Jasper National Park Travel Guide | Top Attraction, Hotels

Jasper National Park in Canada

The Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rockies comprises a vast wilderness area in the province of Alberta defined by glaciers, lakes and peaks such as Mount 11,033 feet high. Edith Cavell passes through the Icefields Parkway, a road to the city of Jasper, to the underground forests and to the vast Columbia Icefields. Outdoor activities such as hiking, camping and skiing are popular. Native wildlife includes elk, elk, bighorn sheep and bears.

Jasper National Park Map:

Why Go To Jasper National Park:

Jasper National Park, one of the wildest places in Canada, offers kaleidoscopic panoramas at every step. Travelers can marvel at many views as they walk from the peaks of Mount Edith Cavell to the caverns of Maligne Canyon. Located at the eastern end of Alberta, the park serves as a beacon for adventurers in the northern hemisphere. Jasper has the distinction of being the largest park in the Canadian Rockies and was designated part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with Banff and a handful of additional parks. With more than 2.7 million acres of land to explore, travelers will surely see animals ranging from caribou to glutton and elk.

The park offers all the natural wonders you would expect, including mountains and rivers and even glaciers, but the city of Jasper elevates the park’s possibilities. In addition to serving as a convenient base camp, Jasper offers a variety of tours and excursions for travelers to use. Not to mention that winter in Jasper means that travelers can enjoy cold-weather activities like skiing in Marmot Basin or snowshoe across the field. No matter the season, there is always a reason to visit Jasper.

Top-rated tourist attraction in Jasper National Park:

Maligne Lake:

Lake Maligne, the second largest lake fed by glaciers in the world, enchants travelers with its bright turquoise waters and impressive horizons. Anyone who wants to take a walk in Lille Maligan should also take the time to visit Spirit Island, one of the most famous sights on the Canadian Rockies. The lake is located east of Icefields Parkway in the southern part of the park, and travelers can access the area with their own car, on an excursion bus or even as part of a motorcycle tour. (To book a motorcycle tour, visit the Jasper Motorcycle Tours website). Once at the lake, visitors can take advantage of a variety of tours and excursions, or simply explore the area independently.

Previous visitors recommended bringing a camera to capture photos of the beautiful landscape; Many point out that there are numerous opportunities to take photos. However, recent travelers also warned that both the cruise and the rental of non-motorized boats have a high price.

When the weather is warm, visitors can rent canoes, kayaks and rowing boats to explore the lake. Those who prefer to sit and relax can take a boat tour with a stop on Spirit Island. All rentals and tours are available through Maligne Lake Boat Tours, which is located at the northern end of the lake. The cold weather does not hinder the attractiveness of the area, although visitors should certainly invest in a toasted outfit. Winter wildlife tours are even available during the colder months.

Athabasca Glacier:

Moving back quickly, the Athabasca glacier attracts visitors from all over the world. The glacier is part of the huge Columbia ice field, which divides southern Jasper and northern Banff, and is easily visible from Icefields Parkway. Hiking trails and guided tours allow visitors to approach the edge of the glacier. While travelers can walk to the glacier, officials do not recommend hiking because tourists have died due to hidden cracks in the past.

If you want to explore the surface of the glacier, or just looking for an excellent tour, recent visitors suggested taking an Ice Explorer tour of the Athabasca glacier. Previous travelers were excited about entertaining tour guides and opportunities to explore ice safely. Each trip lasts two to three hours (including 20 minutes on the ice) and all excursions include access to the Glacier Skywalk.

Ice Explorer tours leave the Columbia Icefield Discovery Center, about 65 miles south of downtown Jasper, where travelers can park for free. Tours of the Athabasca glacier are available from mid-April to mid-October, but the tours depend on the weather. Tickets cost CA $ 109 (around $ 83) and CA $ 55 (around $ 42) for adults and children, respectively, while advance purchases reduce prices to CA $ 99 (around $ 75) and CA $ 49 around ($ 37).

Jasper SkyTram:

In just seven minutes, visitors can climb about 7,500 feet to the side of the summit of The Whistler’s Mountain in Jasper National Park. After a trip to Canada’s longest and longest guided air tram, those who trek will enjoy six mountain ranges, the spectacular river and lake and the city of Jasper. Each car in the Jasper SkyTram can accommodate 26 people, plus a flight attendant. The hostesses are essentially tramming tour guides, who can point out points of interest and answer any questions.

Previous travelers suggested planning their trip on a clear sunny day to make the most of the views. They also recommended wearing hiking shoes to complete the 1.5-mile hike to the top of the mountain, where visitors can admire even more impressive panoramas.

