Canadian Rockies: Jasper National Park

Picture yourself in a mountain getaway surrounded by towering peaks, untouched wilderness, and turquoise lakes tucked into alpine valleys.

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access and less crowded conditions than Banff © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The town of Jasper, nestled amid the serene mountain setting of Jasper National Park, offers first-class accommodations, dining, recreational activities, festivals, and other fun and convenient services.

Jasper National Park combines some of the most spectacular scenery in the Canadian Rockies with ease of access and less crowded conditions than Banff, its sister park to the south.

Wildlife is abundant, even right in town. Where else will you find a herd of elk grazing on the lawn?

The Icefields Parkway (Highway 93) joins the two parks of Jasper and Banff in one of the most breathtaking, beautiful drives that anyone can travel in the world. A series of massive glaciers line the entire length of the Icefield Parkway, with the Columbia Icefield lying along the parkway at the southern end of Jasper National Park.

Massive ice explorers, specially designed for glacial travel, take passengers on a remarkable excursion onto the surface of the Athabasca Glacier where passengers can safely step out onto the glacier and stand on this powerful ancient ice. The newly opened Glacial Skywalk over the Athabasca Glacier lets you experience waterfalls, wildlife, fossils, and more on an exciting cliff-edge walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot drop.

Wildlife is abundant, even right in town. Where else will you find a herd of wapati (elk) grazing on the lawn?

Wildlife is abundant, even right in town. Where else will you find a herd of wapati (elk) grazing on the lawn? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Jasper SkyTram whisks you up Whistler’s Mountain to an elevation of 7,472 feet for stunning vistas over mountain ranges stretching up to 50 miles away. Interpretive exhibits explain the high alpine environment. Explore unlimited hiking and backcountry terrain in the high alpine country including a trail to the summit of the mountain.

Witness the towering waterfalls at Maligne Canyon. The whirling and tumultuous water has worn the canyon, only six feet wide in some places to a depth of over 165 feet.

Enjoy the natural beauty along the self-guided interpretive trail along the canyon. There are signs that describe the geological history of the region. Four bridges spanning the gorge and each offer a particular view. A short loop achieves the upstream edge of the canyon, and a longer trail follows the gorge to finish fifth and sixth bridges downstream.

The Athabasca Falls are among the most powerful and breathtaking falls in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The Upper Athabasca River thunders through a narrow gorge where the walls have been smoothed and potholed by the sheer force of the rushing water carrying sand and rock.

A picturesque waterfall, Athabasca Falls is not known so much for the height of the falls (75 feet), as it is known for its force due to the large quantity of water falling into the gorge.

A winding road leads to Patricia and Pyramid lakes where fishing, picnicking, boating, and hiking are  popular.

A winding road leads to Patricia and Pyramid lakes where fishing, picnicking, boating, and hiking are popular. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The falls can be safely viewed and photographed from various viewing platforms and walking trails around the falls.

Maligne Lake is famed for the color of its water, the surrounding peaks, the three glaciers visible from the lake and Spirit Island, one of the most photographed locations in the world.

Few summits in the park can match Mt. Edith Cavell’s craggy beauty. A small, powder blue Angel Glacier are easily reached by a short self-guiding trail that winds its way along the shores of the lake.

Don’t miss a visit to Miette Hot Springs, the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies. These natural springs are cooled from 129ºF to a soothing 102ºF. Located in the scenic Fiddle Valley, the facility includes two hot pools (one pool is wheelchair accessible), a cool pool, and poolside cafe. There’s also fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities and great mountain views.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep lamb.

Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep lamb. © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Jasper Park Lodge, one of Canada’s luxury railway hotels, is a 700 acre year-round luxury mountain resort which wraps around the shores of Lac Beauvert and Canada’s #1 Resort Golf Course. The resort’s village of cedar chalets and luxury cabins, all connected by picturesque paths, offer guests unique access to explore the natural environment surrounding the resort.

Enjoy a variety of outdoor recreational activities including golf, hiking, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, and mountain biking in the summer and ice skating, snowshoeing, and skiing in the winter.

A winding road leads to Patricia and Pyramid lakes where fishing, picnicking, boating, and hiking are  popular. Rental facilities include horse-back riding, boating, canoeing, windsurfing, and sailing.

Worth Pondering…

Think I’ll go out to Alberta

Weather’s good there in the fall

Got some friends there I can go to.

—sung by Ian Tyson

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