East Ridge Summit (via Cavell Meadows) – Jasper

East Ridge Summit (via Cavell Meadows) – Jasper

I flipping LOVED this trail. East Ridge Summit is the name of the peak just above the top viewpoint in Cavell Meadows. It’s a continuation of the incredible views you’ll see from the meadows below, just even better! Most hikers don’t bother to hike beyond the main trail, so we had this summit all to ourselves, even though it is relatively easy to access.

The best thing about this trail is the views are constant the whole way to the summit. If you ever get tired, just turn around for fabulous views.

East Ridge Summit trail– the basics

Distance: 9.3 km
Elevation gain: 825 m
Highest Points: 2571m
Time: 4.5-5.5 hours. We spent 4 hours 40mins (not including our stop for lunch)
What to bring:
Even in summer, bring warm clothes and rain gear.
The 10 Essentials (as always)
Bear spray
Facilities: Toiles with incredible views at the trailhead
Dogs: No dogs for this one.
How hard is it? Intermediate/hard. In the summertime when the trail is snow-free, it is pretty easy to follow, but there are some very steep sections. When there is snow, you may need to bring crampons and an ice-axe (and know how to use them) to do this safely.

East Ridge Summit trail map

East Summit Trail (via Cavell Meadows) – Getting started

Hiking up to East Summit is an extension of the much more famous Cavell Meadows trail. You can find full details on my previous post, but basically you need to start at the trailhead at the far end of Cavell Road (South of Jasper). Follow the Cavell Meadows trail to it’s highest point, where the trail to East Summit starts.

Going beyond the trails end

The hike up to East Ridge Summit is tougher than the family-friendly loop around Cavell Meadows. However, although this trail is not officially maintained by Parks Canada, it is still pretty obvious and mostly easy to follow in summer when the snow has melted.

The trail is not technical so it’s pretty easy for a summit in the Rockies. Having said that, it is still a peak in the Rockies; So make sure you have good shoes, the 10 Essentials and be ready to turn around if conditions become dodgy. If you come early in the summer when there is snow, you may need crampons/ice axe etc to do this hike safely.

East Summit trail above Cavell Meadows

As you can see from my photo above, the first part of the trail above the meadows is pretty clear and easy to follow. Please keep to the rocky pathway to avoid treading on the delicate plants and flowers that are clinging on to the mountainside.

Fabulous viewpoint

There is a large rock which makes a brilliant seat (and viewpoint) at about 2445m elevation. It’s a great place to stop for a snack as the views are incredible. The photos below of Mount Edith Cavell and Angel Glacier were taken from this spot.

Looking up to East Ridge Summit

This is the view up from the viewpoint. The path is harder to see as you reach the rocky part of the mountain where few plants can grow.

The other problem with the lack of plants at this elevation, is the path can get a little slide-y. There isn’t much to hold the rocks together, so sometimes you take a step forward, just to have the rocks beneath you slide half a step backwards.

The trail does get steep. But the views of Mount Edith Cavell and the Angel Glacier just get better and better as you ascend.

East Ridge Summit shoulder

Once you make it up to the shoulder between East Ridge Summit and Mount Edith Cavell, you get some great views of the surrounding ridges and peaks. These are all part of Mount Edith Cavell.

This is the scenery we’d just hiked up – isn’t that incredible!? The car park is way down in the valley (below that chunk of snow on the flank of Mount Edith Cavell). The end of the official trail is where the shadow meets the sunlight on the ridge below.

We met a few hikers as we climbed up, but we didn’t see anyone on the top half of the mountain. It’s pretty crazy how quiet this summit was when the main trail below is so busy.

Last push to East Ridge Summit

The shoulder we’d been aiming for turned out to be a false summit. We had to go a bit higher to reach the real peak. We scrambled straight up, then found a better (safer) path to the left of here later. (Oops.)

East Ridge Summit

You’ll know you’ve made it up when you find this little cairn. It’s pretty windy up here, but there are spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies in all directions.

Mount Edith Cavell

The views of Mount Edith Cavell are similar to the views you can see from the meadows. It’s just now you’re up high, it’s easier to see the remnants of the Ghost Glacier and the various ridge-lines and peaks that you can’t quite appreciate from below.

This is the view northwest towards Franchère Peak (middle) and Chak Peak (left). There is a fantastic trail heading behind Mount Edith Cavell in front of those mountains (the Astoria river trail to Toquin Valley.)

Smoke to East

We did this hike where there was still a lot of smoke from wildfires (August 2021). This was the view East towards the Icefield Parkway. There should have been more epic mountain views, but the smoke left it just hazy.

Heading back

To return back to Cavell Meadows, you just need to retrace your steps down the mountain. Be extra careful on the steep sections. As always, the path seems much harder on the descent.

I’m sharing one last photo of Marc looking tiny next to Mount Edith Cavell.

Panoramas of Mount Edith Cavell

While smoke masked the mountains to the east, the best views from East Summit Ridge were all of Mount Edith Cavell. I zoomed out a few times to give you a good idea of the vastness of these ridiculously epic views. If you’re like me, and you like seeing the names of the surrounding mountains, click here to see this view via the Peak Visor app.

