Jasper National Park is Canada’s largest and most scenic Rocky Mountain park, located in the province of Alberta. The park covers an area of over 11,000 square kilometers and features glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, forests, meadows, and rivers. The park offers a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all ages and interests, such as the Columbia Icefield, the Maligne Lake, the Jasper Skytram, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, and the winter sports. This article will provide you with some useful information and tips on where to stay, what to see, and how to enjoy the snowy wonderland of Jasper National Park.
Where to Stay at Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park has a range of accommodations to suit your budget, preferences, and needs. Whether you want to stay in a hotel, a lodge, a cabin, a campground, or a hostel, you can find the perfect place for your trip. Here are some of the types of accommodations available in and around the park:
Hotels: Hotels are comfortable and convenient places to stay that offer amenities such as private rooms, bathrooms, TVs, Wi-Fi, restaurants, bars, pools, spas, or gyms. Some of the popular hotels in the park are Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre, Pyramid Lake Resort, and Chateau Jasper.
Lodges: Lodges are cozy and rustic places to stay that offer amenities such as shared or private rooms, bathrooms, fireplaces, kitchens, dining areas, or lounges. Some of the popular lodges in the park are Becker’s Chalets, Patricia Lake Bungalows, Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge, and Maligne Lodge.
Cabins: Cabins are charming and quaint places to stay that offer amenities such as private or shared rooms, bathrooms, fireplaces, kitchens, dining areas, or porches. Some of the popular cabins in the park are Alpine Village Cabin Resort, Pocahontas Cabins, Pine Bungalows, and Tekarra Lodge.
Campgrounds: Campgrounds are adventurous and economical places to stay that offer amenities such as tents, RVs, trailers, cabins, and yurts. Some of the popular campgrounds in the park are Whistlers Campground, Wapiti Campground, Pocahontas Campground, and Snaring Campground.
Hostels: Hostels are friendly and social places to stay that offer amenities such as dorms, private rooms, bathrooms, kitchens, dining areas, lounges, or laundry facilities. Some of the popular hostels in the park are HI-Jasper, HI-Athabasca Falls, HI-Mount Edith Cavell, and HI-Maligne Canyon.
What to see at Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park has a variety of attractions and sights that showcase the beauty and diversity of nature. Some of the most popular ones are Maligne Lake, Athabasca Glacier, Sunwapta Falls, and Mount Edith Cavell.
Maligne Lake is the largest natural lake in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most photographed places in the park. It is famous for its turquoise water, surrounding peaks, and Spirit Island, a small island with a cluster of trees.
Maligne Lake is accessible by car from Jasper townsite or by bus or shuttle from various locations in the park. You can enjoy the lake by taking a boat cruise, renting a canoe or kayak, or hiking along the shore.
Maligne Lake is also a great place to see wildlife, such as moose, elk, bears, wolves, and eagles.
Athabasca Glacier is part of the Columbia Icefield, the largest icefield in the Rocky Mountains. It is one of the most accessible glaciers in the world, as it is located along the Icefields Parkway, a scenic highway that connects Jasper and Banff National Parks.
You can get close to the glacier by walking on a marked trail, or by joining a guided tour on an ice explorer vehicle or a snow coach. Athabasca Glacier is a fascinating place to learn about the history and science of glaciers, as well as the effects of climate change on them.
Sunwapta Falls is a pair of waterfalls that are fed by the Sunwapta River, which originates from the Athabasca Glacier.
The upper falls are more impressive, as they drop 18 meters into a deep canyon. The lower falls are smaller but more secluded.
Sunwapta Falls is located along the Icefields Parkway, about 55 kilometers south of Jasper Townsby. You can view the falls from several viewpoints along a short trail, or from a bridge that spans the river.
Sunwapta Falls is a great spot to take photos, especially in winter when the falls are partially frozen and surrounded by snow.
Mount Edith Cavell:
Mount Edith Cavell is one of the most prominent mountains in Jasper National Park, rising to 3,363 meters above sea level. It is named after a British nurse who was executed by the Germans during World War I for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium.
Mount Edith Cavell is located about 30 kilometers south of Jasper townsite and can be reached by a winding road that offers panoramic views of the valley.
You can admire the mountain from various viewpoints along the road, or hike to its base where you can see Angel Glacier, Cavell Glacier, and Cavell Pond.
Snowy Wonderland – Jasper National Park
Jasper National Park is not only a summer destination but also a winter wonderland. The park offers many winter activities that let you experience its beauty and fun differently. Here are some of them:
Skiing is one of the most popular winter activities in Jasper National Park. The park has two ski areas: Marmot Basin and Pyramid Lake Resort.
Marmot Basin is located about 20 kilometers south of Jasper townsite and has 91 runs for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. Pyramid Lake Resort is located about 8 kilometers north of Jasper townsite and has 5 runs for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders.
Both ski areas offer ski and snowboard rentals, lessons, and lift tickets. You can also ski on the groomed trails or the backcountry areas in the park, but make sure you have the proper equipment, skills, and knowledge before you do so.
Snowshoeing is a great way to explore the park at a slower pace and get closer to nature. It is walking on snow with special shoes that prevent you from sinking.
You can snowshoe on any trail or area in the park that is covered with snow, as long as you respect the wildlife and the environment. You can rent snowshoes from various places in the park, or join a guided tour that will take you to some of the best spots for snowshoeing.
Snowshoeing is a fun and easy activity that anyone can enjoy, regardless of age or fitness level.
Ice skating is another fun and easy activity that you can do in Jasper National Park. The park has several natural ice rinks that are formed by frozen lakes or ponds. Some of the most popular ones are Lac Beauvert, Pyramid Lake, Mildred Lake, and Patricia Lake.
You can skate on these ice rinks for free, as long as the ice is thick and safe enough. Check the ice conditions at the park visitor center or online.
You can also rent skates from various places in the park, or bring your own. Ice skating is a great way to enjoy the scenery and the fresh air in winter.
Sleigh rides are a romantic and relaxing way to experience the park in winter. They are horse-drawn carriages that glide on the snow and take you to some of the most scenic places in the park.
You can choose from different routes and durations, depending on your preference and budget. Some of the most popular sleigh rides are offered by Jasper Park Lodge, Pyramid Lake Resort, Maligne Lake Lodge, and Sunwapta Falls Resort.
Sleigh rides are usually available from December to March, depending on the weather and the demand. You can book your sleigh ride online or by phone in advance, or at the park visitor center on the day of.
Dog sledding is an adventurous and exhilarating way to experience the park in winter. It is a sport that involves a team of dogs pulling a sled that carries one or two people. You can either drive your sled or sit back and enjoy the ride as a passenger.
You can choose from different trails and lengths, depending on your skill level and interest. Some of the most popular dog sledding tours are offered by Cold Fire Creek Dogsledding, Snowy Owl Sled Dog Tours, Kingmik Dog Sled Tours, and Howling Dog Tours.
Dog sledding tours are usually available from December to April, depending on the snow conditions and availability. You can book your dog sledding tour online or by phone in advance, or at the park visitor center on the day of.
Jasper National Park is a winter wonderland for nature lovers who want to see some of the most amazing natural attractions and sights in the world and enjoy some of the most fun and exciting winter activities in Canada. Whether you want to admire glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, wildlife, historic sites, or ski, snowshoe, ice skate, sleigh ride, or dog sled, you will find something to make your winter vacation unforgettable. Jasper National Park is a place where you can connect with nature, with yourself, and with others.