Location: Tonquin Valley Trailhead, Jasper National Park, Jasper, Alberta, Canada
For any avid backpacker, the Tonquin Valley is a must do a trail that will take you into the Jasper National Parks. There, you can enjoy the breathtaking backcountry views of the Amethyst Lake and the surrounding views of Rampart mountain range. If you have no idea the days to do the trip, we recommend you to do in three days. Well, it does not a big deal if you want to enjoy the trip for a week to explore what the place has to offer.
What Tonquin Vally Has To Offer
The Tonquin Valley is so popular because of the bear population. It is the home for bear and since you are entering their area, it is good to plan on how to tackle this hike by checking the bear warnings. Make sure that it is your prior so you can leave the warning area. In addition, we recommend you to place a bear spray you can access easily. We also recommend hikers to wait until the end of the summer or the beginning of the autumn to complete hiking in this place. In fact, hiking on this trail in the rainy or snowy season will only make your hiking experience is full of challenge. This condition will also make you cannot explore the area easily because of the deteriorate trails and the muddy conditions.
Warning! You should stay on the trail if you find muddy sections. Going off-trail means is not the right option because it will only damage the area.
You can access the Tonquin Valley in two ways. The Maccarib Pass is the first option that offers scenic route and therefore, it is the popular choice. Take this option means that you are going to access the trailhead from the Marmot Basin Resort road. The location is right next to the portal creek.
The second option is to head from the Astoria River Trail. The trailhead is across the Mount Edith Cavell hostel. The trailhead is shorter, but steeper with multiple switchbacks you cannot forgive. Of course, these two trails will bring you to the Tonquin Valley and you can even find the Amethyst Lake Campground. If you have arrived in the valley, you can decide to enjoy a day hike the Eremite Valley and Chrome Lake trails.
In the Tonquin Valley, you can even find seven campgrounds and two privately operated backcountry huts. The trail’s popularity makes them can be unavailable so fast that you should book your accommodations in advance. All campsites here have some equipment like bear poles, eating area, tent pads, and green throne. If you camp in the earlier months, the mosquitoes are the biggest matter. Therefore, you have to bring your bug spray.
Sadly, the Tonquin Valley does not offer a complete loop so you cannot return to your car without going back to the same trail you came in. The alternative is to hike the point-to-point trail and hire a shuttle that will bring you back to your car. It is not recommended to hitchhiking back that you may get caught at the trailhead.
The Packlist To Backpack to Tonquin Valley
If you have a plan to backpack to Tonquin Valley, here is the pack list to bring:
Trail map, tent, backpack, boots, gaiters, stove, food clothing, rain gear, appropriate clothing, bear spray, bug spray, camera, and campsite reservation
It takes 43.5 miles if you want to know the distance to enjoy the trail. The place also offers 1640.4 feet in elevation gain. There are some activities you should do here such as hiking, backpacking, camping, fishing, and photography. If you ask us the best seasons to visit this place, we recommend you to visit it in summer or autumn. Enjoy the point-to-point trail that is even great for the intermediate hikers.
What you can see here are the forest groups, the lake, the river, and the scenic wildlife and wildflowers. It is glad to know that this area has easy parking and bathroom facilities.
Some Notes To Backpack In Tonquin Valley
These notes are the additional information that we hope can help you more since the notes are from the previous hikers as below:
- Hike the loop in the middle of August is one of the best options that you will never regret to enjoy the spectacular views and the changing surroundings.
- Edith Cavell road is restricted but if you book your campground, there is a permit so you can enter the road as the included feature.
- If you find that the campgrounds were booked solid, it is possible to stay at Portal that you do not book but more convenient.
- There are a lot of mosquitoes, especially if you go down by the lake and the Clitheroe campsite. So, it is smart to use face-nets.
- You can park your car at Astoria trailhead and then hitchhiked back when you got to the end of the trail. If you want to try this, you should get to the trail before noon. Otherwise, you need to take a taxi between the start and end point and the cost is 100 dollars.
- If you have completed your hiking with the trail, it is worth to stop for a while at Angel Glacier at Mount Edith Cavell. It only takes about 25 minutes extra and you will enjoy sightseeing, as well.
- If you have no idea the best campgrounds to stay, it depends on the iritenary.
- Clitheroe is not the best place to stay since there is on nice views, no convenient facilities and a lot of mosquitoes. But you can spend your time at Maccarib as the nice campsite with the good views next to the river. Portal also offers the spectacular views and you can use it as the exit point when you hitchhiking back out to the Astoria the next day.
- Surprise Point is most hikers’ favorite to meet more people.
Those are all information about the trail. When will you visit this place?