#38 – Canadian Rockies Day Hikes: Old Fort Point Loop
- Location: Jasper National Park
- Trailhead: Old Fort Point Parking Area
- Type: Loop
- Rating: Moderately-Difficult
- Total Distance: 2.5-miles
- Trailhead Elevation: 3,430′
- Total Elevation Gain: 305′
- Recommended Time: 1.5hrs
- Recommended Season: Late-May to Early-October
Old Fort Point Loop
There was never an actual fort at Old Fort Point in Jasper National Park. It is a hill that shoots straight out of the Athabasca River and one can see where it would have been an ideal strategic point to guard the river if that had ever been deemed necessary. The draw of the Old Fort Point Loop is that it provides some of the best aerial views of the town of Jasper and the lifeblood of the park, the Athabasca River. While this isn’t an easy trail, it is one with sweeping views of much of the iconic Jasper landscape and should not be missed when visiting the Canadian Rockies.
The best aerial view of Jasper and the Athabasca Valley is found on Signal Mountain, but that is a much longer and very strenuous day hike up the Fire Road. The Fire Road is the least scenic section of the amazing Skyline Trail so better to save Signal Mountain for that backcountry adventure. The views from Signal Mountain are marginally better than those found on the Old Fort Point Loop but for the comparatively minimal effort, we think this hike is spectacular.
We recommend hiking the loop counter-clockwise and heading up the steep stairs first. It does have you immediately sucking wind on the ascent but the descent is much easier on the knees. We hiked in the afternoon and, while the views are amazing, I think the scene would be even better in the early morning light.