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Great Divide Trail - Section E (Saskatchewan Crossing to Jasper)



122.9 mile 197.7 kilometer point to point
89% Runnable


Ascent: 18,478' 5,632 m
Descent: -19,741' -6,017 m
High: 8,461' 2,579 m
Low: 3,409' 1,039 m


Avg Grade: 6% (3°)
Max Grade: 64% (33°)


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Trail shared by Joan Pendleton

Canadian Rockies at their best, wild and beautiful, along the Continental Divide.

Joan Pendleton

Features Birding · Commonly Backpacked · Lake · River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildflowers · Wildlife

Section Of

Need to Know

The GDT is a wilderness trail. Hiking it provides a wilderness experience that in places may include unmaintained trail, no trail at all (route finding required), animal sightings and encounters, isolation, unbridged creeks and rivers, and long distances between resupplies.

Summer weather can include snow :>)

Resources regularly updated with the latest conditions and other information are:
- GDTA website
- Dustin Lynx book "Hiking Canada's Great Divide Trail"
- GDT App
- Ryan Silk's GDT Map Atlas
- Gem Trek maps


The GDT (Great Divide Trail) is a long distance hike along the Continental Divide in Canada. This is Section E, one of the middle sections of it.

Section E runs from Saskatchewan Crossing where the Saskatchewan River crosses Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93), to the town of Jasper, Alberta in Jasper National Park.

On top of the world here in Section E, one crosses several open and rocky high passes with glorious, expansive views of the surrounding snowy, rugged mountains. The highest point of the GDT is in this Section. Although a good bit of Section E is "off the beaten path", a good bit of it is also on well maintained, popular (but not overcrowded due to the reservation system :>) Jasper National Park trails with their wonderful, maintained trail camps complete with shared picnic tables, fire pits, bear hangs, and green thrones.

Please see the resources listed above under Need to Know for up to date detailed descriptions and valuable hiker information.

Alternate Routes
- Great Divide Trail - Six Passes Alternate Route
- Evelyn Creek/Skyline Trail
- Great Divide Trail - Wabasso Lake Alternate Route
- Great Divide Trail - Jasper Trail #7 Detour Alternate Route

Access Trailheads (motor vehicle accessible)
- Saskatchewan Crossing on Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93) on the north side of the river (start of Section E)
- Owen Creek Trail trailhead on David Thompson Highway (Hwy 11) (very close to start of Section E)
- Maligne Lake Road end, at the Skyline Trail south trailhead
- Signal Mountain Fire Road/Maligne Lake Road junction, at the Skyline Trail north trailhead (very close to end of Section E)
- Old Fort Point Road where it crosses the Athabasca River (very near Jasper) (end of Section E)

Access Trails
- Sunset Pass Trail at the 8.1 mile mark (8.1 miles to Section E)
- South Boundary Trail: Nigel Creek Trailhead to Brazeau Lake at the 5.0 mile mark and Cataract Pass Trail junction (5 miles to Section E)
- Poboktan Pass Trail at the 3.9 mile mark and Maligne Pass Trail junction (3.9 miles to Section E)
- Wabasso Lake Trail 2.5 miles to Great Divide Trail - Wabasso Lake Alternate Route, then 6 miles on Alternate Route (8.5 miles to Section E)

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Flora & Fauna, Runner Notes

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Sunset from Poligne Creek at Avalanche trail camp.
Sep 22, 2019 near Jasper…, AB
A sunlit creek valley (left) is where Curator trail camp is found. Curator Lake (center right) in the distance is where Skyline Trail is headed as it heads north on the barren, alpine north side of Big Shovel Pass.
Sep 23, 2019 near Jasper…, AB
Big Shovel Pass (south side) in the distance (center) is where Skyline Trail is headed, as it meanders through subalpine meadows. Curator Mountain (center left) marks the west (left) side of Big Shovel Pass.
Sep 23, 2019 near Jasper…, AB
The Brazeau River runs through meadows at the base of the north side of Nigel Pass. This awesome view surprises upon rounding a bend in the trail when descending the pass.
Aug 2, 2018 near Jasper…, AB
Jonas Pass, looking northwest.
Aug 2, 2018 near Jasper…, AB
Mount Tekarra (left) and the Colin Range in the distance (right), looking north from Skyline Trail.
Sep 23, 2019 near Jasper…, AB


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