Jasper National Park hikes on the Pyramid Bench
Below you’ll find a great set of hikes on the Pyramid Bench, a beautiful area just a short trip from Jasper that can actually be reached from town on foot, and still offer some of Jasper National Park’s best sightseeing. To check out conditions, see this nifty, live Jasper webcam.
Cottonwood Creek/Pyramid Lake loop
From Jasper, Trail 2 starts as a somewhat steep hike up to the Pyramid Bench, with a good views of Japser’s townsite along the way. Cross a gated road taking you to Cabin Lake, where the unimaginatively named Trail 2 continues to the Cottonwood Slough parking lot and crosses the Pyramid Lake Road. Shortly past Cottonwood Creek, find a intersection with equally creatively named Trail 2a. Take a right onto 2a to get back to the north end of Jasper townsite along the creek. This is just a short walk of 1 to 2 hours.
If you’d like to continue on to Pyramid Lake, follow Trail 2 past the intersection with Trail 6a (again with the boring names!) and keep right onto Trail 2b. Shortly the path crosses a hillside, opening up to the first of many excellent views of the Athabasca Valley.
Trail 2b follows the edge of the Pyramid Bench for 2km, where you’ll have a good shot at cathcing bighorn sheep grazing on the grassy slopes below. This old-growth Douglas-fir forest contains examples of big, beautiful trees still existing in western North America.
This trail intersects with Trail 2h, and climbs steadily along a wooded ridge with openings that offers amazing views in an area known as the Pyramid Overlook.
The trail descends to the Pyramid Lake parking lot, then reconnects with Trail 2. Follow Trail 2 beside the Pyramid Lake Road to return.
Note: the loop section of this hike is heavily used by horses, especially near the stables.
Trails used: 2 and 2a, 3.8 km return (1-2 hours) or 2 and 2b, 17.4 km return (5-7 hours).
Trailheads : Jasper Activity Centre parking lot (in town, near start of Pyramid Lake Road), Cottonwood Slough parking lot (2 km up Pyramid Lake Road), Pyramid Stables (3.5 km) or Pyramid Lake (end of road).