Day 21: To Athabasca Falls hostel - Western Canada 2007 - CycleBlaze

July 20, 2007

Day 21: To Athabasca Falls hostel

It was sunny early in the morning, then threatening to rain later in the morning. So I got info about the park hostels, bought groceries, called my wife and parents, and walked around town. I saw two touring cyclists at the visitor center. I finally got on the road at 1PM. The sky was overcast and the temperature was only 18C (65F).

Jasper National Park visitor center.
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The road closely follows the Athabasca river upstream, south. The river was high, fast, and very muddy. The south wind was the first sustained headwind of this trip. That kept me cool on the climbs and kept the mosquitoes at bay. Once again the mosquitoes weren't a problem today.

The Athabasca river flows to the Arctic ocean.
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The sky was gloomy and threatening to rain but it never did rain more than a few drops. The road climbed a big hill up to 1250m elevation, then dropped to the Athabasca river at Athabasca falls.

Less than perfect weather.
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Heading south on the Icefields Parkway.
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Athabasca falls wasn't crowded but it has a huge parking lot and extensive walkways and railings. The photos don't really capture how impressive it is to see the huge Athabasca river drop 50 feet.

Upper Athabasca Falls.
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Athabasca Falls.
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Narrows below Athabasca Falls.
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The Athabasca Falls hostel is only 1km past the falls. It's one of several "primitive" hostels in Jasper National Park. It has limited electricity and gas stoves, but no plumbing. There were significant rain showers in the evening so it was nice to be under a roof. I got a lower rear bunk in the large bunkhouse. I'm not a huge fan of hostels but it is a change of pace and a refuge from the storms and/or mosquitoes.

Near the Athabasca Falls hostel.
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Today was basically a rest day. I needed it after pedaling 1100 km in 11 days on the Yellowhead highway. I plan to slow down for the next few days to enjoy the sights of the Canadian Rockies. I'm now on the Icefields Parkway which goes 230 km from Jasper to Lake Louise. The scenery will surely be the highlight of this tour.

Distance: 35.9 km / 22.4 mi

Climbing: 302 m / 997 ft

Average speed: 11.7 km/h / 7.3 mph

Maximum speed: 49.5 km/h / 30.9 mph

Today's ride: 36 km (22 miles)
Total: 1,751 km (1,087 miles)

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