What You Need to Know About Hiking the Skyline Trail in Jasper National Park, Canada

Those who make the journey to isolated Jasper National Park are in for a treat — but you’re definitely going to be roughing it here. Located in western Alberta, it is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies, an expansive 4,200 square miles. Despite being significantly larger than its southern-rival Banff (2,500 square miles), Jasper received about 1.5 million less visitors in 2014.

That’s good news for wilderness lovers, especially those looking to disappear for a few days. And Jasper’s flagship backpacking route, the Skyline Trail, is perhaps the most epic way to discover the destination.

The Skyline Trail is 27 miles in length with more than half above treeline. In good weather, it can be completed comfortably in as little as three days, two nights. Many choose to take their time and break the trail down into shorter segments, and one of the best things about the Skyline Trail is that it is designed with such flexibility in mind.

The trail passes through six campsites, each positioned in scenic locations below treeline near or next to flowing water. The amount of campsites and the fact that they are well spaced along the trail allows hikers to choose their own adventure.

You can start the Skyline Trail from either the Signal or Maligne Lake trailheads. It is recommended starting from Signal because you get the most boring part of the trail, a fire road with no views, out of the way in the beginning as opposed to letting it be an anticlimactic end.

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