The Mount Edith Cavell area is a great place to go hiking in Jasper National Park thanks to its stunning alpine scenery and the option to choose between an easy or moderate trail.
Some highlights of the Mt Edith Cavell trails are seeing a glacier hanging above a turquoise pond, walking among piles of moraine, admiring Mt. Edith Cavell and the surrounding valley, and possibly spotting some small animals and wildflowers.
Hiking Trails at Mt. Edith Cavell
The two Mt. Edith Cavell hikes are the Path of the Glacier Trail and the Cavell Meadows Trail. Both hikes start on the same path then split to offer different routes for enjoying Angel Glacier, Cavell Pond, and Mt. Edith Cavell.
The Path of the Glacier Trail is the shortest, easier route and appeals to casual or non-hikers, families, sightseers, and people interested in a scenic nature walk.
The Cavell Meadows Trail is a moderately challenging half-day hike that climbs to above the tree line.
Mt. Edith Cavell Hike #1: Path of the Glacier Trail
Distance: 1.2 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 70 m
Surface: First 0.5 km is paved then changes to rock and soil
Type of Trail: Out and back
Time: 1 hour
The Path of the Glacier Trail is a short, well-used path that leads towards Mt. Edith Cavell then terminates at a viewpoint across from Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond.
From the parking lot, a short stairway leads to a paved trail that gradually climbs along the edge of a valley towards Mt. Edith Cavell. Along the way there are unobstructed views of Angel Glacier flowing down the north face of Mt Edith Cavell.
About 0.5 km later, the pavement ends near a junction in the trail. Stay straight to continue on the Path of the Glacier.
A short walk later you’ll reach the end of the trail, arriving at a viewpoint overlooking Cavell Pond. From here you get a close up view of Angel Glacier and the layered ice of Cavell Glacier bordering the pond.
While at the viewpoint, listen for the cracking of ice, as chunks frequently fall from Angel Glacier, making small icebergs in the pond.
After you’re done admiring the view, you can head back to the parking lot the way you came. If you’d like to continue hiking, turn at the junction and follow the trail to Cavell Meadows.
Mt. Edith Cavell Hike #2: Cavell Meadows Trail
* Editor’s choice
Distance: 6-7 km round trip
Elevation Gain: 500 m
Surface: Rock and soil
Trail Type: Out and back with a loop at the far end
Time: 3-5 hours
The Cavell Meadows Trail is a moderately steep path that leads to an alpine meadow with stunning views of Angel Glacier, Mount Edith Cavell, and Cavell Pond.
The hike to Cavell Meadows starts on the Path of the Glacier Trail. About 0.5 km in, there’s a junction where the two trails meet. Turn left to get on the Cavell Meadows Trail and begin the climb to higher elevation.
This part of the trail is lined with piles of moraine left behind from when the valley was home to much larger, moving glaciers. Keep an eye out for wildlife, as these rock fields are a favourite spot for marmots and pikas.
While the views of Angel Glacier are quite good along this stretch of trail, once you get directly across from it you can carefully climb up on the rocks to get an even better view with Cavell Pond.
Leaving behind the boulders and Cavell Pond, the trail then enters into a forest and zigzags its way up towards Cavell Meadows.
Once above the tree line, the trail levels out and loops around a meadow dotted with wildflowers, giving numerous vantage points for admiring Angel Glacier.
If you go clockwise, the trail will be steeper going up, whereas counter-clockwise will be steeper coming down.
At the far end of the loop there’s a natural lookout point perfect for taking a break. This high spot looks out over the meadow and valley and is another great spot to look at Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond.
The rest of the loop continues around the meadow, but if you want to extend your hike, you can take a short out and back trail to the rocky summit. This steep trail doesn’t offer anything much different in terms of scenery, but is just a higher point for taking in Jasper’s mountain ranges.
After completing the loop, the trail rejoins itself so you’ll once again hike though the forest and past the moraine on the way back to the parking lot.
Review of the Mt. Edith Cavell Hikes
The two trails at Mount Edith Cavell both highlight Jasper’s exquisite mountain scenery.
While the shorter trail is a quick and easy way to enjoy the beauty of Angel Glacier and Cavell Pond, the longer, more challenging trail rewards hikers with a larger variety of scenery and several spots to admire different views of Angel Glacier.
No matter what Mt. Edith Cavell hike you choose to do, you’re sure to discover some of the very best scenery Jasper has to offer.
Tips for Hiking at Mt. Edith Cavell
Location: Mt. Edith Cavell is located south of the Jasper townsite in Jasper National Park.
Getting to Mt. Edith Cavell: From the town of Jasper, go south on Highway 93 for 7 km. Turn right onto Highway 93A and follow that for 5.4 km to Cavell Road. Turn right onto Cavell Road and drive to the end (14 km) where the trailhead is.
- Cavell Road is narrow with tight switchbacks so cannot be driven with large motorhomes or trailers over 25 ft. If you have a trailer, you can leave it at the drop-off area at the start of Cavell Road.
- Cavell Road is typically open from mid-June to mid-October, but is dependent on the weather and amount of snow on the road.
Best Time to Hike at Mt. Edith Cavell: July to September is the best time to go hiking at Mt. Edith Cavell.
- Parks Canada usually opens the Cavell Meadows Trail in mid-July when the upper section is dry enough to hike without damaging the trail.
Facilities: There are outhouses at the parking lot/trailhead.
Visitor Guidelines and Safety: The following are some guidelines for responsible and safe hiking at Mt. Edith Cavell
- Don’t walk on the fragile tundra
- Stay away from cliffs
- Don’t approach the edge of Cavell Pond or go near Angel Glacier since ice frequently falls from it
- Pack out all your garbage
- Don’t feed the wildlife
What to Bring: Since the trail is rocky and uneven in places, hiking shoes with sturdy soles and supportive ankles are recommended.
- Dress in layers because the weather can change quickly on the upper loop in Cavell Meadows.
- Hiking poles can help take some strain off the knees during the descent.
- Bring water and some snacks or a lunch to enjoy at one the viewpoints.
Trail Map: Here is a map of the Mt. Edith Cavell Trails.