Day 35 – Jasper has great trails and weird toilets

GDT kms: 36.9

We woke up to the sounds of people walking around and to our surprise when we finally popped out of the tent, the group at the site beside ours was already gone. We then got on the excellent quality trail and began the moderate climb towards Jonas Pass.

The pass was marked with a cairn and a set of caribou antlers which had unfortunately had a penis carved into them. Our climbing for the day wasn’t finished yet, after a brief gentle descent, we started climbing again to Jonas Shoulder and slowly walked above the elevation that vegetation grows and the terrain became just rocks and sand. Along this stretch we passed a number of hikers heading in the opposite direction who told us to look for marmots at the top – maybe they knew we wouldn’t give them any snacks, but we didn’t see any at the top.

We then began descending to the Jonas Cutoff campground. We reached there just before noon, so we stopped for a lovely lunch. We had the entire area to ourselves with a stream nearby for water and picnic tables in the shade. When I went to use the washroom, I discovered one of the weirdest setups I’ve ever come across – picture a large wooden bench, now add three toilet seats to it and put up little armrest-height walls to separate the seats.

The rest of the day was mostly spent heading down hill along a forested trail with occasional views of the river or waterfalls.

We made it to the Avalanche campground in excellent time reaching it shortly before 6pm. We were quite happy to find it empty and even though it’s “decommissioned” all the facilities are in good shape and the bear hanging hardware even seems like it has been replaced recently and a new sign with instructions installed.

We are now only 8km behind our planned itinerary, so reaching Jasper on time and making our hotel reservations should be doable assuming we can still make decent progress on the apparently poor condition trail we hit tomorrow.

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