National Park Guides

Jasper National Park: A Masterpiece of Nature in the Canadian Rockies

POSTED ON March 8, 2023 BY Ralph S.


Introduction

Welcome to the natural wonderland of Jasper National Park, the largest national park in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains.

This UNESCO World Heritage Site, managed by Parks Canada, boasts a mesmerizing blend of rugged mountains, pristine alpine meadows, and majestic mountain peaks.

Explore the untamed beauty along the tranquil Athabasca River, visit iconic destinations like Maligne Lake and Spirit Island, and witness the awe-inspiring Athabasca Falls and the dramatic Maligne Canyon.

As the largest dark sky preserve on the planet, Jasper offers unparalleled stargazing opportunities, making it a haven for astronomers and night sky enthusiasts.

The park’s diverse landscapes are home to numerous wildlife, including grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and other species.

Whether embarking on a road trip along the scenic Icefields Parkway, riding the Jasper Sky Tram to Whistlers Mountain, or exploring the surrounding area’s favorite attractions like Lake Louise and Marmot Basin, Jasper promises unforgettable experiences.

Best of all, with fairly-priced admission for adults, free admission for youths, and a parking pass, Jasper is open year-round to connect with the natural beauty and Indigenous nations’ rich cultural history that thrives here in the heart of Canada.

Fees & Entry Pass: You can Order your Discovery Pass or get it from Tourism Jasper.

Jasper National Park

History of Jasper National Park

With stunning landscapes and vibrant wildlife, Jasper boasts a history as captivating as its natural wonders. Its story is deeply intertwined with the broader narrative of the national parks system in Canada and the Indigenous nations that have called this region home for millennia.

Long before the arrival of European settlers, the Indigenous Nations people, including the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations, Ktunaxa First Nations, and Plains Cree First Nations, had lived in harmony with the land that would later become Jasper National Park. They were intimately connected with the region’s resources and wildlife, forging a deep spiritual connection with the land.

The late 18th and early 19th centuries brought European explorers and fur traders to the Canadian Rockies. Jasper’s Athabasca River, named after the indigenous Athabasca people, became a significant transportation route for the fur trade. The region was explored by famous figures like David Thompson and Peter Fidler.

The concept of preserving the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies gained traction in the late 19th century. Influential individuals, such as Norman Luxton and Mary Schäffer Warren, championed creating a national park in the area. In 1907, Jasper became one of the earliest national parks in Canada, initially known as “Jasper Forest Park.”

With the establishment of Parks Canada in 1911, the park’s management and conservation efforts received a significant boost. The agency worked tirelessly to preserve the park’s pristine wilderness while developing visitor facilities and infrastructure to accommodate tourists.

In 1984, Jasper National Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site as part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, recognizing the region’s exceptional natural beauty and ecological significance. This status has further highlighted the importance of preserving the park’s unique ecosystems.

Today, Jasper stands as a testament to the ongoing commitment to conservation, education, and sustainable tourism. Its rich history is celebrated through various interpretive programs, including exhibits at the Jasper Information Centre and the Jasper-Yellowhead Museum & Archives.

Jasper National Park

Key Facts About Jasper National Park

Size: About 11,000 km2 (4,200 sq miles), making it the 10th largest national park in Canada.

Establishment: On September 14, 1907, as Jasper Forest Park.

Visitors: 2.1 million (2021).

Number of Hiking Trails: Approximately 38

Total Length of Hiking Trails: Over 1,000 kilometers (about 620 miles)

Lowest Point: At the park’s eastern boundary along the boundary of the Athabasca River, at approximately 985 meters (3,231 feet) above sea level.

Highest Point: Mount Columbia, at approximately 12,408 feet (3,782 meters) above sea level.

