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Mt. Edith Cavell is a major peak in the Rockies near Jasper. Accessible via Hwy 93A, the Mt. Edith Cavell Road leads to many popular hiking routes, such as the Tonquin Valley and the Astoria River. One of the most popular tourist destinations, though, is at the end of the road, where a well-marked interpretative trail offers easy access to the valley below the mountain.
There are two trails that leave from the Mt. Edith Cavell parking lot. The first is a simple loop called The Path of the Glacier, a short walk along an easy trail that takes you to a small lake at the foot of the Cavell Glacier. One side of the lake is the glacier's toe, and small icebergs are often see floating around in it. Looming high above you is the famous hanging Angel Glacier, so-called because of its resemblance to an angel with outspread wings. Unfortunately, the foot of the angel's robe has now disappeared, victim to a warmer climate in the Rockies. Be careful; stay on the path and and stay away from the area directly beneath Angel Glacier - chunks of ice can break off and fall onto the rocks below. Especially, avoid the ice caves that form. While they might look large enough and strong enough to handle truck traffic, the roofs can collapse without warning, crushing anything inside. Allow between 45 minutes to 1 hour for the walk.
By far the better trail is the Cavell Meadows Trail. It leaves from part way up the Path of the Glacier Trail, and ascends the valley wall across from the mountain. Not for the timid or weak, the climb includes some 450 meters (1475 feet) of elevation gain over only a few kilometers, making for a pretty good workout. From a couple of popular lookouts near the top, the hiker will get excellent views of Angel Glacier and the lake from above, and of the other glaciers and mountains the surround the valley. Filled with alpine flowers in summer (and the occasional grizzly bear) , the Cavell Meadows Trail is well worth the extra effort. Allow about 3 hours to reach the top and return.
Note however that the Mt. Edith Cavell road is closed to vehicle traffic for much of the year, since it is virtually impassable during the winter except on snowshoes or skis. Check with the Jasper Information Centre for road closures.