Snowshoe to Jaques Lake Campground

Jacques Lake Trail, Jasper National Park

Snowshoe or cross-country ski past 4 mountain lakes on route to a lakeside backcountry campground at Jacques Lake. Very little elevation gain or loss.

The Jacques Lake trail is one of the best winter trails in Jasper National Park and allows for various activities including snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and camping. The trip to Jacques lake is 13km one-way through a narrow mountain valley and can be quite a strenuous, but rewarding hike in the winter months.

After just the first 2km you will reach Beaver Lake which is equipped with picnic tables and provides the first great views of the surrounding mountains. The First Summit Lake appears at the 5km mark and is a good turning point for those not interested in a winter camping experience. If ice conditions are adequate you can ski or snowshoe across the First and Second Summit Lakes. The Second Summit Lake is only 30m through the trees from the end of the First Summit Lake. The trail reappears about 5m into the trees at the end of the Second Summit Lake. From here I would recommend snowshoeing the remaining 7km to Jacques Lake.

The campground is on the far side of Jacques Lake and has a couple fire pits and some bear poles in which you can hang your food at night. The hike to Jacques Lake is around a 5-6 hour snowshoe trip so make sure you are carrying proper winter camping gear and are physically up to the task. Remember to obtain a backcountry camping permit from the information building in Jasper before you leave ($11).

The first 5km of the trail is usually track set for cross-country skiing in the winter and makes a great half-day trip! After the Second Summit Lake, the trail becomes quite narrow and skiing becomes more difficult.

Getting there: Turn at the Maligne Lake Road junction off of Highway 16 (Yellowhead) just east of the Jasper town site. Follow the Maligne Lake Road 28km to the far end of Medicine Lake and turn left into the Jacques Lake trail parking area.

Pack List

  • Snowshoes or skis
  • Tent
  • Winter rated sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Stove
  • Hiking poles
  • Winter layers
  • Water and snacks
  • Camera
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RT Distance 16.2 Miles
Elevation Gain 147.6 Feet
Activities Survival, Camping, Skiing, Snowshoeing, Backpacking, Hiking, Fitness
Skill Level Intermediate
Season Winter
Trail Type Out-and-Back
Features
Easy Parking
Forest
Lake
Picnic Area
Scenic
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

Fantastic and Easy Going

12.5kms to Jaaques Lake, 24kms there and back. It's a great easy going trail (little elevation gain), with splendid views as two mountain ranges tower over ethier side of the trail. As well as the lakes along the way. Recommended!


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