Time: 3 - 5 hours (It's steep so really depends on your fitness level)
Distance: 5.2 km return
Elevation Gain: 700 metres
Access: When driving the Icefields Parkway from Banff to Jasper you'll need to take a right at the Saskatchewan Crossing and start to drive along Abraham Lake. Approximately 45 km from the crossing, take a left and drive a little away from the highway towards Cline's Waste Dump, park here and the trail starts just to the right hand side of the dump. It is actually sign posted by a sign that says something like 'This is not a trail', I think this is just to preserve the bank as there are multiple trails that start a little earlier and go through the woods around the sign.
A Vision Quest is a right of passage for Native American cultures and normally partaken by young males. The hike of the same name is thought to be where this right of passage took place. There are multiple camp spots along the way up and at the summit lays a small ammunition box full of notes, a lot of which are messages dedicated to loved ones who have passed. I get the impression this summit is a used for reflection and remembrance by many and made for a poignant trip for ourselves.
Vision Quest is a tough hike, in fact once we had parked up we read a trail description which described it as 'steep and relentless' they weren't wrong!
After a very short walk through flatter ground in the trees the hike goes up, and up, and up! The path isn't overly obvious but you are essentially just following relatively close to the ridge line until you reach the summit.
During the hike you can see the view from pretty early on, some people like having a view the whole way up, however for me I'd rather have one big reveal after a huge ascent as it makes you feel the effort is well worth it. The hike gives you a sense of achievment but isn't one you want to be doing on a hot summers day!