Snaring River, Jasper National Park in Winter

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It would be easy to overlook a special corner of Jasper National Park, that’s just a few kilometers east of Jasper, and conveniently located off of Highway 16.  Heading east on the Yellowhead Highway, keep an eye out for a turn to the left, marked “Snaring”.

Snaring Road is a paved, but rough, and narrow 2-lane road.  From the turnoff at Highway 16, it passes underneath the railroad tracks, then parallels the highway, taking you to…

… the Snaring River.  This river is a significant tributary of the Athabasca River (which it joins, not far from here).

This would be a great place to watch for wildlife.  I kept a close eye on my surroundings, to make sure a bear didn’t wander by (there were signs posted on the road that warned of bear activity in the area).  Even though I was no more than 10 minutes from Jasper, and still within earshot of the traffic on the highway, this area still felt very remote.  In summer, I’d imagine, there are more humans out this way, but in the wintertime, the Snaring campground is closed, and I didn’t see any other people.

Even if you don’t find any wildlife along the Snaring River, it’s worth the trip, just to photograph this beautiful old bridge.  This old bridge over the Snaring River has three spans, and a brilliant turquoise-green color.

I spent a few minutes, trying to find the right way to frame up the bridge…

…and the mountains to the east (including Hawk Mountain, elevation 2,553 meters/8,376 feet).

What’s the deal with the unusual name? “Snaring” refers to some of the early residents of the area, a tribe of First Nations people, who trapped animals with snares.
Just a short distance beyond the bridge, Snaring Road turns to dirt.  In late March, the paved portion was snow-free, but the unpaved portion was still snow-covered and slushy.  I tried to drive it for a while (which you’ll see on the Drivelapse video), but I soon became aware that I was driving deep into the wilderness, on a snowy road, with a small car, just before sunset.  It didn’t seem like a smart thing to do, so I found a spot, and turned around.

Back at the Yellowhead Highway, I stopped for a photo of the railroad underpass…

… and a CN train, which was idling on the tracks nearby — conveniently located in front of some snow-dusted mountains.

With sunset approaching, I decided to drive further out Highway 16, through the beautiful Athabasca River Valley.  It turned out to be a very good place to watch the day end.

Drivelapse Video

Here’s the time-lapse, dash-cam video of the drive out to Snaring, then on out Highway 16 for sunset:

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