Miette Hot Springs
July 24, 2009
Besides the attraction of the beautiful hot springs, there is the beauty of the drive to get there. The drive up Canada 16 alongside the Athabasca River is really spectacular.
Just north of Jasper the Athabasca ran along the right side of the road and there were great views of the mountains on that side. You could also see large rocky mountains to the nortn in the direction of the road.
Not far north of Jasper by a rock ledge I remember from last year, we encountered a flock of eight bighorn sheep. As we had seen before, they seemed to be licking the ground, and we had read that they came to such places for minerals.
Continuing northward on this wide open highway, we encountered another flock of sheep about five minutes later. Seemed a more natural habitat this time.
After crossing twin bridges over different strands of the ever-changing Athabasca, the river was now on our left.
Other than the times of dodging bighorn sheep, the trip was very tranquil, with beautiful mountain scenery on both sides. I loved seeing the green forests climbing up on the sides of the rocky peaks.
On the west side of the road the Athabasca River had spread out to form a wetland meadow, which contrasted nicely with the conifer forest.
We turned right at the Pocohontas Resort to travele eastward on the Miette Road. It was through deep, beautiful forest but was very curvy. Mark was wishing he had his motorcyde rather than this SUV.
We came in view of this extraordinarily long, sharp rock ridge that just rose steeply out of the forest.
The rock ridge ran all the way to the Miette Hot Springs location.
We all got into the two large hot pools, which the thermometer said was at 108 degrees F! The girls even jumped into the small cold pools behind and then back in the hot pools, but there was no way I was doing that!
Grandma Brenda really loved the hot pools, and Ashleigh and Jordan seem to be enjoying them with her. They adapted to the heat a lot better than Granddad did! I guess you would expect that from New Orleans girls.
On the way back down Hwy 16 I just had to stop at the meadow location, which was a real reverie for me. This scene is reminiscent of the Twolumne Meadows.
Just south of these wetland meadows was an area where the Athabasca spreads out into a very shallow lake, and we saw people wading halfway across it. It was obviously a very popular spot since there were a lot of cars there each time we went by.
Then south of there was another wetland meadow area - OK!, I just couldn't get enough of those beautiful meadows!"
Just north of Jasper on our return, we encountered five more bighorn sheep, and then two as we turned toward town. So we had certainly seen our share of bighorn sheep today!