River/Creek · Views · Waterfall · Wildlife
Wilcox Pass Trail starts from a parking area on the left, a little over a mile past the Icefields Center when going south on Icefields Parkway (Hwy 93). Going north on Icefields Parkway, look for the parking area on the right just after entering Jasper National Park.
Starting at the large trailhead sign, Wilcox Pass Trail enters the fir forest on a broad, flat trail. A sturdy bridge is crossed and the trail then climbs for a short ways in the forest. At the 0.4 mile mark, as the trail veers right, one can step out of the forest at a small overlook, to see what's in store up ahead - views of Snow Dome, Dome Glacier, Mt. Kitchener and more with Icefields Parkway in the valley below.
A few more steps in the forest, and the trail emerges into grass and rocky subalpine meadows, with awesome views and the Icefields Parkway valley below, to the left/southwest. The trail then returns to the forest to climb in the now thin forest, with smaller trees, for about a quarter mile.
Finally, coming out of the forest for good, now in subalpine meadows, one can enjoy the views for the rest of the hike, 1.4 more miles to Wilcox Pass. To the left in the distance to the southwest is Mt. Athabasca, 11,453 ft., Mt. Andromeda, 11,319 ft., Athabasca Glacier, Snow Dome, 11,339 ft., Dome Glacier, Mt. Kitchener, 11,500 ft., and more. Snow Dome is the only true triple divide in the world, with water flowing into three oceans from it - the Arctic, Pacific, and Atlantic Oceans. Next to the trail on the left a creek cascades down a steep valley through the upper meadows of Mount Wilcox, 9,462 ft. Nearby, to the right, Nigel Peak, 10,534 ft., rises from the meadows.
The trail goes through one more short climb into more barren, rocky alpine meadows, and then crosses the creek at the 2.0 mile mark, the same creek that lower down, was cascading down to the left of the trail. Views ahead on the other side of Wilcox Pass then emerge and a short quarter mile later Wilcox Pass is reached.
From Wilcox Pass, one has a few options. 1) The trail, becomes less maintained as it continues down the other side of Wilcox Pass along Tangle Creek and Ridge to Tangle Falls and the Icefields Parkway. And 2) more interesting, a marked route to the left, heads up Mt. Wilcox and one can explore its ridges. Or 3) turn around and go back to the parking area.
Flora & Fauna
Fir forest, grassy sub-alpine meadows, and rocky alpine terrain at the pass.
Shared By: Joan Pendleton