(Morro) Hawk Canyon Falls

July 10, 2015

Once again back in Jasper, and once more doing the search for this elusive canyon I'm told about.  The word of mouth ice climbing community has pointed me in this direction, and I find myself back with my puppy attempting this bike path once more.  My initial goals were to venture on a number of trails in the Maligne Lake region, however overnight Jasper received a lightning strike along Excelsior Creek (where I planned to spend the night had I left on time the day prior).  This marks the second time this trail has become my back-up plan.

Though I would love to make this trail a Plan A - with my bike!

Needless to say it was a very dry day in Jasper.  With the drought that affects the province, and it's numerous forest fires, It was a smoke covered atmosphere.  As even pointed out in the video, the amount of dust was almost like traversing along a canyon trail in Utah.  This time marked my first encounter of bikes along The Overlander Trail.  Watching them kick up dust in the distance definitely reminded me of Les Stroud's biking survival episode many years ago.

The last time I attempted this with my puppy Loki, we managed to put in a total of 5 Km.  This day, almost a month and a half later, my six month old puppy and I would dust up the dry path for a total of  10 Km.  It would be at roughly 4.7 Km where you will see the waterfall in the canyon. That being said, I believe this waterfall drops for a good many feet, if not a full kilometer up into the mountain.

When looking for this canyon you will pass two patches of thick forest around the 2 Km mark.  After you walk over the first tiny creek bed of what I believe is Morro Creek, you will find a much larger one, which is the creek to follow into the mountain in search of the canyon.  I've searched for a name of this creek, however turned up empty, assuming it to be Hawk Creek (named from the mountain that it shares its source).

 On this early Summer day I would be walking up a bone dry creek bed, struggling along all the loos bedrock, only to discover a source of water at he canyon, like Les Stroud surviving in the desert.  I put in a short amount of time climbing along the canyon edges, peering over the cliffs, trying not to be the next 127 Hours.  From where I was able to stand, there didn't seem to be one particular spot to offer me a good view of the complete waterfall.

It kept getting more daunting as my eyes climbed up along the canyon snaking in and out and further up into the mountain.   I couldn't help but think of how much easier a photograph would be in the winter time when some of the narrow edges of the carved out canyon don't need to be walked on like a Mountain Sheep.