The Brazeau Loop

Jasper National Park

The Brazeau Loop is a demanding high-elevation trail that crosses three mountain passes. River fords will be necessary. Sudden weather changes are common. Efforts on this longer-distance wilderness hike come with many rewards. Strong hikers can complete the loop in five days. The passes may be snow covered until July; travel is not recommended earlier in the season.

Planning considerations

  • Maintained trail: high priority
  • 81 km loop
  • Trail #130, #131 and #132: 5 days
  • No bike No bikes
  • No dogs No dogs
  • No horses

 

The details

Most people will hike this lollipop-shaped trail counter-clockwise, since the elevation gain is more gradual. A typical trip is to travel from Nigel Creek trailhead over Nigel Pass and spend the first night at Four Point Campground (#16, 13.9 km). Next is to Brazeau Lake Campground (#21, 18.1km), then over Poboktan Pass to Jonas Cutoff Campground (#23, 16.2 km). The Jonas Shoulder trail loops back to Four Point Campground (#16, 18.9 km). On the last day, return to the Nigel Creek trailhead.

Both Jonas Cutoff and Brazeau Lake Campgrounds are good base camps for day trips.

Experienced hikers may use the Nigel Pass trail as a starting point to explore the White Goat Wilderness Area. An unmarked, unmaintained route through Cataract Pass begins from this trail. Topographical maps, good route finding skills, and the ability to navigate water crossings are a must in White Goat.

 
  • There is a reroute for hikers between Four Point Campground (#16) and Brazeau River Campground (#19) along the west side of the river. Do not cross the bridge over the river to the east side. That trail and Wolverine Campground (#18) are for horse use only.

  • Fires are only permitted in designated fire pits. Fires are not allowed at Jonas Cutoff Campground. Check for fire bans.

  • Horses are not permitted on Jonas Shoulder trail (131).

  • Dogs are not permitted on the Poboktan Creek trail (132) from—but not including—Brazeau Lake campground (#21) and the Jonas shoulder trail (131), from the junction with the Poboktan Creek trail up to but not including Four Point campground (#16).

  • North of Four Point campground, the Brazeau Loop is seasonally closed for caribou conservation from November 1 to May 15.

  • Please leave natural and cultural objects as you find them.

Elevation profile

Elevation

Text version
  • The elevation profile shows the trail beginning at the Nigel Creek trailhead at 1860 m.
  • Over the next 10.7 km, the trail ascends over Nigel Pass, (2195 m) then descends to Boulder Creek Campground (2036 m).
  • The trail mainly descends 3.1 km to Four Point Campground (1935 m).
  • Continuing on the Brazeau River trail, there is a gentle descent for 15.5 km to Brazeau River Bridge Campground (1737 m).
  • There is a slight ascent over the next 3 km to Brazeau Lake Campground (1816 m).
  • The trail mainly climbs over the next 8.9 km to John-John Creek Campground (2012 m).
  • The next 7.5 km climbs over Poboktan Pass (2300 m) and down to Jonas Cutoff Campground (2094 m).
  • There is a steep climb of 3.3 km to the top of Jonas Shoulder (2470 m), followed by a steep descent. The trail then travels more gently over Jonas Pass (2320 m) and down to Four Point Campground (1935 m), 18.7 km from Jonas Cutoff Campground.
  • The trail follows the same elevation profile backward past Boulder Creek Campground and Nigel pass to the Nigel Creek trailhead.
 

Campground information

Campground information
Campground Elevation Description # of sites Toilet type Food storage UTM
Boulder Creek
#15

   
2036 m This campground has pretty views and is located close to the Brazeau River. 4 Throne Lockers 11U 492962
5790100
Four Point
#16

   
1935 m A forested campground close to the Brazeau River with nice views. The junction for Jonas Shoulder is just after this campground. 8 Throne Lockers 11U 494770
5792240
Brazeau River
#19

   
1737 m A rustic forested campground close to the Brazeau River. 4 Throne Lockers 11U 499608
5804813
Brazeau Lake
#21

   
1816 m A beautiful campground on the shore of Brazeau Lake, 900 m from the main trail. 8 Throne Lockers 11U 497590
5805604
John-John Creek
#22

  No dogs
2012 m This campground is located right next to John-John Creek and has beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. 4 Throne Lockers 11U 491965
5803508
Jonas Cutoff
#23

No fire  No dogs
2094 m This campground sits next to a creek and offers beautiful views. Note this high-elevation campground is somewhat exposed; it does not provide much shelter in inclement weather. 8 Barrel Lockers 11U 485891
5805050

How to get there

 
Nigel Creek Trailhead

From Jasper

  • 116 km south on Highway 93 (the Icefields Parkway).
  • Turn left at the Nigel Creek parking lot. The parking lot is 13 km south of the Icefields Centre.

From Banff and Lake Louise

  • From Highway 1, take Highway 93 (the Icefields Parkway) towards Jasper for 114 km.

Are you prepared?

Safety is your responsibility

 Safety is your responsibility

Refer to the Jasper National Park Backcountry Planning Guide (link):

  • descriptions of trail types and campground facilities;
  • equipment checklists;
  • responsible camping practices;
  • safety information.

Before heading out, check trail, weather and road conditions at: parkscanada.gc.ca/jaspertrails.

 Maps

Maps
NTS National Geographic
Columbia Icefield 83C/3
Sunwapta Peak 83C/6
Jasper South

 Permits

A backcountry camping permit is mandatory for all overnight trips and can be obtained online at reservations.pc.gc.ca or by calling 1-877-737-3783.

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