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Fitness
Hiking trail

Sulphur Skyline Trail

Hiking trail · Alberta
Responsible for this content
Macs Adventure Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Stunning Views from the Summit
    / Stunning Views from the Summit
    Photo: Kellen MacFadyen, Macs Adventure
  • Views from the Summit
    / Views from the Summit
    Photo: Kellen MacFadyen, Macs Adventure
  • Trailhead
    / Trailhead
    Photo: Kellen MacFadyen, Macs Adventure
  • The start of the path
    / The start of the path
    Photo: Kellen MacFadyen, Macs Adventure
  • The only junction on the way up
    / The only junction on the way up
    Photo: Kellen MacFadyen, Macs Adventure
Map / Sulphur Skyline Trail
1400 1600 1800 2000 2200 m km 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

This final hike is quite the treat as you'll get views of Utopia Mountain and Ashlar Ridge with time to take a dip in the hot springs afterward. 

moderate
8.1 km
5:30 h
669 m
669 m

As a well-traveled trail, the path starts out paved before becoming gravel and then dirt as you move upward through the valley. After a few switchbacks you'll walk out of treeline to the views from the saddle along the ridge where there's a lovely bench for sitting. From here, you can see your final destination further along the ridge, but you'll be climbing nearly straight up on a small field of scree to reach it. The peak is well worth the extra effort for a completely unobstructed view. 

Author’s recommendation

Bring your swimsuit with you from Jasper as there's nothing like a luxurious dip in the Miette Hot Springs to round off your final hike of the trip. 

outdooractive.com User
Author
Hannah Lafleur
Updated: September 08, 2018

Difficulty
moderate
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2065 m
Lowest point
1381 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

Bears are present and active around all hiking routes. Be sure to review The Parks Canada information regarding travel in bear country to familiarize yourself with best practices. Always carry bear spray and know how to use it. 

The weather in this area can change quickly. Even if you start a hike with blue skies, it could easily be storming (or even snowing) by the afternoon. Check the weather report daily to adjust your hiking schedule as needed.

Trail Conditions can vary based on the season and weather. Check with a local visitor's center or visit the Parks Canada Website for the most up to date trail conditions. Always be prepared to turn back you feel that snow or rain makes a trail unsafe. 

  • During the second half of this hike as you are moving uphill, you'll see lots of small unmarked paths that veer off the trail. These are human-made shortcuts, but paths like these contribute to erosion and the degradation of the environment. It will always be obvious which route is the main trail, so please respect the landscape (and avoid getting lost) by staying on the main trail we've mapped for you.
  • The final 400 meters at the top of this hike is a scramble up loose rock. Use caution with your footing and balance as you make the climb upwards. 

Equipment

We recommend packing at least bear spray, hiking boots, warm layers, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, sun hat, warm hat, rain gear. There are a good number of mosquitos on this trail so consider bringing bug repellent as well. 

Tips, hints and links

  • Restrooms: There are public outhouses on the downhill side of the parking lot, opposite the trailhead. 
  • Cell Service: There is no service at the springs or on the hike. 

Points of Interest:

 Miette Hot Springs

 Miette Hot Springs is known to have the warmest water of all the springs in the Canadian Rockies. The mineral-rich water flows from the mountain at 54°C (129°F), so it must be cooled slightly before entering the pool at a temperature of 40°C (104°F). You'll find the springs extremely popular during the day, so if you'd like to beat the crowds you'll have to visit early or late in the day.

 

Food & Drink:

While you won't see any restaurants or services on the drive from Jasper, there is a cafe at the hot springs that serves coffee, pastries, and sandwiches. See your driving route notes for additional recommendations in Jasper.

Start

Miette Hot Springs/Sulphur Skyline Trailhead (1398 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
53.129448, -117.769941
UTM
11U 448484 5886947

Destination

Miette Hot Springs/Sulphur Skyline Trailhead

Turn-by-turn directions

0.0km - With the main entrance of the Miette Hot Springs on your left and the parking lot behind you, start STRAIGHT ON the paved trail leading into the woods ahead of you.

0.3km - Notice a small path going off to your right to a water tank, but continue STRAIGHT ON the path before you. The path will become dirt instead of paved, and you may see a sign stating that Sulphur Skyline is 5km ahead. This sign is likely outdated.

0.5km - An unmarked path will part on your left, ignore it and continue STRAIGHT ON the Sulphur Skyline Trail ahead.

0.7km - If you need a quick break, take a seat on this lovely log bench.

1.9km - You’ll arrive at your first real intersection. The sign will state that you’ve traveled 2.2km, but this is also outdated. To your left is the trail for Fiddle River and Mystery Lake, but you’ll BEAR RIGHT to follow the Sulphur Skyline Trail.  This is also where the main ascent will start.

3.3km - The trail will cross over the treeline exposing you to the first views of the surrounding mountains. Take a second to enjoy the bench at this large open saddle before climbing the rest of the way up.

4.0km - You reached the very top of the Sulphur Skyline. When you’re done taking panoramas, follow your same trail back to the Hot Springs.

Parking

There is plenty of available parking for this trail as it shares a lot with the Miette Hot Springs. The parking lot is so large that it can be a little disorienting to find the appropriate trailhead, but if you walk to the main entrance of the springs, you'll see the large sign for the trail to the right when facing the entrance. 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike


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Difficulty
moderate
Distance
8.1 km
Duration
5:30 h
Ascent
669 m
Descent
669 m

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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