Located about 5 miles south of downtown Jasper, Jasper SkyTram can be accessed via a secondary road on Icefields Parkway. The tram schedule varies by season, but is usually open from 8, 9 or 10 a.m. at 5, 8 or 9 p.m. It is generally closed from the end of October until the end of March. It is recommended that you reserve about two hours to make the most of your experience. The passes cost CA $ 49.30 (around $ 37) for adults 16 years and older, CA $ 26.20 (about $ 19.50) is free for young people ages 6 to 15, and kids 5 years old or younger. Family packages include two passes for adults and two for youth and cost CA $ 124.80 (approximately $ 93).

Maligne Canyon:

A narrow chasm located about 7 miles north of downtown Jasper, Maligne Canyon winds a little less than a mile through Jasper National Park. The impressive canyon reaches a depth of more than 150 feet, while some sections are as narrow as 7 feet. In addition to the unique geological aspects of the region, the gorge is amazingly green, with an abundance of vegetation.
Recent travelers appreciated the two hiking trails that run through the area. The shortest loop crosses the canyon through four bridges, while the longer option traces the gorge and presents two additional bridges along the way. Also, the longest road is a little less crowded. Previous hikers also noted that parking at the beginning of the trail can be filled and they suggest arriving early.

There is a gift shop with bathrooms near the parking lot. The Trail Atrium is also in the Malignon Canyon Wilderness Kitchen, where travelers can enjoy a variety of lunch and dinner options or buy sandwiches and salads on the go. Access to the canyon is included at the entrance to the park.

Lake Annette and Lake Edith:

Located across the Athabasca River and just north of the center of Jasper, the Annette and Edith lakes are excellent places for a quiet excursion or a full-blown adventure. Travelers can spend a day picnicking and grilling, relax in the park’s Adirondack red chairs and walk the different trails.

Recent travelers were surprised by the cerulean water of the lakes. They recommended packing a camera to take pictures along the main hiking trail in the area, the Annette Loop, which is paved and is an excellent choice for novice hikers.

When the weather is not cold, travelers can even swim or sunbathe on one of the lakes’ beaches. Boating and kayaking are also allowed on the lake; Visitors can rent equipment in the city or at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Boathouse, which is located south of the lakes. Fishing is also allowed, but a national park license is required. The lakes can be accessed via a straight path that leaves Yellowhead Highway, and free parking is available between the two bodies of water. The area is free to visit and accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Whitewater Rafting:

Raft trips are a great way to see some of the most remote areas of Jasper National Park and are excellent excursions for adrenaline junkies. Most rafting companies adhere to the relatively quiet Athabasca River, which runs through the southwest part of the park and is a popular option for families. However, the Athabasca River still has Class II rapids, so travelers will still want to wear wetsuits to keep warm in inclement climates. For a greater challenge, adventurers should consider the Fraser or Sunwapta rivers, which include class III rapids.

Previous travelers almost universally leave bright comments on whitewater rafting in Jasper, in particular, they praise the opportunities to enjoy the beautiful scenery. In general, they also appreciate the family nature of the rafting experience.

Prices vary depending on the company and the river you select, while trips vary from three to five hours. The cost per adult varies from CA $ 70 (around $ 53) to CA $ 115 (around $ 87), tickets for children cost approximately half, and longer and more difficult excursions cost more. Trips are made from mid-May to mid-September and the number of options peaks in July.

Athabasca Falls:

Athabasca Falls offers incredible views from an easily accessible location, adjacent to Icefields Parkway and approximately 20 miles south of downtown Jasper. There is parking a few steps away from the falls, so this is an easy option for travelers looking for a stress-free excursion. While the water may not fall too much (about 75 feet), the falls are known for their torrential flow. Photographers especially appreciate waterfalls for the variety of observation areas and surrounding trails.

Recent visitors described Athabasca Falls as an unmissable place in Jasper National Park. They also point out that it is not necessary to spend a full day here, but they suggest spending time to see the falls from all available points of view. Others recommended wearing sturdy shoes since roads and stairs can often slip with all the dew from falls. The falls are free to visit.

Glacier Skywalk:

Are you afraid of heights? If so, you probably want to skip the Glacier Skywalk. Everyone else should consider walking on the U-shaped walkway, which extends over the Sunwapta Valley. The architectural marvel allows travelers to venture safely over the natural edge of a 918-foot cliff, while the glass-floor walkway allows tourists to enjoy a unique view of the area’s natural environment.

Recent visitors generally praised the Glacier Skywalk for the novelty of its glass floor and the panoramas available from its observation deck. Still, many recent travelers have said that the views needed to access the Skywalk are not worth the high price, especially because similar views are available nearby. An advantage of paying: audio tours are available at no additional cost, and previous tourists said they found them informative.

