Best Places to Visit in Jasper
When it comes to exploring the Canadian Rockies, there is no better place to visit than Jasper National Park. With a quaint town as your base camp and a variety of accommodation, you can enjoy good food and comfy beds in the evenings while spending the day outside.
Visiting in winter? How about snowboarding in the Rocky Mountains, ice walking in Maligne Canyon or going on a dog sledding trip? If you’re traveling in the summer, why not go on a wildlife watching adventure, explore the local hiking trails and raft along the Athabasca River?
Whether you’re looking for a high-adrenaline activity or a more passive way to enjoy the beauty of the Rocky Mountains, check out our list of the top things to do in Jasper.
Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety concerns.
Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Jasper and make your trip enjoyable.
10 Best Places to Visit in Jasper
Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Jasper:
1. Columbia Icefield
If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, you shouldn’t miss the Columbia Icefield Tour. This activity outlines multiple to-do list items on an incredible expedition.
First, you’ll experience the magnificent Icefield Highway first hand. The best part: Others drive, so you can sit back and admire the mountains, glaciers, and wildlife along the way. Along the way, you’ll stop at Athabasca Falls, a truly stunning 5-level waterfall that is worth a visit in its own right.
When you finally reach the Columbia Icefields, you’ll board the Ice Explorer, a rugged bus-style vehicle with the biggest winter tires you’ve ever seen. This tour will take you to the Athabasca Glacier, where you will have the opportunity to explore the glacier safely on foot.
If you’re craving one last bit of excitement before heading back to Jasper, head to the Skywalk, a mile-long walking path that takes you to a fully glazed platform where you can see breathtaking views all around you and below you. The glass platform is completely safe, but you can get goosebumps from water droplets under your feet.
Columbia Icefield tours are one of Alberta’s top attractions, but they are only open from spring through fall. Dress warmly and be sure to bring sturdy shoes as the glacier freezes all year.
2. Miette Hot Springs
To relax in mineral-rich natural hot springs, hike 60 kilometers to Miette Hot Springs, which has the unique distinction of being the hottest hot spring in the Canadian Rockies.
The hot springs reached a sizzling 54C (129F) straight from the mountain, but in the pool where the bathers came, the water cooled to a more reasonable temperature for swimming – but still warm – 40C (104F). There are several different pools to choose from, and if you want a hot or cold experience, there are several ultra-cold pools to choose from.
In addition to the soothing water filled with sulfates, calcium, bicarbonate, magnesium and sodium, the view from the pool is spectacular. This combination is the perfect choice for a totally relaxing experience. The swimming pool is open from early May to mid-October but is closed during the winter and spring months. There are lockers and showers on site and it’s a good idea to bring sandals.
Official website: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/voyage-travel/promotion/sources-springs/miette
3. Jasper National Park
Hikers, rejoice: Jasper National Park is a true hiking mecca, with endless options to keep you busy on your trip to Jasper. For a challenging day hike with views of Maligne Lake, take the scenic Bald Hills Trail. The hike is 10.4 kilometers in total and takes approximately four to six hours to complete with stunning scenery along the way.
The Skyline Trail is a must-see for multi-day hikers: The 44-mile trail takes most hikers two to four days to complete, depending on how fast you want to move. At 1,380 meters above sea level, this hike takes you above the tree line with panoramic views to keep you motivated. If you want to keep it light, you can try the Wapiti Trail: 9.4 kilometers long, still long, but with no elevation gain. Takes about two to four hours to complete
4. Travel by Dogsled
Several different Jasper area companies offer dog sled tours – each company offers a different itinerary and covers different terrains, but all of these companies let you get to know a nice group of people while exploring the Jasper Husky. Dog sleds are one of the oldest forms of winter transportation. Sit in the sled and you’ll be amazed at how smooth the ride is and how much ground the dog can cover.
At the back of the sled, it acts as a kind of command for dogs to indicate when to speed up or when to slow down. Most tours offer travelers the opportunity to try the sled. Tours range from one-hour excursions to overnight excursions that let you stay in huts deep in the forest. This Jasper event runs throughout the winter, so be sure to dress warmly.
