Jasper National Park: Tonquin Valley (4 days / 84 km)

Amazing tourist view in Jasper National Park Tonquin Valley

The Tonquin Valley is a wilderness area in Jasper National Park that is popular with hikers and horseback riders in the summer months, and skiers in the winter. It brings hikers into the heart of an alpine valley full of lakes, meadows and caribou, bordered by craggy peaks and glaciers.

In August 2019, I booked a backcountry campsite on short notice, entirely on the recommendation of a Park’s employee. The employee, who patiently stayed on the phone for me while I figured out the trip, suggested that we spend a few nights at a backcountry campground, and use it as a basecamp to stage exploration around the valley.

I hadn't done a backcountry hiking trip in this manner before and was eager to give it a shot. The basecamp method allowed my friends and me to pack heavy because we only hiked one day with loaded packs. It also gave us the opportunity to spend time pushing deeper in the valley than we would do on a normal backpacking trip.

This trip served as a good intro to backpacking for one of my friends, as it allowed for more picking and choosing of routes and challenges. I would highly recommend this unconventional backpacking trip for anybody looking for a new hiking challenge, or as a way to better explore the Tonquin Valley on foot. 

Trip Completed: August 2019

Trip Summary

Starting Point: Astoria River Trailhead

Ending Point: Astoria River Trailhead (out and back)

Total Distance: 34 km to campsite, 84 km total

Elevation Gain: 1053 m 

Duration: 4 days, 3 nights

Difficulty: Intermediate


This route takes place in Jasper National Park.

Traditional Territory: This route takes place on the traditional territory of Mountain Métis , Ktunaxa, Stoney, Tsuu T'ina, Secwepemcúl'ecw (Secwépemc) and Aseniwuche Winewak (Rocky Mountain).

Maps & Resources

Guidebook: A Peakbaggers Guide to the Canadian Rockies: North

Map: National Geographic Jasper National Park Map

Campsite ...

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