Sulphur Skyline

Climbed: July 1997 & August 1990.
Elevation: 2070m = 6,790'
Elev. gain: 700m = 2,300'
Ascent time:1 hour, 30 min
Descent time:2 hours via Skyline Ridge
Difficulty: Moderate to strenuous hiking.
Location: Jasper NP
Trail head: End of Miette Hot Springs Road.
Topo map: 83 F/4 Miette

summit from Skyline Ridge
From the parking lot, the trail begins to the right of the Hot Springs Pool complex. Asteady ascent through moderate forest cover will be quite a grind on a sunny summer day. Afterabout 45 minutes, the grade relents somewhat before reaching the Shuey Pass junction (2.2km).A right turn at the junction leads to switchbacks as the trail steepens. Forest coveron the north side provides relief from the sun. For your effort though, the views startopening up. At tree line, another 20 minutes up a scree slope gets you to the top. In thephoto, the lefthand skyline ridge is the ascent route.

ck on summitOnce on the summit, be prepared for wind gusts. After 10-15 minutes, you may need toput on a light jacket even on a warm summer day. This is a fairly busy trail on a good day,so don't expect any isolation on top. On my July 1997 ascent, more than a dozen people madeit to the top in the course of an hour.

Fiddle River from summitThe summit provides good views of the Fiddle River valley below you. There is no summit register-- hardly a surprise given it's rather easy ascent and popularity.

Mountain SheepSince I had made this hike before in 1990 and returned the same way I hiked up, I decidedto descend to the Skyline Ridge (from where the first photo on this page was taken). Descendthe grassy slopes on the left (bypassing a group of mountain sheep in my case!), to reacha visible trail leading to Skyline Ridge. Some of the elevation lost will need to be regainedbut it's hardly as strenuous as the ascent to the Sulphur Skyline.

end of Skyline RidgeFollow the trail as it makes its way to the end of the ridge. At this point, the trail petersout and you will need to select a descent line that suits your fancy. I decided to tacklethe gully shown in the photo. There are no real difficulties as you make your way back toforest cover. Once back in the forest, bushwack more or less straight ahead where youwill eventually run into a boardwalk beside a creek taking you back to the parking lot. Once you return to the trail head, a relaxing soak in the Hot Springs Pool (42C/108F)is well deserved.


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©1997 All images by Craig Knelsen. All rights reserved.

Created: Dec 23, 1998.  Revised: Nov 12, 2002.