The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Jasper National Park

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Jasper National Park

It’s easy to assume that a trip to Jasper requires effortless planning. But it has so many must-see sights that coming up with an itinerary can be a challenge.

Many of the sights you can see when visiting Jasper National Park are free. As such, you won’t need a big budget for your vacation.

However, there are other costs involved, like fuel, vehicle entry in the park, and lodging. Some tours also cost money, but these can take you on safe exploratory trips in the region.

Once you get that out of the way, you can plan your trip so that you can hit as many iconic locations in a short amount of time. Here’s a guide to help you maximize your trip.

Check Out Its Incredible Lakes

Maligne Lake, Jasper National Park

Maligne Lake is probably the most popular attraction for those visiting Jasper National Park. It has incredible turquoise waters and picturesque skylines. And it also has a stunning little island, called Spirit Island, that’s accessible by boat.

This is one of the places you don’t want to visit without a good camera and plenty of memory for photos. And in terms of access, you can get there by car, bus, or unique local motorcycle tour.

Lake Annette and Lake Edith are two more iconic sites you can visit for free and spend almost the entire day in. Both lakes have crystal clear cerulean waters. And the backdrop of the red rocky Adirondack chairs and lush forests creates picture-perfect scenery.

During the summer, you can go for a swim or hike on many of the area’s various trails. It’s also possible to have a barbecue on the shore where you can sit back and relax. There’s plenty of shade, too, if you want to cool off.

Enjoy the Breathtaking Views

Whistler Mountain Summit

The summit of Whistler’s Mountain offers some of the most amazing panoramic views of the National Park. Although there are many ways to get there, most tourists and locals prefer taking the Jasper SkyTram.

You can travel 7,500 feet in just seven minutes in a gondola. It’s a breathtaking experience in and of itself. Few things come as close to riding the highest guided aerial tramway in the Great White North.

Consider making the journey on a sunny day to get unobstructed views of the six mountain ranges in the area.

But if you’re not afraid of heights, taking the Glacier Skywalk is one of the most exciting things to do in the Jasper National Park. It’s a U-shaped walkway over Sunwapta Valley that many regard as an architectural marvel.

The walkway provides a safe means to pass over a 918-foot cliff. What could make it even more exciting? A glass floor that offers an unobstructed view of everything. You can also stop along the way to take pictures or recharge your batteries.

Athabasca Falls also offers stunning views, especially in the winter. Located right along the icefields parkway, it costs nothing to plan and complete a trip to this iconic location.

Besides checking out the freezing waterfall, you can also experience memorable sunrises. Just keep in mind that it’s very cold overnight and early in the morning.

Experience it Hot and Cold

Maligne Canyon Winter

If you want to explore Maligne Canyon, you can do it anytime. But there’s something extra special if you go there in the winter. That’s when nature crafts its own ice sculptures that last throughout the entire season.

There are also ice climbing tours and other adventures you can embark on. But remember to book a spot in advance as they’re quite popular.

Also, you can’t visit Jasper without also visiting the Miette Hot Springs. These are the hottest mineral springs in the Northern Rockies. 

While most people enjoy soaking in the amazing waters, others take to the trails. The Source of Springs trail is a very easy one. But there’s also a more challenging five-mile trek called the Sulphur Skyline trail. 

Whichever you choose, you can relax in 98-degree water after exploring the local scenery.

Get Some Adrenaline Rush

Athabasca Glacier

The Athabasca Glacier is one of the most exciting locations in Jasper National Park. The Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield. It divides Jasper from Banff and offers easy access and many hiking trails. Plus, you can visit this site for free.

Do note that many of its trails are too difficult for inexperienced hikers. Ice Explorer tours offer a much safer alternative. With it, you can see much of the glacier without compromising your safety.

And for a unique experience, go whitewater rafting – it’s one of most popular pastimes in the area. Majority of companies that offer rafting adventures stick to the Athabasca River. So if you want to experience as much as possible in a short amount of time, consider Athabasca your central hub.

But make no mistake, there are plenty of class III rapids available too on the Sunwapta or Fraser rivers. Either way, it’s something worth looking into when visiting Jasper National Park in the summer.

When Do You Want to Go on Your Next Big Adventure?

You can visit Jasper any time of the year. But there’s something extra special about the summer and winter seasons. 

There are many more accessible sights during the summer and so many activities open to the public. Yet the winter season exposes you to fantastic natural sculptures and memorable scenery wherever you turn your head. 

Book your accommodations in advance and take your time to explore the jewel of the Canadian Rockies.

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The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Jasper National Park