5. Athabasca River
You don’t need any whitewater rafting experience to swim along the scenic Athabasca River in Jasper National Park. Your guide will teach you everything you know about fun, memorable floats. Beginner tours are for kids up to 6 who are dealing with grade 2 currents – big enough to give you a thrill while you’re in control. And don’t cancel the event if you think you’re too old; The eighties are known to shout down the river.
While whitewater rafting is a summer activity (May to September), the glacier-fed rivers are very cold. Your gear will provide you with warm and safe clothing – wetsuits, neoprene booties, life jackets and paddle vests – just bring a swimsuit or something you won’t mind getting wet.
6. Jasper SkyTram
If you really want to take in the breathtaking scenery of Jasper National Park, take the Jasper Aerial Tramway. This cable car can carry up to 26 people at a time, and the journey is 2,263 meters and takes about 7.5 minutes. There’s so much to experience with the epic 360-degree panoramas – fortunately, every tram has an operator to explain what you see and show you features you might not notice. Pro tip: Be sure to look down as you may spot some wildlife.
You need to buy a ticket to board the SkyTram, but trains leave approximately every 9 minutes. Once you reach the top, feel free to explore before downloading. The full-service Summit Restaurant is a great place to visit after you get hungry. The food is delicious and the view is out of this world.
SkyTram operates seasonally from mid-March to late October/early November. No matter what time of year you’re visiting, bring an upper deck: the upper part is usually about 12 degrees cooler than the town.
Official website: https://www.jasperskytram.com
7. Jasper National Park’s Dark Sky Preserve
When was the last time you took the time to look at the starry sky? Many of us live in or near cities that create light pollution, making it difficult to see most if any, stars.
Jasper National Park is an official Dark Sky Reserve; this means it has to take extra steps to minimize the effects of light pollution. In fact, with an area of 11,000 square kilometers, it is the second largest dark night reserve in the world. The result: a completely dark sky filled with twinkling stars. It’s a sight you have to see to truly appreciate it.
Enjoying the night skies year-round, the Jasper Dark Sky Festival takes place from mid to late October each year. The festival includes lunar landscapes, planetarium visits, night sky photography workshops, a symphony under the stars, and an impressive array of science speakers. If you are a star lover, you should not miss this festival.
Official website: https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/jasper/info/designation/cieletoile-darksky
8. Take a Wildlife Tour
Elk, goats, black bears, and grizzly bears are just some of the animals you may encounter on a Jasper wildlife tour. The national park is home to dozens of animals, from large (see deer) to small (see pika), and seeing wildlife in their natural habitat is an exciting educational experience.
Local guides know the best places to see and can also teach you a lot about local animal populations. They will guide you on how to safely observe animals – for you and the animals.
Different seasons offer different opportunities for wildlife viewing due to animal migration and hibernation. All year round: you can encounter coyotes, wolves, elk, elk and elk in winter, and brown bears, goats, bighorn sheep and more in summer. Don’t forget to bring your camera!
9. Snowboard at Marmot Basin
If you’ve always dreamed of skiing in the Rocky Mountains, look no further than Groundhog Basin. With a base elevation of 1,698 meters, Groundhog Basin is the tallest of any ski resort in Canada – which means there’s plenty of fresh snow. Less than half an hour from town, it’s perfect for a day trip.
The mountain has 1,702 acres of delightful skiable terrain spread over five different faces. Seven chairlifts provide easy access to the entire mountain, including options for skiers of all levels, from beginners to experts. If you love skiers, trees, bowling or terrain parks, you’ll find it at Marmot. Marmot Basin usually opens in mid-November and the ski season is long and lasts until early May.
Official website: https://www.skimarmot.com
10. Cross-country Skiing in Jasper National Park
Cross country skiers, rejoice: Jasper National Park has five different cross-country ski areas with varying terrain. Pyramid Mountain has an easy 4.4km loop with minor elevation change – great for beginners – while advanced skiers can tackle the 15km Pyramid Fire Trail, a challenging 533m climb.
The Pipeline Trail, Wabasso Campground and Athabasca Falls offer additional easy trails, and the Whirlpool Winter Hub has some great options for intermediate skiers. If you don’t have your own cross-country skis, you can rent a pair of skis in the city. Remember to dress: Jasper’s winters are cold, but it’s easy to sweat on the trails.
Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Jasper. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Jasper, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.