Canadian summers — though admittedly short-lived — are simply enchanting.
The fleeting nature of our most treasured season means we have to make the most of it. And when it comes to local travel, few places make for a more magical visit than Jasper National Park.
Its untamed wilderness will feed the most insatiable appetite for adventure, while its softer side has a reputation for leaving visitors rested and renewed. Whether your perfect vacation entails hiking a massive glacier or soaking in a pool, it’s a place where you’ll find the best of both worlds.
But why take our word for it when you can see it for yourself? First, by way of this compilation of stunning imagery (inspired by its array of spirited activities) and then, hopefully, in real life, once you’ve decided these picturesque settings are worth seeing in the flesh.
It should surprise no one that Jasper is home to some of the most incredible hiking pathways and views in the country. So, lace up your hiking boots because there are thousands upon thousands of kilometres of trails to explore. Each turn of the corner seems to give way to new snow-encrusted peaks and freshwater lakes, like the multi-day trek along Tonquin Valley Loop.
When the sun goes down on your day of adventure, you’ll find yourself in awe of the celestial skies above. Home to the world’s second-largest dark sky preserve, nighttime skies in Jasper don’t fade to black, they burst with twinkling stars and the marvels of the Milky Way. If camping outdoors seems daunting, the Jasper Planetarium has a 50-seat domed theatre where you can learn about astronomy before venturing outside to gaze through its telescopes.
The only thing better than exploring Jasper on two feet is exploring it on two wheels. Biking around the park means soaking up more — but in less time. Local rental shops like Bench Bike Shop and Journey Bike Guides offer guided tours and can get you up and rolling in no time.
Views from above
Perhaps you’ve been to Jasper before, but we doubt you’ve seen its soaring summits and emerald evergreens from this vantage point before. Outdoor adventurers from far and wide flock here to scale the park’s rocky walls. Rockaboo Mountain Adventures and Jasper Hikes & Tours are known for providing the requisite gear and guidance to experience its vastness from a new angle.
Sights worth seeing
There’s no better place to take in the legendary sights of the Canadian Rockies than its most expansive national park. Spanning over 11,000 square kilometres of unfettered natural beauty, the number of things to see and do can be overwhelming. But with the help of local guides and sightseeing tours, like Sundog Tour Co. and Maligne Adventures, you can make the most of your time here.
What better way to immerse yourself in Jasper’s raw wilderness than by a whitewater rafting adventure? Whether you zip through its more robust rapids for a heart-thumping good time or opt to float through serenely, you can expect to find yourself surrounded by grey shields of rock, turquoise-blue waters, and a plethora of snow-capped summits.
Peace is just a paddle away on Jasper’s many crystal-clear glacial lakes. From this perspective, there’s nothing standing in the way of your view — and with the reflective water, you might just be seeing double. Spirit Island and Fairmont Jasper Lodge are stellar spots to grab a kayak, canoe, or paddleboard and row your way to tranquillity.
The scale of ecosystems and biodiversity that are at home within Jasper’s endless peaks, valleys, shrubs, shores, and dense forests is remarkable. Here, wildlife is so profuse it doesn’t even necessarily need to be sought out. That said, there’s no shortage of guided wildlife tours to increase your chances of spotting a furry friend from afar.
Ice ice baby
From Icefields Parkway you can catch a glimpse of one of the park’s most famous glaciers, but with a tour from Rockaboo Mountain Adventures (and the help of a personal guide), you can also get up close and personal. The icy tundra that is the Athabasca Glacier can even be experienced from within.
Surprisingly, one of the best places to snag a view of the park’s pristine mountain views is on the 18-hole golf course of the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Designed by famed Canadian golf course architect Stanley Thompson, the elevated tee boxes and overall design is meant to embed players within nature.
Despite all the opportunities for thrill-seeking and excitement, Jasper also has a gentler, more restorative side. While remaining fully absorbed in nature, its many spas make it easy to find time for some rest and relaxation.
To learn more about Jasper’s awe-inspiring views and start planning your trip, you can visit jasper.travel.