Hiking In Jasper National Park!
Although Jasper National Park has many different beautiful hikes for you to explore and many magnificent lakes for you to relax by, the Valley of the Five Lakes offers the best of both worlds. Not only does it have a fairly easy hike, approximately 1.5 – 2 hours round trip (approximately a 4.5 km loop), you pass by five different lakes, one more beautiful than the other with varied colors and backdrops at each one. Although there are no mountainous views throughout this hike, the lakes and panoramic views of nature at its finest makes it very well worth it. Valley of the Five Lakes is among one of the most beautiful hiking trails in Jasper, and although the parking lot may always seem full, the trails are not over congested making for a nice relaxing walk in the wilderness. No matter what your hiking abilities are, this is a great walk as there is no climbing nor high altitude terrain – it’s an easy hike to partake in!
Valley of the Five Lakes is only located 3 km south of Becker’s Chalets (approximately 9 km south of the Jasper town-site) on highway 93. Typically on this stretch of highway, a variety of wildlife frequent it (with elk, black bears, grizzly bears, coyotes, deer and many birds being the most common). This hiking trail forms one big loop, you start and finish in the same spot while encountering 5 beautiful and unique lakes along its path.
Throughout this trail, you will encounter five glorious lakes, each with a different shade of greeny turquoise due to the varied lake depths. Several streams and viewpoints will be encountered on this trail, along with a great possibility of seeing wildlife, especially beavers!!! As you walk the five lakes, it is very important to make lots of noise (talk, wear a bear bell, etc.), to ensure that any wildlife on the trails are aware of your presence and not startled nor surprised. As you walk along the trail, the first lake is somewhat difficult to get a great view of, however it is the longest amongst the five lakes at Valley of the Five Lakes. The second lake is among the smallest of lakes on this trail, although very beautiful. The third lake is known for having many ducks in it, diving their heads in search for food, in this clear turquoise water. The fourth lake is also very beautiful with yet another hue of turquoise. The last and final lake, the fifth lake, is very heavenly and can be travelled by boat.
Boats are already at the fifth lake and are available for a minimal rental fee. Unfortunately this must be done prior to traveling to the Valley of the Five Lakes, as nobody is there to rent them to you on site. Online Sport and Tackle along with Curries Guiding both have boats available for rent for a minimal fee. Curries Guiding also has fishing tours available for tourists (reserved in advance as nobody is on site for bookings: the reservations office is located in Jasper). This fifth lake is known to have brook trout (fish), although the fish populations have decreased over the years.
In fall of 2016, Parks Canada did lots of upgrades and repairs to the parking lot site for this high demand attraction. What used to hold only 32 vehicles (when demand parking spots reached 80+ vehicles during peak season), this new, expanded, and improved parking lot will now hold 83 vehicles and 11 RV’s. Previously only one picnic table and one outhouse were available for guests. After all of the updates were completed, Valley of the Five Lakes now houses a total of three picnic tables for everyone to enjoy, along with a double unit outhouse! Other updates that have been done to this site include (but are not limited to) repaired hiking trails, new log benches being added along the trail, a new dock at the fifth lake for yoga, paddle boarding and boating, along with moving the trail info kiosk and public phone (which existed previously) closer to the trailhead.