Warning- Wildlife Beyond This Point! (Jasper National Park)

Pleased to wake to yet another day of sunshine, the girls and I wrapped up our morning routine and hit the road yet again. This time for a day trip out to Miette Hot Springs with plans of hiking Utopia Trail.

The drive out Highway-16 was pleasant, with lakes, mountains and beautiful skies as far as the eye could see. I drove along, content to fill my senses with the grandeur, periodically stopping for a scene that was just begging to be photographed, like the two below along Talbot Lake.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Talbot Lake

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Talbot Lake

Not far beyond Talbot Lake I spotted a few Big Horn Sheep coming down a treacherous looking cliffside. I am always amazed by the agile footing of the Big Horn, as well as their fellow mountaineers, the Mountain Goat.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn Ram scaling a cliffside

I stopped and grabbed my camera just in time to catch this ewe leap cleanly across a sizable creek. In no time, there were several more of these animals coming down and crossing the roadway. Luckily for them many visitors stop to watch and photograph them, making it clear… even to the uninterested… that there is wildlife near the roadway.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Ewe leaping across stream

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Ewe and young

After getting my fill of the critters close by I turned around and glanced back up the hillside behind me. Judging by the size of this ram’s horns I figured he was the leader of the pack. He certainly looked “lordly”, calmly perched above all the others as if watching over his kingdom.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn Ram looking on from above

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horns stopping traffic

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn Ram

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Rams

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Watchful Ram

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn Ram

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn Rams

When we reached Miette Hot Springs I spotted a few more Big Horn roaming through the parking lot. The girls and I geared up for the trail and headed out a paved pathway toward the trail. The path followed along a small stream that put off a strong smell of sulphur. I bent down to touch it and was amazed at the temperature… 130 degrees I found out later.

Mietta Hot Springs, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hot water flowing from the springs

Meitta Hot Springs, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Hot Springs

A bit farther up the trail we came upon the ruins of an old hotel, the Miette Aquacourt build in 1938. After a quick look around we started up the trail which followed and eventually crossed over Utopia Creek. It appeared that very few visitors journey beyond the ruins, because we saw no one else on the trail beyond.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Old ruins at Mietta Hot Springs

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Mietta Hot Springs ruins

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Utopia Creek, Mietta Hot Springs

On the way back toward the highway I kept glancing at the unique ridge-line of the mountains nearby thinking they looked a bit like the back of a sleeping Stegosaurus. (My imagination does run a bit wild sometimes.) And of course the return drive wouldn’t be complete without a few more Big Horn.

June 22, 2014-IMG_5583-2

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

More Big Horn!

Mietta Hot Springs, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Ewe

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Big Horn on roadway barrier

And why not throw in a few more bear for good measure! This momma black bear and her cubs were fun to watch for a bit. One of the cubs was particularly independent, roaming without fear (even with me close by) much farther from his mother than his sibling.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Black bear and cubs

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Black bear cub

By this time I’d pretty much come to expect to see elk everywhere I went. These two beautiful bull elk did not disappoint. I was actually a bit surprised to see two mature bulls comfortably grazing and resting in such close proximity, but I guess their aggression toward one another is limited to their rut season in the fall.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Bull elk grazing near the road

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Bull elk enjoying the shade

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Bull elk keeping a watchful eye

The landscape and ever changing clouds continued to woo me everywhere I went in Jasper National Park. No matter where you are in this park the beauty is grand in every direction.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper Lake

And the show was far from over!! While back in my campsite that evening a female elk came grazing very close to me, and a short while later I stepped to the edge of the parking lot to photograph the antics of several young elk. Two of them practiced the jousting they would eventually have to face as adults (assuming they were male), but all of them hopped and scampered playfully across a big open field toward the recently vacated playground.

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Elk grazing in my campsite

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Young elk at play

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Young elk practicing their sparring

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Gleeful young elk running through campground

Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Young elk in playground, Wapiti campground

My final treat of the day was watching this little guy from my nearby perch. When all the others had moved on down the hill, this one stayed… transfixed on me. So precious!!

Wapiti Campground, Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada

Looking for a playmate maybe???

As if that weren’t enough, there’s still more of Jasper National Park to come… and quite possibly the most spectacular part of all!! Don’t miss my next post about my day at Maligne Lake!! (Sign up for email notifications if you haven’t… envelope icon at the top of the page.)

 

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4 thoughts on “Warning- Wildlife Beyond This Point! (Jasper National Park)

  1. Good Morning Fran,

    Hope all is well. The wildlife you saw is Jasper Park is unbelievable. What an experience. This is a must see on my list of places to visit. I love wildlife.

    All the best…Gina

    • Thanks Gina! Yes… the wildlife in Jasper was amazing! I’ll no doubt be going back, hopefully sooner than later. I’m thinking a winter trip may be in order. Will have to leave The Beast behind for that one! :-)

      My best to the gang!

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