The old fire lookout at the end of the Geraldine Fireroad in Jasper National Park was torn down years ago and the site is becoming overgrown with trees. Despite the reduced view the lookout is still a worthwhile hike or bike for those who like a quiet trail with a different view. The dirt road usually opens for the summer in late-May or early-June and closes in early-October. Cars are allowed on the first 7km to access the Fryatt Valley and Geraldine Lakes, the last 2.5km are for hikers and bikers only.
As a whole, the road being completely forest enclosed and having 500m of vertical, will be of interest primarily to cyclists looking for the ride back down. The first 3km are easy and provide a great warm up for the steep climb to come. The next 2.5kms gain elevation rapidly through a series of switchbacks. At 5.5kms the parking lot for the Geraldine Lakes marks the end of vehicle traffic.
Only the last 2.5kms to the lookout are typically tackled by hikers, this section alone has 225m of elevation. Nearing the top the forest thins and some views up the mountain are enjoyed. The view from the lookout includes a glimpse up the Whirlpool Valley towards Athabasca Pass and the impressive pinnacle of Needle Peak.
For map lovers there is Gemtrek's 'Jasper and Maligne Lake' @ 1:100,000 and the government topo '83 C/12 Athabasca Falls' @ 1:50,000. Both maps are available through the The Friends of Jasper.
Submitted by 'mtncat'.
From Jasper drive south on the Icefields Parkway (Hwy93) for 30km to the turn off at Athabasca Falls. Turn right and follow 93a for just over a kilometre and turn left on the Geraldine Fire Road. Follow this narrow bumpy road for 5.5km up tight switchbacks to the parking lot. The Geraldine Fire Road is not for vehicles with low suspension, leave the sports car at home.
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