The glacier is located on the southern edge of Skywalk Park, about 65 miles from downtown Jasper. Parking is available at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Center, where a free shuttle takes travelers to and from the Glacier Skywalk every 15 minutes. The schedules vary according to the season, but the attraction is open from 10 or 11 a.m. at 5, 6 or 7 p.m. from mid-April to mid-October. The skywalk website suggests visiting the attraction before 1 and after 3 p.m. To beat the crowds. Tickets at the skywalk entrance cost CA $ 35 (around $ 26) for adults and CA $ 18 (around $ 13) for children 6 to 15 years old. When purchased in advance, discounted tickets are available for CA $ 3 (around $ 2) and CA $ 2 (around $ 1), respectively. Children under 5 can access the Glacier Skywalk for free.

Marmot Basin:

Marmot Basin has been transformed from a small scale of cross-country skiing in the 1920s to a full-fledged mountain for skiers and snowboarders with 91 tracks and seven ski lifts. Most races are classified as intermediate, advanced or expert, but 30 percent are suitable for novice skiers. The mountain also includes a small terrain park, as well as an extensive field for the more adventurous skiers. Additional on-site amenities include three restaurants for after you have opened your appetite, plus a store in case you need last-minute equipment.

Previous visitors appreciated the variety of races, which attract skiers with different levels of experience. Some of them also suggest trying to find a discount to compensate for expensive lift passes, as the mountain offers different offers depending on the season and through its Marmot Escape Card program. The Marmot Escape Card costs a one-time fee of CA $ 79 and includes benefits such as half-day lift tickets for a full day and 20 percent discount on youth tickets, as well as discounts on food, spa visits, lodging and Jasper SkyTram.

The mountain is located about 14 miles south of downtown Jasper, located off the 93A freeway, which is a spur of Icefields Parkway. Parking is available on site. Visitors can ski between November and May, and the mountain experiences an average of more than 177 inches of snow a year. The elevators run from 9 a.m. at 4 p.m. daily, while resort facilities are open from 8 a.m. at 5 p.m. Full-day passes cost CA $ 102 (around $ 76) for adults, CA $ 82 (around $ 61) for youth ages 13 to 17, students 18 to 24 years old and adults over 65 to 79 years old, CA $ 36.50 (around $ 27) for children 6 to 12, free for children 5 years and under. Additional discounts are available for half-day and multi-day passes.

Miette Hot Springs:

Like the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies, Miette Hot Springs offers an excellent alternative to the physically demanding things to do in Jasper National Park. Water flows from the mountain to a 129 degree Fahrenheit pipe before cooling to a much more manageable range of 98 to 104 degrees. When you are not soaking, you can take a walk on the Source of Springs trail or challenge yourself with the Sulfur Skyline trail of approximately 5 miles. Also on site: a gift shop and the Fiddle Valley Café, which serves a variety of food options.

Previous tourists praised the abundance of swimming pools and beautiful landscapes. However, the locker rooms received mixed reviews regarding their cleanliness.

Located east of Yellowhead Highway on a straight path, Miette Hot Springs is located at the northeast end of the park. Note that the springs are closed from the beginning of October until the beginning of May. Admission prices are CA $ 7.05 (approximately $ 5.70) for adults, CA $ 5.15 (approximately $ 3.90) for youth and CA $ 6.15 (approximately $ 4.70) for seniors.

Best Months to Visit:

The best times to visit Jasper National Park are from March to May and from September to November. While traveling in these stations can mean colder temperatures (think: high around 60 degrees and lows around 20 degrees), it is a small price to pay for a quieter and less crowded park. In addition, camping, hiking and mountain biking remain options during shoulder seasons. If you don’t mind the crowd, summer offers slightly warmer temperatures, with maximums around 70 degrees and minimums of around 45 degrees, plus the opportunity to do water activities. Otherwise, winter weather enthusiasts can take advantage of alpine skiing and snowshoeing, but cold weather explorers should keep in mind that indoor areas are closed for winter caribou conservation.

Best Hotels in Jasper National Park:

Jasper Inn & Suites 

Tonquin Inn

Astoria Hotel

Athabasca Hotel 

Sawridge Inn & Conference Centre Jasper

The Crimson Jasper

How to Save Money in Jasper National Park:

  • Get out of the city While the center of Jasper is centrally located, staying in a hotel can affect any budget. Instead, choose to stay in the nearby cities of Grand Cache or Hinton. Alternatively, grab it in one of the park’s many camps.
  • Stay with what is free In the park, travelers are flooded with possible additional (and expensive) excursions. You’ll want to choose some paid expeditions, but don’t forget that most of the opportunities in Jasper National Park are available to enjoy at no additional cost.
  • Understand the entrance fees One-day admission to the park costs CA $ 9.80 (about $ 7) for adults, CA $ 8.30 (about $ 6) for people over 65 and is free for those under 17. Groups of three or more travelers can save money by buying group passes, which cover up to seven people and cost CA $ 19.60 (around $ 15).