Woodland in Jasper National Park

Other Interesting Facts About Jasper National Park

  • Jasper Park is the second largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world [1], making it an ideal location for stargazing. Its pristine skies offer unparalleled views of stars, planets, and celestial phenomena.
  • Jasper is part of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This designation recognizes the park’s outstanding natural beauty and ecological importance.
  • The park is home to various wildlife, including grizzly bears, black bears, elk, moose, wolves, and mountain goats. It’s a prime location for wildlife enthusiasts and photographers.
  • Maligne Lake within the park boasts the famous Spirit Island—a symbol of the Canadian Rockies. The lake is renowned for its crystal-clear waters and stunning mountain backdrops.
  • Jasper is home to the iconic Athabasca Glacier, one of the six major “toes” of the Columbia Icefield. Visitors can walk on this glacier and explore its unique ice formations.
  • The Jasper Skytram [link] cable car takes visitors to the summit of Whistlers Mountain, offering panoramic views of the park’s mountainous terrain and abundant wildlife.
  • Maligne Canyon [link], one of the deepest canyons in the Rockies, features narrow, winding passages carved by the Maligne River. It’s a popular spot for hiking and exploring.
  • Athabasca Falls is a powerful waterfall known for its turquoise waters and dramatic gorge. It’s easily accessible from the Icefields Parkway and Yellowhead Highway and is a must-see natural wonder.
  • The Icefields Parkway, often referred to as one of the most scenic drives in the world, stretches through the Park, connecting it to Banff National Park. The drive offers breathtaking vistas at every turn.
  • The park has a rich Indigenous history, with several Indigenous communities having lived in the region for thousands of years. Today, indigenous culture and traditions continue to be celebrated and shared in the park.

Climate and Weather

Jasper Park

Jasper National Park is within the Canadian Rocky Mountains and offers a climate as diverse as its breathtaking landscapes.

From the tranquil waters of Lake Louise within Banff National Park in Alberta to the dramatic frozen waterfalls of Maligne Canyon, each season unveils a unique and enchanting side of the park.

Here’s what to expect from the climate and weather throughout the year: But you can check out the current weather forecast here.

Spring (March to May)

As the snow begins to melt, spring in Jasper brings the promise of renewal. The temperature ranges from 0°C to 15°C (32°F to 59°F).

Wildlife viewing is exceptional during this season as animals emerge from winter slumber. The Upper Athabasca River teems with life, and you can embark on short hikes around Lake Annette and Lake Edith.

Early June marks the reopening of some of the park’s popular attractions, including the Maligne Lake Cruise [link] and the Glacier Skywalk.

Summer (June to August)

Summer is the prime tourist season in the Park because the temperatures range from around 15°C to 25°C (59°F to 77°F). The weather is also mild, and the days are long, making it ideal for exploring the surrounding area.

You will enjoy the iconic Spirit Island or take a leisurely cruise on Lake Louise.

Wildlife in the park is also most active during these months, offering fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities.

Fall (September to November)

As Autumn paints Canada with vibrant hues of red and gold, the Eastern Slopes of the Park come alive with the changing seasons. The temperatures range from 0°C to 15°C (32°F to 59°F).

Fall is an excellent time for hiking, with cooler temperatures that provide relief from the summer heat.

Marmot Basin ski area opens for downhill skiing in November, signaling the approach of winter.

Winter (December to February)

Jasper transforms into a white and frozen wonderland in winter. The temperatures range from -10°C to -20°C (14°F to -4°F).

Pyramid Lake and Maligne Valley become frozen landscapes, perfect for ice skating and snowshoeing. You can also explore the Athabasca Glacier on an ice explorer for a unique adventure.

Miette Hot Springs offers a warm respite amidst the snow. Skiing at Marmot Basin and wildlife viewing continue to be popular winter activities.

Here are some Winter safety references to help you plan a successful visit.

Best Time to Visit Jasper National Park

The Park is a year-round destination, with each season offering a distinct and captivating experience.

So, the best time to visit depends on your preferences and the activities you wish to enjoy.

Summer is the peak tourist season when the park comes alive with warm temperatures and extended daylight hours. Fall, on the other hand, paints Jasper in stunning colors as the leaves change, creating a picturesque setting. Cooler temperatures make hiking more enjoyable, and the park is less crowded than in summer.

Spring marks the return of wildlife and the awakening of nature. It’s a fantastic time for wildlife viewing and witnessing the park’s rejuvenation. Lastly, Winter transforms the park into a magical winter wonderland for unique experiences like ice exploration or frozen waterfalls.

