On Saturday August 5, I drove into Clearwater, and checked the information center for Wells Gray park.
Wells Gray has rugged rivers and trails. It lacks the iconic scenery of the national mountain parks but it is rougher and less spoiled.
There were vacancies in the campground at Pyramid Mountain, but no vacancies in the campground at Clearwater Lake. There were backcountry sites along the lake shore, but I didn’t have my kayak. I drove up to Pyramid Mountain. The camp was quiet. The campground operator comes in twice a day to clean up, sell firewood and collect fees. There are bear-proof garbage cans, pit privies and a water pump.
On Saturday I hiked along the river, and then up the Pyramid Mountain trail. This mountain, not to be confused with the 2700 meter peak near Jasper, is about 1094 meters. I got a picture later from the lookout at Green Mountain: View image. It stands out in what otherwise looks like a valley. It is a volcanic peak, so it may have risen after the glaciers carved the valley, or withstood glacial erosion better. The hike was a walk through the forest, followed by a series of switchbacks to the top of the mountain. I took a few pictures at the top. It was hot sunny day, and bugs in the forest were fierce. This hike had the advantage of being close to my camp, with a view at the top: View image.
On Sunday, I hiked up the road to the trailhead for the south rim trail to Helmcken Falls, and then to the falls. This hike went along the river through the forest, and was pretty much level. I ran into an unexpected footgear problem. Generally I have found thin synthetic sock liners to be useful, and great advance over using cotton or synthetic blend athletic socks. This time the seam over the toes bunched and gave me a hot spot and blister on the cuticle of my big toe. This hike, like is a walk to a destination, but this one had some photo ops.
The corridor road crosses the river at a set of rapids. View image. The trail leads to the falls, which are too big to capture in one picture, plunging into a canyon. The last rapids above the falls – View image . The top of the falls: View image or at a different angle:
On Monday, I drove down to Jasper. The weekend traffic on the Yellowhead was fierce, especially after the Mount Terry Fox lookout, to the Alberta Border. It’s a two lane highway, and traffic gets bottlenecked behind trailers and rv’s both ways. This results in people pulling out to pass and trying to pass a whole string of cars.
The sky was low, but not low enough to hide Mount Robson. Not quite iconic, but it should be: