Jasper National Park : Watchtower Trail
Rocky Mountains : Alberta, Canada
The Watchtower Trail is a long day hike or backpacking adventure located in the Jasper National Park near the community of Jasper, Alberta, Canada. The route is in the Maligne Mountain Range region of the park exploring along Watchtower Creek before leading to The Watchtower at an elevation of 2731 metres.
The Watchtower Trail is a 13 kilometre one-way trail with an elevation gain of over 960 metres. It is considered a moderately difficult route with some challenging switchbacks, muddy sections and areas along the trail that are not very well marked.
The Watchtower Trail near Jasper, Alberta, Canada begins by crossing a wooden footbridge over the Maligne River. After the crossing the trail continues exploring the aspen forest before connecting to a series of switchbacks near Excelsior Creek which lead up into the lower elevations of The Watchtower.
Near the 5 kilometre point on the trail enters the Watchtower Basin. Here is a good opportunity to take a break and enjoy the wilderness mountain views.
From the basin continue along the wilderness trail to a shallow creek crossing (no bridge). Just pass the creek crossing, a couple hundred metres, at about the 9.8 kilometre point is the wilderness campsite.
From the campsite the Watchtower Trail continues exploring a meadow until it butts up to a headwall. Climb the switchbacks up the headwall to the Watchtower Column and some great views. The trail connects with the Skyline Trail near Shovel Pass at an elevation of 2320 metres.
How to Get to the Watchtower Trail
From the town of Jasper, Alberta, Canada it is 19 kilometres to the Watchtower Trailhead entrance.. From Main Street (Connaught Drive) in the community of Jasper, Alberta, Canada travel east on Connaught Drive, crossing over the railway tracks before merging with Highway #16. Just ahead on Highway #16, on your right, is the exit road to Maligne Lake and Canyon. Take the exit, cross over a bridge, and take a left and follow the Maligne Lake Road south to the trailhead entrance near the west end of Medicine Lake.
Alberta, Canada - Watchtower Trail - Jasper National Park activity guide