Recommended Gear

Hiking Gear in Jasper national Park

Visiting Jasper is a thrilling adventure, but having the right gear can greatly enhance your experience and ensure your safety while enjoying the park’s diverse landscapes and activities.

Here’s a list of recommended gear to consider packing for your trip to Jasper:

  • Hiking Boots: Sturdy, comfortable hiking boots with good ankle support are essential for exploring the park’s extensive network of trails. Ensure they’re well broken in to prevent blisters.
  • Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Dress in layers to accommodate Jasper’s fluctuating mountain weather. Pack moisture-wicking base layers, insulating mid-layers, and a waterproof, windproof outer layer. Don’t forget a warm hat and gloves for cooler seasons.
  • Backpack: A daypack with adjustable straps and a padded waist belt will make carrying essentials like water, snacks, and extra clothing comfortable and convenient.
  • Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially during hikes. Carry a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste and refill it at the many potable water stations in the park.
  • Maps and Navigation: While there are signs and marked trails, a detailed park map or a GPS device can be invaluable for staying on course, particularly for longer hikes. Here are links to area maps (Province of Alberta, Town of Jasper, Three Valley Confluence, Icefields Parkway, and Winter Icefields Parkway
  • Bear Spray: Jasper is home to wildlife, including bears. Carrying bear spray is recommended for safety. Also, ensure you know how to use it properly. You can check out our guide to wildlife safety in the wilderness or download a printable version of the Bears and People in the Park.
  • Insect Repellent: In summer, mosquitoes and other insects can be bothersome. Carry insect repellent to make your outdoor adventures more comfortable.
  • Sun Protection: The mountain sun can be intense. Pack sunscreen, sunglasses with UV protection, and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from harmful rays.
  • First Aid Kit: A basic first aid kit with bandages, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications is essential to avoid some common hiking injuries.

Please contact the Jasper Information Centre if you have any questions.

What To Do in Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is a true outdoor playground, offering many activities and natural wonders to explore. Tourism Jasper thrives as visitors from around the world flock to this pristine wilderness for its breathtaking landscapes and outdoor adventures.

Whether you are backpacking through pristine wilderness or embarking on a wildlife safari, this park has something for everyone. But check out the important bulletins for warnings and closures before proceeding.

Here’s a guide on what to do in the Park:

Jasper Trail

Hiking and Backpacking

Jasper is a hiker’s paradise, offering a wide range of trails that cater to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts. While some trails are ideal for short day hikes, others beckon backpackers with their remote wilderness allure.

For a taste of the park’s diverse landscapes, embark on the Cavell Meadows Trail (location). If you’re up for a challenging ascent, the Sulphur Skyline Trail (location) promises stunning vistas of the Sunwapta Valley. Alternatively, Pyramid Trail offers a scenic route to Pyramid Lake, where you can relax by the tranquil waters. However, check Trail conditions at Jasper National Park before embarking on your journey.

Beyond these well-known trails, Jasper boasts numerous hidden gems like Lorraine Lake and Mona Lake Trail, which lead to serene lakes surrounded by pristine alpine beauty.

