Much of the Path of the Glacier trail, in Jasper National Park, was destroyed in the wee hours of August 10, 2012 when a major chunk of the Ghost Glacier fell from the face of Mount Edith Cavell and plunged into Cavell Tarn.
As described by the Jasper Trail Alliance: “Tons and tons of glacier ice falling from the heavens exploded into the lake sending a tidal wave of displaced water, rock, ice, debris and mud. This unbelievable force consumed, gobbled and covered the Path of the Glacier trail, parking lots and outhouses.”
Both the Path of the Glacier and Cavell Meadows trails were closed following the slide and the massive clean-up began. On June 15 of this year (2013), the area was reopened, though clean-up continues in the parking lot and on the lower section of the Path of the Glacier.
At present, Path of the Glacier hikers can follow the Cavell Meadows trail for 0.5 km then branch right for 100 m to a viewpoint overlooking the tarn. Though Parks Canada discourages hikers from descending through the debris field to the tarn, many are making the trip “at their own risk.”
The Cavell Meadows trail is also open, and is described in our Canadian Rockies Trail Guide.
Photo © Brian Patton