Jasper weather has been uncharacteristically crummy as of late. The temperatures are low and the sky seems to be cloudy with a continual threat of rain. Although I would rather stay warm and dry indoors, summer is too short here. If I don’t get outside to enjoy the trails now, soon they’ll be covered in snow. And so, with rain jackets and umbrellas in hand, we set off on another kid-friendly hike.
Today’s hike was my daughter’s choice. She wanted us to do a walk on which she could ride her bike. So, we needed something relatively flat and smooth. We choose the Pyramid Lake Fire Road. This is a great area for young bikers and strollers as it really is a wide, smooth gravel road.
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Grandma joined us for our walk today, which is always a treat. She even asked to push the chariot, so I had a very nice and easy walk. My daughter knows not to get too far ahead nor out of sight. She would wait for us to catch up or loop back to us as she rode. At certain intervals she would stop and look through her toilet paper binoculars and comment on the birds she was spotting.
The road follows along Pyramid Lake for a kilometer, crosses a small bridge and outlet stream, and then starts heading up hill. Walking along the lake you might hear or even see the family of loons there. On this particular walk, we did hear the loons though we did not see any. However, we were lucky enough to watch a Bald Eagle fly closely overhead.
It took us 20 minutes to get to the bridge. Because my daughter was on her bike, I assume we moved quicker than if we were walking at her pace. After the bridge our pace slowed and we climbed at a steady rate for the next 10 minutes. My daughter did have to push her bike much of the way, but she choose to do this rather than leave it below on the side of the trail. Maybe she wanted the challenge of biking uphill, or maybe more so, the excitement of riding downhill.
At the beginning of our walk we agreed that we would only go for an hour. So at the 30 minute mark, my phone’s timer told us to turn around. If you wanted to explore farther, the trail continues to climb and remains relatively smooth for about the next 10 kilometers. We made it back to the parking lot still dry, and headed home for lunch.
Pyramid Lake Fire Road really is a great area for young children. I would definitely recommend this walk if you are in Jasper for a while and are wanting an easy stroll after having visited the main attractions.
Pyramid Lake Fire Road, Jasper National Park
Distance: 1 kilometer to the bridge
Time with young children: About an hour to the bridge and back
Trailhead: Follow Pyramid Lake Road to the parking lot at the end. Pyramid Lake Road heads north out of Jasper Townsite. From the parking lot follow trail #16 along the lake.
Trail Description: Enjoy this wide smooth trail all the way to the bridge. If it has been a wet season, there will be some wet sections. The trail is compacted dirt and gravel. No public vehicles are allowed on this road.
This trail is very chariot and bike friendly to the bridge and back. If you continue past the bridge, you will be pushing up hill a long ways.
Amenities: There is an outhouse at the parking lot but no picnic tables. There are some logs and a small grassy area at the bridge for a rest and snack.