 km to a junction on the crest of Shuey Pass. Turn right here and begin an even more serious climb to the ridge. There are a few wooden benches on the way so that you can sit enjoy a view and catch your breath. The trail switchbacks upward through forest and after 3.4 km the trail emerges above treeline. From here you will get a great view of the surrounding valleys, but the real views are still to come 0.6 km later. The summit is reached after continuing the climb across an open slope. The views open up and you can see Fiddle River Valley to the south and the rocky pyramid of Utopia Mountain and the Miette Range. To the north you can see impressive mountains including Ashlar Ridge and numerous valleys.

As short a hike as this one is, it may not be for everyone. While I have seen kids on the trail, be prepared for the best and worst of mother nature. Once you’re up on the ridge, you’re completely exposed. The hike up is grueling, gaining 700 m in only 4 km. But if you’re up for it you can just take your time and go your own pace. Just don’t forget the water and bring some good hiking shoes! Good company always helps too.

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