July 28, 2016
On our way to hike Cavell Meadows today we stopped at Cavell Lake, a lovely little lake that you can’t see from the road and that most people probably drive right past. (By the way, we read that “Cavell” pronounced to rhyme with “gravel” which is not how we were pronouncing it at first.) Just a short ways down the trail brought us to a bridge over the outlet creek and this wonderful view. We were lucky to have good conditions here because an hour later it was overcast.
Back to the car and a little bit further up the road we parked at the Cavell Meadows trailhead and started hiking at 9:30 along with dozens of other people. This is one of the most popular hikes in the park.
We first hiked out to a viewpoint that looks down on the pond below Angel Glacier. You used to be able to take a trail down to the pond, but after a flood event in 2012 (part of the Ghost Glacier fell off into the pond, sending a wave of water and debris downstream) you can’t do that anymore. Nevertheless, despite numerous signs, we saw many people hiking down there.
Then we headed up to the meadows, surrounded by mountain vistas and increasingly better views of the Angel Glacier.
When we passed a rockslide by the trail Greg caught sight of a cute little pika and got several great shots of the adorable little guy.
We also saw marmot along the way.
The wildflowers were awesome!
A little side trail to a viewpoint provides a nice view of Mt. Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier.
At the viewpoint this funny marmot ambled up and started posing on this rock. I know I shouldn’t anthropomorphize, but it really did look like he was posing! He even changed positions several times, as if to say, “make sure you get all my angles.”
The shot above is one I took. I had my wide angle lens on the camera. Below are some much better shots that Greg got on his camera.
Another side trail leads to the highest viewpoint along the loop. It was a doozy, a very stiff climb up an open rocky slope. You can see the trail on the right in the picture below, although it looks pretty tame compared to real life!
I would definitely not want to do this on a hot sunny day. We had the opposite weather, with dark clouds coming our way. And then it started to rain while we were up there. Drat. I had neither my pack cover nor my rain jacket, so I got pretty wet. Greg stayed on top while I started hiking down. Of course 10 minutes later the rain stopped just as quickly as it started.
We passed through more wildflower meadows as we finished the loop back to the car. Glorious!
Also on the way back down we saw a family with young kids sitting in the fragile meadow off the trail. The kids were running around like kids do and the parents were oblivious. It was just one of many displays of appalling behavior we saw from other park visitors during our time in the Rockies.
We arrived back at the car at 3:00 and headed back to Jasper for some post-hike food. Yum!