Project 366 – Post No. 025 – Valley of the Five Lakes

What is Project 366? Read more here!

One of our favourite valley bottom hikes around Jasper is the Valley of the Five Lakes trail. With a name that sounds like it would come right out of the lore of Middle Earth, the hike does not disappoint. With panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, emerald green and azure blue lakes the trail meanders through Mountain Pine Beetle ravaged pine forests, lush spruce stands and aspen groves. It is a popular trail and to beat the rush you want to be hitting the trail before 10 am. Last weekend we visited Jasper National Park and were fortunate enough to be able to do the Valley of the Fives Lakes trail twice. On our first day out we were greeted by a vocal Pileated Woodpecker and accompanied along the trail by Dark-eyed Juncos singing from the tree tops and American Robins hopping about through the understory. We found a mother bear with her cubs hiding in the bushes along the trail. As tempting as it was to linger and try to get a nice photograph of the family, we opted for a quick peek and then moved on to avoid undue stress on the new mother. The sound the cubs made was quite interesting. It was reminiscent of the cooing sounds of pigeons. So next time you heart a cooing in the forest it might be something bigger and furier than a pigeon or a dove. Often people are worried about meeting bears along the trails, and admittedly that I shared this concern once upon a time. Many bear encounter later, however, I found myself very lucky if I spot a bear. I don’t go actively looking for bears, but if our paths cross an already special day suddenly becomes unforgettable in the best of possible ways.

Nikon P1000, 655mm equivalent, 1/640s, f/5, ISO 100

May the curiosity be with you. This is from “The Birds are Calling” blog ( Copyright Mario Pineda.

2 thoughts on “Project 366 – Post No. 025 – Valley of the Five Lakes

  1. Yes, they deserve respect for sure. These bears were quite some distance away with lots of brush and tree trunks between them and us + we had other hikers ahead of us that passed momma bear unscathed. It all depends on the situation. The P1000 definitely takes the edge of the “need to get closer” to get that shot, which is obviously super useful not only for potentially dangerous critters but also shy little birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Not sure I’d lingered even long enough for a quick peek. I have a healthy respect for bears and especially a mama bear with cubs.

    You never know what distance they will consider as “too close”. Mind you, hiking in Colorado was never done without protection but it’s still best avoiding the encounters.

    Besides, with the P1000 you can “get close” from a mile away.


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