I just returned from a trip to Jasper National Park’s Fryatt Valley. The weather was cool and damp, but it was good weekend overall. Here are the details.
September 4-6, 2004
Fryatt Valley 2004 Photoset on flickr.com | [piclens-lite-link]
Saturday, September 4
Saw bear scat a couple of times in the first 7 km, but no other sign of bears. We encountered a couple who crossed the Athabasca river in a canoe around 7.2 km. We stopped for lunch around 8.6 km at a viewpoint of the Athabasca valley where we had the worst rain of the trip – not much of a view because of the rain. The hill after the Lower Fryatt Campground is quite steep. This section felt like a rain forest with its very lush vegetation and plentiful fungi. Finally after crossing some gravel flats we arrived at Brussels campground where we stayed for two nights. Parks Canada needs to revise the trail between the Fryatt Creek Bridge at km 15.9 and Brussels campground as it is crumbling into the creek in a few places. Hiking time: 6.5 hours (including breaks).
Stats: Distance: 17.2 km; Elevation Gain: 450 m.
Sunday, September 5
We had some rain during the night which stopped before morning. We hiked from Brussels Campground to the Alpine Club of Canada’s Sydney Vallance hut. While hiking along Fryatt lake, it rained a little. After leaving the lake, we followed Fryatt creek up to Headwall campground. Then we hiked on up the very steep headwall section of the trail. The hut at the top is well worth staying at in the future. A trip to the hut should consist of a canoe to cross the Athabasca river, and lighter packs due to the amenities of the hut. It would also enable more exploration of the valley above the hut, which we didn’t have time for on this trip. In our very short hike up-valley from the hut, we saw a flock of about half a dozen Harlequin ducks on Fryatt creek.
Stats: Distance: 9.6 km; Elevation Gain/Loss: 340 m.
Monday, September 6
We awoke at 6AM in the cold and dark and hit the trail around 8AM. Picnic tables, wooden bridges and tree roots are quite slippery before the frost melts off them. After leaving the Lower Fryatt Campground, the sun started to break out of the clouds and the day grew warmer – but still not a heat wave. We could actually see the view from the Athabasca valley viewpoint this time. Hiking time: 5.5 hours (including breaks).
Stats: Distance hiked: 17.2 km; Elevation lost: 450 m.
Total Stats: Distance: 44 km; Elevation Gain/Loss: 790 m.
Edited: 2006-06-25 – Updated photo album links.
Edited: 2008-02-22 – Updated photo links to Flickr and the text of the story.