There is so much to love about this trail! It wasn’t busy beyond the main trails to Cavell Meadows. The views are simply spectacular and the hike up to East Ridge Summit is not too much of a challenge (considering it is a peak in the middle of the Canadian Rockies!) Marc and I loved every moment of it!

If this sounds a bit too hard, you can still see the area (including all those glaciers) from the Cavell Meadows trail instead.

East Ridge Summit - fabulous peak in the Canadian Rockies East Ridge Summit near Jasper - intermediate hike with spectacular views East Ridge Summit - go beyond Cavell Meadows in Jasper for epic views

44 thoughts on “East Ridge Summit (via Cavell Meadows) – Jasper

  1. That looks like an awesome extension of the meadows trail – we’ll definitely do that when we return! Shame about the smoke as always but the view of Edith Cavell is still stunning.

    1. Thanks Andy! Yeah this whole area is incredible. It looked like it would be possible to hike along several of the other ridges if you have enough time.

      1. We’d be up for that! There’s a ridge loop we want to do at the top of the Whistlers gondola but it really means taking the first ride up and allowing all day to finish it – we got about a third of the way before we had to turn back as we ran out of time.

    1. You totally could! I am pretty sure you could do any of the hikes we’ve done this year – they are not really harder than the fabulous hikes you do!

  2. That is stunning, what a hike! It is so surreal being at the top of a mountain and looking down over everything below. This looks like an incredible hike!

    1. Wow what an incredible trek! I really love your photos and the AllTrails map is super helpful. I’ve added it to my ever-growing list of hikes to do in Canada!

    2. Yeees! I love those moments when you can look back and see how far you have climbed (extra bonus points when you can see your car looking teeny off in the distance!)

  3. Gonna have to add this to my ever-growing list of places I’d love to visit as well! That’s awesome that you pretty much had the place to yourself! Those views are absolutely incredible!!

  4. My worry is the altitude you all have out there. We don’t regularly go above 6000 feet. We’ve hiked at 9 – 10,000 feet before but we’re SLOW! 🙂 (I have no idea what those numbers equate to in meters. :))

    1. The highest point is 8435ft. We don’t normally go up that high either. But I have never really noticed much difference in the air, until you go above 8000 feet… I guess this was on the cusp of the change, but we didn’t notice any affects.

      We’re pretty slow going up steep sections too. I figure it’s more important to have fun than to climb speedily.

  5. We are thinking about visiting Jasper this coming summer, and if we do we will definitely do this hike! It seems like the perfect length and difficulty for us (we’re used to Ontario hiking, which is a little easier haha). Such gorgeous views on this one!

    1. I loved hiking in Ontario, but you’re right it’s more like the hills I am used to back in the UK. 🙂 Squeee if you like mountains, you will have SUCH an amazing time in Jasper.

      At least with this one if you are really exhausted, you can stop at one of the cool viewpoints on the way, even if you don’t go to the summit.

  6. It’s incredibly scenic here, the views remind me of hikes I’ve done in South and Central Asia. I would love to do Jasper at some point

    1. Oooh I have never been hiking in South or Central Asia! Do you have any areas you’d recommend for fun hiking holidays? 😀

  7. This looks like a great Rocky Mountain hike and your photos are lovely – I especially love that you add the panoramas.

    1. Thaaaank you! They always look a little small when you add them online, but I always like to see how the scenery fits together.

  8. I liked reading about the second part of the hike since I learned about the first part last week. This is a hike I would definitely like to do. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous. And the hiking looks wonderful too.

  9. Wow I can’t believe you had this summit to yourselves, all of your photos are stunning! This looks like such a scenic & fun trail – definitely saving this for later! Thank you for the great hiking guide <3

  10. I actually really appreciate your post that includes pictures with smoke. We live in the US Mountain West, and it is nearly impossible these days to experience a trail in the summer without smoke. It is important to see that there is still beauty, but often that this is the new reality of living in the West.

    1. It’s similar here with the smoke 🙁
      This was actually the least smokey day we had in the Rockies. All my other posts are even more full of haze.

  11. How great to have the hiking on the East Ridge Summit above Cavell Meadow all to yourself. The views truly looked worth the extra hike. Good to know the path is easy to follow once the snow has melted.

  12. Wow! This looks like an incredible hike! I would love to do this one! The views from the rock seat are incredible.

  13. This sounds like such an epic hike. I’ll admit, it does sound a little tough, but those views are pretty amazing and some steep parts seems like a decent trade-off for having the trail almost completely to myself.

  14. Wow, I haven’t heard of the Cavell Meadows trail, so I’ll be checking out your post on that one next! But I have to say, the views of those stunning mountains and the glaciers are incredible! The glaciers especially are really big compared to what I’ve seen on hikes. It’s too bad that it was smoky, but at least that didn’t fully obstruct your view of Mount Edith Cavell. It’s also good to know that the path is pretty rocky and steep, especially at the higher elevations.

    1. Thanks Kevin! I hadn’t heard of Cavell Meadows either until I started doing research for hikes near Jasper. I am soooo we glad we attempted both parts!

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