Tonquin Valley Questions - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Default Tonquin Valley Questions

Hi Everyone,

A group of seven of us are planning a trip to the Tonquin Valley in Jasper this summer (third week in July). We're trying to gauge how long we should allow for the hike from point to point (Maccarib to Astoria). We are in good shape and decent back country hikers.

Also, we're wondering if we should start from Maccarib or Astoria?

Are there any day hikes once on the trail?

Is the Hostel at the Astoria trailhead decent?

Is water easily attainable along the trail? What type of weather should we expect in mid-July?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Rick
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 01:36 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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If you want to do side trips then plan at least 3 days. For the hiking loop itself it can be done in 1 day but you won't be able to explore other stuffs. That area is usually infested with mosquitoes but plenty of water sources (bring filtration gears).

I myself is not interested in point to point hike so haven't done that loop yet, but I've scrambled two mountains there and the views are spectacular. I didn't bring any water with me at any time (for speed/efficiency) cuz there're two many sources. For other exploring I'm pretty certain Tonquin Hill is an easy hike up.

http://stevensong.com/mount-maccarib
http://stevensong.com/mount-clitheroe
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 04-18-2014, 03:02 PM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by iamcdn

Hi Everyone,

A group of seven of us are planning a trip to the Tonquin Valley in Jasper this summer (third week in July). We're trying to gauge how long we should allow for the hike from point to point (Maccarib to Astoria). We are in good shape and decent back country hikers.

Also, we're wondering if we should start from Maccarib or Astoria? Astoria > Maccarib, less elevation gain on first day
Are there any day hikes once on the trail? Eremite Valley up to Arrowhead Lake

Is the Hostel at the Astoria trailhead decent? Can't say, never stayed there.

Is water easily attainable along the trail? What type of weather should we expect in mid-July? Your in the mountains.. it can rain, snow and be sunny all in one day..be prepared!

Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

Lots of black flies and mossies, be ready,lol.


Thanks,

Rick
As well, check out a trip report we did a few years back.

https://www.clubtread.com/sforum/topi...TOPIC_ID=41004
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 08:01 PM
High on the Mountain Top
 
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To add to what already Steven said.

It doesn't matter from which side to start if your group has (I assume) two vehicles. It depends where you plan to camp. Maccarib Pass Trail offers more scenic approach through meadows. It is also frequented by bears and witnessed a few tragic encounters.

Tonquin Valley is a swamp. Expect zillions of mosquitoes in July, although I'm told it's not too bad in some years.

Eremite Valley is perhaps the best side-trip in the area. This hike is easy to fit into a 3-day itinerary for a fit party.

Edith Cavell Hostel is a good place to stay in winter. They have nice dining area. I wouldn't do this in the summer though. Better idea is to spend a night at any campground near Jasper.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 04-22-2014, 09:18 PM
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DEET. Lots of it. Maybe a head-net too. July can be absolutely brutal. Maccarib is much more scenic for sure and personally I'd go in and out over it now and use one car.
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post #6 of (permalink) Old 04-23-2014, 12:37 AM
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Quote from Canadian Rockies Trail Guide:

".. in the midst of summer, when the rain is pelting down, the mosquitoes and horseflies are swarming, and the trails have been churned to mush by horses, it (Tonquin) can resemble a backpacker's definition of hell"

-------------------------------
Rest (Maccarib vs Astoria, Eremite etc) I agree with previous posters. Optimal way to experience Tonquin is backpack in crisp days of early fall. Reflection of Ramparts in still waters of Amethyst Lakes at dawn might be one of most scenic Rockies sights overall.

I am lifting this from Internet to illustrate the point (there is copyright in the corner). Everything that is magic about Rockies is contained right here:


My point: You might end up hating Tonquin if going in July and wondering "what the heck is so special about it". Timing is everything.
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 04-25-2014, 06:36 PM
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Pros Nice spot. Great fishing.

Cons NO FIRES and horrendous mosquitos and horseflys!!

I would recommend you go above tree line near the Fraser Glacier for a nice day hike and stay there.

We went there once for 6 days and that was enough for us. We are glad we took pics and others post pics here because we will never hike in there in the summer again. Just saying.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 05-11-2014, 02:22 PM
Hittin' the Trails
 
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Sorry to hijack the thread a bit here, but is it worthwhile to do this trail as ONE DAY hike 2nd week of September? We can cover 40 miles/day and 10k feet in total ascent. For comparison, we've done the entire Skyline plus the fire road twice on the same day/1day. Have done Berg Lake to part of Snowbird also in one day. Looking for beautiful scenery and something different for our upcoming trip. Thinking of doing this and repeat Skyline and Berg again. Any other trail rec'd are welcome (only day hikes please). We're not ready to carry our "house" on our back just yet ... Thanks.
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 08:17 AM
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The Tonquin is similar distance and less overall elevation compared to Skyline and still on good trail. It sounds like it's possible for a one day trip given your previous ones. Like the Skyline you will need to arrange vehicle shuttles. Worthwhile is much more subjective and you won't have the same time to enjoy the area as compared to a longer trip - but if you only have one day I'm sure you can take something from the area.
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post #10 of (permalink) Old 05-17-2014, 08:46 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by alliecat378

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit here, but is it worthwhile to do this trail as ONE DAY hike 2nd week of September? We can cover 40 miles/day and 10k feet in total ascent. For comparison, we've done the entire Skyline plus the fire road twice on the same day/1day. Have done Berg Lake to part of Snowbird also in one day. Looking for beautiful scenery and something different for our upcoming trip. Thinking of doing this and repeat Skyline and Berg again. Any other trail rec'd are welcome (only day hikes please). We're not ready to carry our "house" on our back just yet ... Thanks.
Your are describing the Tonquin Traverse, which is most often done by skiers and trail runners. I'd love to read your TR if successful as a one-day fast hike.
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post #11 of (permalink) Old 05-18-2014, 12:47 AM
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Quote:
quote:Originally posted by alliecat378

Sorry to hijack the thread a bit here, but is it worthwhile to do this trail as ONE DAY hike 2nd week of September? We can cover 40 miles/day and 10k feet in total ascent. For comparison, we've done the entire Skyline plus the fire road twice on the same day/1day. Have done Berg Lake to part of Snowbird also in one day. Looking for beautiful scenery and something different for our upcoming trip. Thinking of doing this and repeat Skyline and Berg again. Any other trail rec'd are welcome (only day hikes please). We're not ready to carry our "house" on our back just yet ... Thanks.
You really should explore ultra light backpacking. It does involve some $$$, some sacrificing, and some trial and error but boy oh boy it is a better way to go. A 3-day back trip for me and my pack is around 20 lbs. or so. A few years back I went in to do a 5-day back pack trip of what is called the Brazeau Loop in Jasper Park. My pack was 27 lbs. or so. People who saw me could not believe I was a overnight backpacker. Thought I was a day hiker. People in groups no less who in theory can share some weight had packs nearly twice my size.
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