Hiking the Wilcox Pass in Jasper National Park...like a bighorn sheep

If you ever wanted to hike like a bighorn sheep, the Wilcox Pass in Jasper National Park is the place to hike.

Hike the Wilcox Pass for a moderate difficulty half-day hiking trail midway between Jasper townsite and Banff.

Its trailhead is in the southern end of Jasper National Park, 3.1 km south of the Icefield Centre. Easy to find, just look for the trailhead at the Wilcox Creek campground (especially convenient if you are camping in Jasper National Park).

IMG_1411 - Bighorn Sheep on Wilcox Peak

Then, hike like a bighorn sheep. Walk about for a while, then, make some time to relax and take in the views.

0184 Bighorn ships on Wilcox Pass trail

Like everything in the Canadian Rockies, the views are going to be great. Hikers also have a chance to spot wildlife, such as bighorn sheep and mountain goats.

If you and your significant other are looking for a fun and challenging hike with great views, the Wilcox Pass should be worthy of consideration – though Jasper and Banff have so many amazing hikes, it can be hard to choose!

Wilcox Pass

It also a great hike to do with a group friends. If you all are avid hikers, this will be a breeze.

Hike 1: Wilcox Pass

What to bring?

Wear layers of clothing and hiking footwear. A travel-sized windbreaker/poncho is alway a good thing to have for longer hikes in Jasper. It can be cold even in the summer and it seems to rain whenever it wants to. Bring lots of water and snacks. If planning on hiking all day, bring a picnic lunch. And, of course, bring a camera.

And if you really want to, you can bring a guide.

Guided hiking with Walks and Talks Jasper

Do you like the idea of a guided hike and the chance to interact and ask questions? Walks and Talks Jasper offers a guided 3.5 to 4 hour Wilcox Pass hike and picnic experience worth checking out.

From the Walks and Talks Jasper website: “Learn about mountain building, glaciers wildflowers and history as we hike up to be rewarded with awesome views of Athabasca Glacier. Watch for Bighorn Sheep, Marmots and Eagles. We’ll keep an eye out for fossils too. The walk is one of the more challenging as we do gain elevation but stops of interest allow breathers.”

The guided hike is currently listed as $125 per adult but I would expect the experience to be priceless. Besides the Wilcox Pass hike, it includes a picnic lunch at the Columbia Icefield.

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2 comments to Hiking the Wilcox Pass in Jasper National Park…like a bighorn sheep

  • Please tell me that that hikes offered are suitable for beginners? I’ve been advised by my doctors to exercise more but I don’t think I could handle anything too heavy?!

  • Peter McClure

    There are many easy hikes in Jasper, but which ones to do depend on your strength and experience. Some, like the Valley of the Five Lakes (4-5 km, minimal elevation), can be done by anyone. Others, like Old Fort Point, that might also be considered ‘easy’ involve more distance and/or more elevation.

    For more inforation send me a note at peter.mcclure@shaw.ca

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