Pyramid Lake, above Jasper, Alberta

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One of Jasper’s defining features is the noticeably triangular-shaped mountain, that rises above the town.  You can get a closer look at it, by taking a short drive up the hill to Pyramid Lake.

Pyramid Lake is just 10 kilometers (6 miles) from downtown Jasper, so this is a quick scenic getaway.  Just find Pyramid Lake Road in the middle of downtown, and drive up it.  Just before you get to the end, you’ll see a few parking spots on the left.  This is the access point for Pyramid Island.

A footbridge will take you out to the tiny island.  Along the way…

…you’ll have a nice view of the mountains to the south and west, including The Whistlers (the destination of the Jasper Tramway), Fortalice and Muhigan Mountains.

Once on the island, a short loop trail takes you on a quick tour. The first attraction is this old shelter, built in 1933 by workers in a federal relief project during the Great Depression (Canada’s version of the CCC).

Walk out to the end of the island, and you get an unobstructed view of the main attraction: Pyramid Mountain.  The lake is at 1,179 meters above sea level, while the mountain reaches 2,763 meters (9065 feet), which puts the summit nearly a mile higher than the lake.

I finished my hike around the island, then returned to the car and drove just a short distance back towards town.  The road runs along the shore of Pyramid Lake, and there’s a small resort here.

In warmer weather, you could rent a canoe and venture out onto the lake.  In March, though, these boats aren’t going anywhere.  It’s a striking difference to the scenes I photographed in 2009:

You can see more of my warm-weather visit to Pyramid Lake here.

On the way to Pyramid Lake you’ll pass Patricia Lake. I didn’t think the views were as great at Patricia Lake, so I didn’t stop. I did, however, try to drive out to the Patricia Lake Resort, but at the end of the road to the resort, you can’t see the lake, and only guests are allowed to go further.

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