Jasper has always been special to me. So special in fact, it is where I chose to "pop the question" to my bride!! Why Jasper? It is a little remote (not as accessible as Banff) and there is somehow a slower pace in this cozy getaway. If you are looking for a weekend escape or even a refreshing week away - come to Jasper and see what it has to offer. You will not be disappointed.
Spirit Island Maligne Lake
The Beauty of Spirit Island
This place is like no other with mountain views, deep aqua waters, breathtaking forests and the fresh smell of the mountain air. This is one of my favourite places and something I think you shouldn't miss - no matter how short your stay is. Take the boat cruise on Maligne Lake out to Spirit Island. The trip out to view the world-famous island takes you through a chain of spectacular mountains. The guides are great and give you a taste of the rich history of this romantic place.
Rafting on the Athabasca
Raft or Float down the Athabasca
Experience the solitude of the mountains in a way you will never forget and go rafting or floating on the Athabasca! This is something a little out of the ordinary and will show you another side to discovering this mountain river. Rafting is a little more action-packed but don't worry - no experience required. Floating is a little more relaxing and great for the whole family. You are provided with the necessary equipment and your guide will teach you the basics to make it a memorable way to soak up the Rockies.
Feel the Spray of Athabasca Falls
Just 20-30 minutes from the Jasper townsite is Athabasca Falls. Watch as the rushing waters are forced through small openings and over rock bridges cutting the hard Gog quartzite and carving potholes in the limestone beneath. There are many little trails on both sides of the falls which can help you explore what the water left behind. The gorges and winding passages tell the tales of the past and you are left with your imagination as to where the falls will go in the future. The highest water flow is in the spring and early summer – a spectacular sight! Mid to late August, as the water tends to settle, is a good time to see the beautiful green color the waters of the Rockies are famous for. Make sure you stay within the sectioned off areas for saftey.
Ice-Explorer on Athabasca Glacier
Explore a Glacier - Disappearing Wonders
There is nothing like walking on a glacier and seeing firsthand the beauty of this fragile environment of ice, snow and rock. Just an hour drive from Jasper, the Columbia Icefield is really at your doorstep. An Ice-Explorer will take you onto Athabasca Glacier, just one of eight major glaciers that flow from the vast Columbia Icefield, and you will be allowed to walk in a safe area on the glacier. At the Columbia Icefield Visitors' Centre you can grab a bite and learn more about the Athabasca Glacier as well as the Columbia Icefield that covers almost 325 square kilometres. If you would like to have a more in-depth experience, you could look into booking a guided
Pyramid Riding Stables
Sightseeing Nature's Way - On Horseback
Seeing all the wonders of nature on horseback is something for the whole family. Travel and sightsee like the Rockies' first explorers as you experience the stunning vistas, smell the dense forests - and possibly catch a glimpse of some wildlife in this rugged but beautiful terrain. You don't need any experience - your veteran horse and experienced guide will help you on your journey. Choose the trail ride you are interested in (one-, two, and three-hour as well as fullday trail rides) from mid May to the end of September.
Do you love hiking and/or walking in nature? Spring and summer are typically the time for these great adventures and Jasper has some
to be explored. Depending on the season, you may want to check and see if the trails are in good condition. (Most trails are not paved!) In Mid to late-May the higher trails can be mucky so choose the valley trails which should be drier. As the date of your planned hike approaches, take a few minutes to check out
trail conditions around Jasper.
Swirling waters and crashing waterfalls await you at beautiful Maligne Canyon. Here you can watch water crash down into limestone rock which was created 365 million years ago in a tropical sea. The self-guided interpretative trail which follows the canyon gives you a good geological history of the area. This walk is nice because you can go as far as you like. There is a short loop which takes you on a tour of the upper canyon and a longer trail which goes along the canyon leading you out an exit further down.
Come and see the beautiful Athabasca Valley and the stunning peaks of Jasper with the Jasper Tramway. You don't have to be hiker to experience the high alpine! The Jasper Tramline is Canada's longest and highest aerial tramway and a great way to discover The Whistlers! Make sure you get to this busy tourist spot early in the morning. The schedule is dependent on season and weather. Where does the name "The Whistlers" comes from? A little animal called the Hoary Marmot "whistles" to warn of danger. Who knows, you may even see one on the summit!
Discover the World of Wildflowers!! You can take a half day to do the
Cavell Meadows Loop
which is a hike of 8 km (return) which usually takes 3-6 hours with an elevation gain of 400 m. On this hike you get to see the different life zones from the upper-subalpine, through the treeline and into the alpine region. Mid-July is the time to come and see meadows bursting with colour. It is of course imperative that hikers stay on the trail and not pick the flowers! You may even get to see some little animals that make this area their home like the pika and golden-mantled ground squirrel who love rocky environment.
Pyramid Lake Boat Rentals
Pyramid Lake by Boat Looking for some solitude and something out of the ordinary? Rent a canoe, sea kayak, pedal boat, rowboat or waterbeetle at Pyramid Lake, one of Jasper's beautiful mountain lakes with stunning panoramic views! Take advantage of the 4-hr rental discount, grab a "Picnic-to-Go" and enjoy the afternoon on this serene lake. Rentals range from $20-$30/hr. Visiting in the winter? Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice-skating on Pyramid Lake are a great way to experience the mountains.