Jasper National Park, with its fairytale forests, high mountains, and jewel-toned lakes, is a haven for outdoor explorers or anybody looking to unplug. Here’s how to get the most out of your next trip.
Jasper Skytram – Best Things To Do in Jasper
Every sensible traveler understands that learning the lay of the land is priority number one. Get your bearings by taking the Jasper Skytram, an aerial tramway that takes visitors 2,263 meters to the top of Whistlers Mountain. You’ll learn about Jasper’s distinctive flora and wildlife and its geographical beauties during the 7-minute trip. The Athabasca River, six mountain ranges, Mount Robson (the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies), and various hiking trails await your arrival.
Explore Beautiful Lakes
What sets Jasper apart from other Rocky Mountain parks is not simply the beauty of its lakes, but also how easy it is to get to them. Visitors are spoiled for choice, no matter the season, with more than a dozen gem-colored lakes within a 10-minute drive of town. Pyramid Lake is a must-see for photo opportunities and ice skating, while Patricia Lake is a local favorite for a beach fix. Valley of the Five Lakes is a must-see, surrounded by a 4.6-kilometer track that’s just as easy to complete on snowshoes as it is in hiking boots.
Wildlife Observation – Best Things To Do in Jasper
Wildlife viewing is likely to be the most thrilling of all the activities to do in Jasper. Jasper National Park is home to 53 species of mammals, including grizzly and black bears, wolverines, cougars, caribou, elk, moose, and marmots, a huge (but charming) ground squirrel. A wildlife tour is your best bet for a safe encounter. Too often, tourists fail to maintain a safe distance. If you come across wildlife, keep 30 meters away from elk and deer and 100 meters away from carnivores.
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Visit a Dark Sky Preserve.
The night skies above Jasper are spectacular. Jasper was classified as a Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society in 2011, and it remains the largest accessible Dark Sky Preserve on the planet. Every October, astronomers and stargazers from all over the world descend on Jasper for guided stargazing and cosmic experiences unlike any other.
Tour by Motorcycle
With Jasper Motorcycle Tours, one of the most exciting ways to experience Jasper is on the back of a motorcycle or in a motorcycle sidecar. Local guides tailor excursions to your specific interests: You’ll cruise down roads less traveled, receiving an insider’s viewpoint into this awe-inspiring national park, whether it’s animals, secret floral places, or breathtaking mountain views. With the wind in your face, your only duty is to sit back and enjoy the ride—after you’ve decided on which leather jacket and chaps to wear.
Maligne Canyon – Best Things To Do in Jasper
Who doesn’t enjoy a short, simple hike that has plenty of waterfall action? Maligne Canyon, a stunning natural monument, is a deeply creviced slot canyon that visitors can explore all year. When the underground water from Medicine Lake freezes, you can walk through the canyon’s frozen bottom and marvel at the numerous frozen waterfalls and natural ice sculptures. When the river is running, walk across specially designed bridges and stare down into the canyon’s depths as cascade after waterfall gushes into it.
Soothe Sore Muscles
Make the mistake of not scheduling time for rest and relaxation. With so many high-energy activities in Jasper, your poor feet are probably in need of some TLC. Miette Hot Springs, the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies, is the place to go for that. You’ll enjoy mountain views as well as medicinal minerals in the thermal rich waters less than an hour’s drive from Jasper townsite. Don’t worry if you forgot your trunks: you can rent one of those beautifully old-fashioned retro-style bikinis for a toonie.
Drive along the Icefields Parkway.
The Icefields Parkway connects Jasper with Lake Louise, another famed mountain resort town, and is regarded as one of the world’s most beautiful picturesque drives. The 232-kilometer path winds through breathtaking alpine scenery, wildlife-filled meadows, and over 100 historic glaciers. The Columbia Icefield Skywalk, a kilometer-long interpretative walkway with only a glass platform separating you from a 918-foot (280-metre) drop, is not to be missed along the journey.
Observe Spirit Island
Spirit Island, a spiritual site for the Stoney Nakoda First Nation, is one of those classic Canadian sites that must be experienced personally. While paddling to Spirit Island is technically doable, an instructional boat trip through the glacial waters is an even better choice. Visitors are not permitted to enter the island itself due to preservation efforts, but this tiny glade of trees surrounded by mountains and glaciers is best admired from the several overlooks that surround it.
Investigate the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.
There are several places to stay in Jasper, but none nearly as luxurious as Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Beautiful trails running along Lac Beauvert lead to the 700-acre property’s vintage log homes. Play a round of golf at one of Canada’s most recognized courses, or raise a glass inside the main lodge, which is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year. Your best hope is to spend the night, as Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI, and many other noteworthy VIPs have done over the years.