Athabasca Pass Trail

Rating: ? stars.

Use: Hiking.

Difficulty: Very Difficult. (due to access and commitment)

Distance: 52 km.

Description: The first charted route across the rocky mountains by explorer and adventurer David Thompson some 250 years ago. A great story and worthy of some research. Although some work has been put into the trail in recent years by local firefighting crews, I would suspect that it would take substantial effort to navigate the trail. The condition of cable cars spanning Jeffrey creek is also unknown. Once over Athabasca Pass the trail should be fairly straightforward. Access to the Wood Arm Trailhead may be somewhat problematic but not impossible. Best to check with Downie Timber regarding purchasing a ride on the Red Rock Ferry. If not you are looking at a boat charter to get you to the head of the Wood Arm. Once on the other side of the Rockies a pick up would have to be arranged at the end of the Moab Rd access. If not, it would be a further 22 km walk out to the Icefields Parkway or 30 km back to Jasper. 

Directions: Drive north on Highway 23 to the ferry landing at Red Rock Harbour. Take the ferry and proceed up the Wood Arm road. Take the bridge across the Wood River and continue up the river on the east road until you come to the Trailhead.

Trailhead GPS:

  1. Red Rock Harbour: N52 05.028 W118 22.134
  2. Wood River Bridge: N52 13.099 W118 10.939
  3. Wood River Trailhead: N52 16.707 W118 09.441
  4. Athabasca Pass: N52 22.958 W118 11.384
  5. Moab Trailhead: N52 40.176 W117 57.253

Useful Maps:

Athabasca Pass Background and History PDF

David Thompson Narrative PDF

Athabasca Pass Trail Overview Map PDF

Athabasca Pass Trail Detail Map PDF

Athabasca Pass Trail KML file on Dropbox

2 thoughts on “Athabasca Pass Trail

  1. There is no “ferry” service across Kinbasket Lake. It is a privately owned (by Downey Timber in Revelstoke) barge and they do not take passengers…….ever.

    1. We taxpayer pay Gormans to dump wood into the United States. ( Pulp wood discarded, long butting) waste wood no stumpage paid. Help me force Gorman to pay market price for old growth on Wood Arm. No ferry ride, no logging. Rocky

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