The Best Hikes

  • Lorraine Lake and Mona Lake Trail: This is a 3.2-mile (5.2 kilometers) return trip moderate trail that takes you through picturesque alpine terrain, offering breathtaking views of surrounding peaks. It’s a wonderful opportunity for wildlife sightings, including grizzly bears. The trailhead is located near Maligne Lake and requires 3-4 hours to complete.
  • Bald Hills Trail: An approximately 5.5-mile (9 kilometers) moderate-to-challenging ascend to the summit of Hills for panoramic views of Lake Maligne and Spirit Island. This hike is a highlight of the Maligne Lake area and requires about 4-6 hours to complete, with a 2.4-mile (3.9) km further extension loop for nature enthusiasts. However, you need to watch out for wildlife along the way.
  • Forefield Trail: A 2.5-mile (4 4-kilometer) short hike that offers a close look at the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. It’s a unique opportunity to witness the effects of glacial movement and the ice formations up close. You require around 1-2 hours to complete.
  • Nigel Pass Trail: This is an approximately 9.3 miles (16.8 kilometers) return trip moderate pass offering a less crowded backpacking experience with its expansive alpine meadows and impressive mountain views. This trail is also open year-round and accessible from the Icefields Parkway. Allow 5-6 hours to complete.
  • The Toe of the Athabasca Glacier Trail: This is a short and easy 0.8-mile (1.4 km) walk to the toe of the Athabasca Glacier. It also offers a unique opportunity to explore glacial features, and guided tours by Parks Canada provide in-depth insights into the glacier’s history and formation. The time to complete, however, varies based on the guided tour.
  • Miette Hot Springs Area Trails: These are short walks of approximately 20-30 minutes, except the sulfur skyline trail which requires about 4-6 hours, that usually begins from the parking lot that leads to the rejuvenating Miette Hot Springs. Visitors can relax in the soothing mineral waters while enjoying mountain views. Check out the hours of operation.
  • Sulphur Skyline Trail: An approximately 5.4 miles (8.8 kilometers) challenging trail that rewards hikers with breathtaking views from the summit. It’s a challenging ascent, but the vistas of the Sunwapta Valley and surrounding Utopia Mountain make it worthwhile. Requires about 4-6 hours to complete.
  • Cavell Meadows Trail: A 3.7 to 5 mile (6 to 8 kilometers) round trip moderate trail known for its vibrant wildflowers in summer and panoramic views of Angel Glacier and the Cavell Pond. Nonetheless, it is easily accessible from the Cavell Road and opens up in mid-July. Time to Complete is approximately 3-5 hours.
  • Pyramid Trail: An approximately 3.3 miles (5.4 kilometers) return trip moderate trail that offers a scenic journey through forested areas, and leads to the Pyramid Lake with opportunities for swimming and picnicking. Along the way, you will enjoy stunning views of nearby Lake Edith and Lake Annette. Allow 1-2 hours to complete.

You can find other interesting trails worth attempting in this downloadable PDF file – 4.4 MBs.

Camping

Jasper National Park offers a variety of camping experiences, from well-equipped campgrounds to pristine backcountry sites, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the park’s unparalleled natural beauty.

Here’s an overview of the campgrounds and backcountry camping opportunities: You can check out the list of camping fees here.

Jasper National Park Of Canada

Campgrounds

  1. Whistlers Campground (Open: May 3 to October 9, 2023)

Located near the town of Jasper, Whistlers Campground is the largest and most popular campground in the park.

It features over 780 campsites, including both powered and non-powered sites, suitable for tents and RVs. Open seasonally from May to early October, it offers amenities like hot showers, flush toilets, and a nearby visitor center.

Reservations are highly recommended, especially during peak summer months.

  1. Wapiti Campground (Summer & Winter Sections): (Open: May 17 to October 9, 2023)

Wapiti Campground is also conveniently situated close to Jasper Townsite.

It has two sections: the summer section, open from mid-May to early October, and the winter section, open year-round.

The summer section offers 363 campsites with modern amenities, while the winter section provides basic facilities for hardy winter campers.

Reservations are available for the summer section during its operational period.

  1. Wabasso Campground: (Open: June 14 to September 18, 2023)

Wabasso Campground is a quieter option.

Open seasonally from mid-June to mid-September, it offers 228 non-powered campsites.

Facilities include pit toilets, fire rings, and food storage lockers.

  1. Wilcox Creek Campground: (Open: June 14 to September 18, 2023)

Wilcox Creek Campground is open seasonally from mid-June to mid-September.

It offers 46 non-powered campsites with basic amenities like pit toilets and fire rings.

This campground provides a more rustic and secluded experience, operating on a first-come, first-serve basis.

  1. Honeymoon Lake Campground: (Open: May 17 to September 11, 2023)

Honeymoon Lake Campground is a small and peaceful first come, first serve site.

Open seasonally from mid-May to early September, it has 34 non-powered campsites.

Basic facilities include pit toilets and fire rings.

  1. Whirlpool Group Campground:

Ideal for groups, Whirlpool Group Campground offers a remote camping experience.

