The Skyline Trail is a hiking trail in Jasper National Park renowned for its beauty, it is commonly referred to as on of the 10 best hiking trips in the Canadian Rockies.
It starts at Maligne Lake and progresses (predominantly above the tree-line) back over 3 passes and 50km towards the Jasper town-site. It is typically completed over 3 or 4 days but we were able to do it over 2 days as we stayed at the Shovel Pass lodge about 22km from the start. The lodge is a historic backcountry lodge that was originally constructed in the 1920’s to accommodate trail riders.
It is so named because the first European party (Mary Schaffer, a legendary naturalist, illustrator, photographer, writer and obvious overachiever as well as her guide, Jack Otto) to navigate the pass (in 1911) faced snow so deep they had to fashion shovels from the trees found in the meadow below the pass.
They left the shovels behind (with a fair amount of cursing I would imagine) and she christened the pass Shovel Pass. The shovels were recovered at some point and they are displayed in the Jasper museum, which I had to see for myself. It was a fantastic, if arduous trip, blessed by spectacular weather and no need for snow shovels.
For the FitBit/step counter enthusiasts out there my phone says the first day was 38,000 steps and day 2 was just shy of 50,000 and it was worth every single one of those steps!