Culture & Customs:

Due to Jasper’s location in the heart of a national park, the small town revolves around outdoor activities, so you can count on its friendly residents to recommend the perfect strenuous hike, steep ski slope or tour panoramic. While there is much to keep travelers busy during the day, the nightlife in the national park leaves something to be desired. So get comfortable and enjoy the designation of the area as the second largest Dark Sky Reserve in the world. (Dark sky reserves are places where there is no visible artificial light, and there are active measures to reduce light pollution in nearby areas). The distinction means that Jasper National Park is an excellent place to observe the stars.

The exchange rate from the Canadian dollar to the US dollar fluctuates; Plan to verify it before your trip. Most hotels and restaurants accept major credit cards. As in the United States, an average tip in Canada is 15 to 20 percent, depending on the quality and nature of the service. Taxi drivers, tour guides and hotel bellboys are also used to receiving a 10 percent tip.

What to Eat in Jasper National Park:

Adventurers in Jasper National Park can feel comfortable preparing their lunches, especially for long walks or to save some money, but the center of Jasper also offers an impressive variety of restaurants to explore. In fact, travelers would be negligent if they skip the restaurants and bars that surround the park, ranging from elegant restaurants to large bars.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge serves as an unconditional of excellent dining options in the center with its eclectic restaurants: ORSO Trattoria, Moose’s Nook Chophouse and Oka Sushi. The three restaurants lead Jasper’s culinary scene with different Italian dishes, meats and seafood, and fresh sushi. The Fairmont outpost also has a lounge, a terrace and a cafeteria.

Another popular option to sit among recent travelers is the Tekarra restaurant, a cabin in the woods that offers a menu of unique Canadian delicacies such as poutine, the iconic Canadian fries dish, cheese curd and brown sauce. Evil Dave’s Grill is a more affordable option, where diners can choose between meatloaf and shrimp lollipops (both diners’ favorites).

Meanwhile, Coco’s Cafe is the ideal choice for vegan, vegetarian and allergy-friendly dishes (also with meat-friendly options). The cafeteria serves everything from rancher eggs to vegetarian chili. The Easy Stand, the Royal Canadian Legion of Japer, is another favorite watering hole for the locals of Jasper, where customers can enjoy a delicious variety of beers alongside traditional bar bites such as nachos or hamburgers.

How to get to Jasper National Park:

By car, the best way to get around Jasper National Park is by car. Jasper made about 2. make A car is practically necessary for exploring more than a million acres. Otherwise, travelers can take advantage of three taxi companies that provide services in the area or opt for a guided tour. All three options are useful for accessing Jasper National Park, about 240 miles west of Edmonton International Airport (YG) and about 270 miles north of Calgary International Airport (YYC). Transportation between the two closest airports and Jasper is also available.

For more enjoyable travel, travelers can pay a premium of about CA $ 300 (about $ 230) round trip to travel to Edmonton or Vancouver to Jasper. The train offers luxury accommodation and breathtaking views, but those who choose to travel on the rails should also be prepared to find a way to get around after arriving in Jasper.

Car:

Visitors can rent cars in downtown Jasper, or from Edmonton International Airport or Calgary International Airport. Speed limits in the park are restricted to 90 km / h (approximately 55 mph) on main roads and 60 km / h (approximately 37 mph) on secondary roads. Snow tires or chains are legally required to travel on all roads, except Highway 1 and Highway 16, between November and mid-March. While driving, watch out for cyclists and wildlife, which also share the park’s roads. Keep in mind that Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) and Yellowhead Highway (Highway 16) are the two main roads that divide the park. You do not need an international driver’s license in Canada.

Taxi:

Three taxi companies operate in the center of Jasper and its surroundings. Keep in mind that taxi rates add up quickly, and waiting times can be long if you call from a remote area of the park.

Shuttle:

SunDog Tours offers a shuttle service between Jasper, Hinton, Edson and Edmonton, as well as a shuttle service between Jasper, Banff and Calgary. Rates vary widely depending on pick-up and delivery points, but transportation is generally a cheaper option than renting a car. SunDog Tours also offers a variety of hiking and photography excursions for travelers, which cost around CA $ 70 (around $ 53) for adults. Meanwhile, the Brewster Express provides transportation between Banff and Jasper National Parks during the summer.

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