It accommodates up to three groups (not more than 50 people and less than 15 people) and is open seasonally from late June to early September.

Facilities include pit toilets and a cooking shelter, and the cost is $262.50 / night (plus applicable reservation fee).

Backcountry Camping

Jasper National Park also offers spectacular backcountry camping opportunities for those seeking a more immersive experience.

Backcountry camping permits are required and can be obtained through Parks Canada. Notable backcountry areas include Tonquin Valley and the Skyline Trail.

Check out this 25.8 MB Downloadable Backcountry Guide to help you plan a successful visit.

Canoe Camping:

The Park offers an exceptional opportunity for canoe camping, allowing you to blend the serenity of camping with the adventure of paddling on Lake Maligne. Three popular canoe camping areas in the park are Hidden Cove, Fisherman’s Bay, and Coronet Creek.

  • Hidden Cove: Tucked away on the eastern shore of Lake Maligne, Hidden Cove offers a secluded and tranquil setting for canoe campers. Paddle across the iconic Lake and find your private campsite among the lush forests. This is a remarkable way to experience the beauty and solitude of the park.
  • Fisherman’s Bay: Located on the southern end of Maligne Lake, Fisherman’s Bay provides a convenient canoe camping destination. The bay’s calm waters make it a suitable spot for both novice and experienced paddlers. Enjoy a night under the stars surrounded by the grandeur of the Canadian Rockies.
  • Coronet Creek: For those seeking a more remote experience, Coronet Creek is an excellent choice. Accessible via a portage from Maligne Lake, this area offers a true backcountry camping adventure. Set up camp by the creek and savor the tranquility of the wilderness.

When planning a canoe camping trip in Jasper National Park, be sure to obtain the necessary permits and adhere to Leave No Trace principles.

Boat Tours

The Park offers a unique opportunity to explore its stunning landscapes from the tranquil waters of its pristine lakes. Boat tours are a popular way to immerse yourself in the natural wonders of the park.

Two main lakes hosting boat tours are Maligne Lake and Lake Pyramid.

Boat tours on Maligne Lake provide an opportunity to cruise amidst towering peaks, glacial waters, and dense forests. The highlight of these tours is the visit to Spirit Island, a world-famous, photogenic islet that encapsulates the park’s pristine wilderness.

Pyramid Lake, located near the town of Jasper, offers a serene setting with Pyramid Mountain as a stunning backdrop. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful paddle or take a boat tour guide on the tranquil waters of the Lake.

jasper-national-park

Cross Country skiing

Jasper boasts an extensive network of cross-country ski trails, including the Pyramid and Maligne Lake areas, providing opportunities for different experiences. You can glide through snow-covered forests or across frozen lakes.

If you don’t have any equipment, several rental shops such as Totem Ski Shop and Gravity Gear in the townsite offer cross-country ski gear for all skill levels. You can easily find skis, poles, and boots suitable for your adventure.

For those seeking a guided experience, tour operators in Jasper offer cross-country skiing excursions led by knowledgeable guides.

Fishing

The park boasts a wealth of fishing locations, from the scenic Athabasca River to the reflective lakes like Pyramid Lake and Maligne Lake. Each offers a unique fishing experience against the backdrop of stunning mountain vistas.

Fishing is typically available year-round in Jasper, with seasonal variations. Spring and summer offer the best conditions for most species, while ice fishing on frozen lakes is popular in the winter months.

You can find different fish species in the available lakes, including rainbow trout, brook trout, cutthroat trout, bull trout, and whitefish. Anglers can cast their lines with the hope of catching these prized fish.

To preserve the delicate ecosystems of Jasper, Parks Canada enforces fishing regulations and guidelines to keep the waters clean. It’s essential to check the current fishing regulations, obtain the necessary permits, and practice responsible angling.

Visitors can bring their fishing gear or rent equipment from nearby local outfitters. Don’t forget to pack essentials like fishing licenses and appropriate clothing.

Winter Activities

When winter blankets Jasper National Park in a pristine layer of snow, it becomes a playground for cold-weather enthusiasts.

  1. Ice skating: Pyramid Lake offers excellent ice skating conditions during winter, providing a unique perspective of the park’s stunning scenery.
  2. Snowshoeing: Strap on a pair of snowshoes and explore the park’s trails at your own pace. Maligne Lake, Athabasca Falls, and Miette Hot Springs are just a few locations where you can embark on snowshoeing, and witness the serenity of winter landscapes.
  3. Ice Climbing: Thrill-seekers can test their skills on iced waterfalls and ice formations in Jasper. The park offers opportunities for ice climbing, with routes suitable for beginners and experienced climbers. Be sure to check conditions and hire a certified tour guide for safety.
  4. Ski Touring: Jasper National Park presents multiple opportunities for backcountry skiing and ski touring enthusiasts. Explore untouched powder on the Tonquin Valley trails or venture into the rugged alpine terrain along the Skyline Trail. Ski touring here offers both challenges and breathtaking rewards.

You can download the Winter on the Icefields Parkway brochure to help you out.

Hiking Trail in Jasper National Park

Stargazing

Jasper National Park is renowned for its designation as the second-largest Dark Sky Preserve in the world, making it a celestial wonderland for stargazing enthusiasts.

As night falls, the park’s remote location and minimal light pollution reveal a tapestry of stars, planets, and celestial wonders. On clear nights, you can witness the Milky Way stretching across the heavens and even glimpse the elusive Northern Lights or the Aurora Borealis.

To enhance your stargazing adventure, consider attending the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, an annual event featuring a range of astronomical activities, workshops, and a stargazing tour guide. Additionally, the Jasper Planetarium provides an opportunity to explore the universe through high-powered telescopes and immersive presentations.

Scattered red chairs provide the opportunity to soak in the awe-inspiring vistas. Download a printable version (PDF 3,673 KB) of the Red Chairs location map.

You can check out the Annual Jasper Dark Sky Festival in October 

Biking

The park’s well-maintained roads and scenic routes make it a paradise for road cyclists. The Icefields Parkway, in particular, is renowned for its breathtaking views, providing a memorable journey through the heart of the Rockies. Cyclists can also explore the nearby townsite of Jasper, with dedicated bike lanes and serene routes along the Athabasca River. Map of the Icefields Parkway

Thrill-seekers will also find challenging terrain and epic mountain biking trails in Jasper. Some Trails like the Overlander Trail and the Jasper Downhill Bike Park offer diverse experiences, from rocky descents to lush meadows. Check trail conditions and difficulty levels before embarking on biking adventures.

If you don’t have your own bike with you, worry not! Jasper offers bike rental services, allowing visitors to easily access a range of bicycles, including mountain bikes, road bikes, and e-bikes. Many rental shops nearby provide helmets and other safety gear.

Check out the complete Mountain Biking Guide (PDF, 7.8 MBs) and Road Biking Guide.

Canoeing and Kayaking

Jasper is a haven for water enthusiasts, offering pristine lakes and rivers perfect for canoeing, kayaking, and whitewater rafting.

The most iconic spots for paddling are Lake Annette, Lake Edith, and Maligne Lake, where you can rent canoes or kayaks to explore its crystal-clear waters. A must-do is a visit to Spirit Island, known for its stunning vistas.

Patricia Lake, Pyramid Lake, and Medicine Lake offer calm waters and a backdrop of the majestic mountains. It’s an ideal spot for a leisurely paddle, and you can rent watercraft locally.

For a more adventurous experience, consider a canoe or kayak trip down the Athabasca River. You can also get a tailor-made tour guide for navigating the river’s gentle rapids while taking in the breathtaking scenery.

Jasper national park, River

Where to Stay

Jasper National Park offers a variety of accommodation options within the park, and there are also accommodations in nearby towns.

Here’s a selection of places to stay, each with its unique charm:

  • Palisades Centre: Located within the park, the Palisades Centre offers rustic cabins nestled in the heart of nature. It’s an ideal choice for those seeking a serene retreat while remaining close to the park’s attractions. It is approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) from the Townsite, and you can find directions here.
  • Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge: Known for its historic charm and world-class service, the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge [Website] is a premier accommodation option in the park. It offers a range of rooms and cabins surrounded by nature and is approximately 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the Townsite. [Book Now]
  • Downtown Jasper: Jasper Towns offers many accommodations, including hotels, motels, cabins, and hostels. Staying downtown allows easy access to dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The distance to the park’s main attractions however varies, but most are within a short drive or accessible by shuttle.
  • Hotels & Hostels: In addition to the aforementioned options, you’ll find various hotels and hostels in and around Jasper that cater to different budgets and preferences. These accommodations offer a comfortable and convenient base for exploring around. The distance to Jasper townsite, however, varies depending on the location. Check out other Inns and hotels Here.
  • Jasper Home Accommodation Association (JHAA): If you’re looking for a more personalized experience, consider staying with local hosts through the Jasper Home Accommodation Association. These welcoming hosts offer bed and breakfast-style accommodations in and around Jasper. Check out other Cabins and lodges Here.

How To Get There And Getting Around

Navigating Jasper National Park is relatively straightforward, with well-marked roads and a range of transportation options to suit different preferences.

Whether you prefer the freedom of your vehicle or the convenience of shuttle services, you’ll have no trouble experiencing the park’s attractions.

Here’s how to reach this pristine wilderness and navigate around:

Mount Edith Cavell - Jasper National Park, Alberta

Nearest Airports:

  • Edmonton International Airport (YEG): Located approximately 252 miles (406 kilometers) from Jasper, this is the primary gateway for international travelers. You’ll find various flight options, car rental services, and shuttle services here.
  • Calgary International Airport (YYC): Situated about 200 miles (323 kilometers) from Jasper, Calgary Airport is another major entry point. It offers a range of transportation options to reach Jasper.
  • Vancouver International Airport (YVR): Located over 480 miles (782 kilometers) from Jasper, Vancouver International Airport is a popular gateway for international travelers to Canada. From here, you can take domestic flights to Edmonton or Calgary airports.

Getting from the Airports to Jasper:

From Edmonton International Airport (YEG):

From Calgary International Airport (YYC):

  • Car Rental: Renting a car at Calgary Airport is a popular choice. The drive to Jasper takes approximately 3.5 hours via AB-93 S and Trans-Canada Hwy/AB-1 and offers stunning mountain views along the way. [Directions]
  • Shuttle Services: Several shuttle companies provide transportation from Calgary Airport to Jasper. These shuttles offer scheduled departures and comfortable rides.

Getting Around Jasper National Park:

  • By Car: Having your vehicle is convenient for exploring the park’s attractions and accessing trailheads. The Icefields Parkway is a renowned scenic drive connecting Jasper with Banff National Park to the south. Alternatively, visitors can also access the Park from the Yellowhead Highway.
  • Public Transportation: Jasper offers a local transit bus service called “Roam“. It provides transportation within Jasper townsite, making it easy to access restaurants, shops, and attractions without a car.
  • Shuttle Services: Jasper has various shuttle services that can take you to popular destinations within the park, including Maligne Lake and the Columbia Icefield.
  • Biking: Renting a bicycle is an eco-friendly way to explore the townsite and nearby trails.
  • Walking: Downtown Jasper is pedestrian-friendly, and many attractions are within walking distance of each other.

Check www.511.alberta.ca and  www.drivebc.ca for updated road information.

Conclusion

Jasper National Park stands as a testament to the grandeur of nature in the heart of Canada. From its towering mountains to its serene lakes, this pristine wilderness offers an array of experiences that will leave you awe-inspired.

Whether hiking through alpine meadows, canoeing on crystal-clear lakes, or witnessing wild animals in their natural habitat, these are just a few of the adventures that await you. Jasper’s diverse landscapes also cater to all, whether you’re drawn to the tranquility of Hidden Cove or the grandeur of Maligne Lake.

Enjoyed this post? Check out other destinations in our National Park Guides Archives.


RALPH S.

Ralph S. is the founder of Silverlight, an avid hiker and trail runner he enjoys spending time outdoors, riding his motorcycle and swimming at the beach when he's not busy replying to customers or developing new Silverlight gear.

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