Jasper National Park Travel Guide

Canada  #1 in Best Places to Visit in Canada
Credit

Courtesy of James Anderson/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Jasper National Park

Year-round food and revelry bookend days of excitement and adventure in this massive park, which sits nestled in the Canadian Rockies. While the geographic attractions that draw visitors to Jasper National Park will always remain, how travelers can experience the park changes every season. During the summer, visitors can kayak around Maligne Lake or whitewater raft down the park's winding rivers. Meanwhile, winter ushers in a slew of cold-weather activities like snowshoeing near the Athabasca Glacier and skiing at Marmot Basin

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Maligne Lake
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    #1 in Jasper National Park
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    The second-largest glacier-fed lake in the world, Maligne Lake enchants travelers with its brilliant turquoise waters and stunning skylines. Anyone who wants to trek to Maligne Lake should take the time to visit the lake's Spirit Island as well, which is one of the most famous views of the Canadian Rockies in the world. The lake sits east of the Icefields Parkway in the southern portion of the park, and travelers can access the area with their own car, in an excursion bus or even as part of a motorcycle tour. (To book a motorcycle tour, check out the Jasper Motorcycle Tours website.) Once at the lake, visitors can take advantage of a variety of tours and excursions, or just explore the area independently.

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  • #2
    Jasper SkyTram
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    #2 in Jasper National Park
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    In a little more than seven minutes, travelers can glide up nearly 7,500 feet to the side of The Whistlers mountain summit in Jasper National Park. After riding the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada, those who make the trek will experience views of six mountain ranges, colorful rivers and lakes, and the town of Jasper. Each car on the Jasper SkyTram can accommodate 26 people, plus one flight attendant. Flight attendants are essentially tram tour guides, who can point out points of interest and answer any questions.

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  • #3
    Athabasca Glacier
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    #3 in Jasper National Park
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Rapidly receding, the Athabasca Glacier draws visitors from around the world. The glacier is part of the massive Columbia Icefield, which divides southern Jasper and northern Banff, and is easily visible from Icefields Parkway. Hiking trails and guided tours allow visitors to get near the edge of the glacier. While travelers can hike out onto the glacier, officials do not recommend making the trek because tourists have died due to hidden crevasses in the past.

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  • #4
    Maligne Canyon
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    #4 in Jasper National Park
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    A narrow chasm located about 7 miles north of downtown Jasper, Maligne Canyon winds slightly less than a mile through Jasper National Park. The stunning canyon reaches a depth of more than 150 feet, while some sections are as narrow as 7 feet. In addition to the unique geological aspects of the area, the canyon is surprisingly green, with an immense amount of plant life.

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  • #5
    Lake Annette and Lake Edith
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    #5 in Jasper National Park
    Beaches, Hiking, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Hiking, Recreation, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Situated across the Athabasca River and just north of downtown Jasper, lakes Annette and Edith are great spots for a leisurely jaunt or a full-fledged adventure. Travelers can spend a day picnicking and grilling, relaxing in the park's signature red Adirondack chairs and hiking the various trails.

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  • #6
    Athabasca Falls
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    #6 in Jasper National Park
    Hiking, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Athabasca Falls offers incredible views from an easily accessible location, adjacent to the Icefields Parkway and about 20 miles south of downtown Jasper. There is parking a short walk away from the falls, so this is an easy option for travelers searching for a stress-free excursion. While the water may not actually fall too far (about 75 feet) the falls are known for their torrential flow. Photographers particularly appreciate the falls for the array of viewing areas and surrounding trails.

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  • #7
    Whitewater Rafting
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    #7 in Jasper National Park
    Recreation, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Tours
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Rafting trips are a great way to see some of the more remote areas of Jasper National Park and they are excellent excursions for adrenaline junkies. Most of the rafting companies stick to the relatively calm Athabasca River, which runs through the southwest portion of the park and is a popular choice for families. The Athabasca River still boasts Class II rapids though, so travelers will still want to use the issued wetsuits to stay warm in inclement weather. For more of a challenge, adventurers should consider the Fraser or Sunwapta rivers, which include Class III rapids.

    ...Read More »
  • #8
    Glacier Skywalk
    View all Photos
    #8 in Jasper National Park
    Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Are you afraid of heights? If so, you'll probably want to skip the Glacier Skywalk. Everyone else should consider trekking out over the U-shaped walkway, which extends over the Sunwapta Valley. The architectural marvel allows travelers to safely venture out over the natural edge off of a 918-foot cliff, while the glass-floored walkway lets tourists take in a unique view of the area's natural setting.

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  • #9
    Marmot Basin
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    #9 in Jasper National Park
    Skiing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Skiing
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Marmot Basin has transformed from a small cross-country skiing stopover in the 1920s to a full-blown mountain for skiers and snowboarders with 91 runs and seven chairlifts. Most of the runs are classified as either intermediate, advanced or expert, but 30 percent are suitable for novice skiers. The mountain also includes a small terrain park, as well as an expansive backcountry, for the most adventurous skiers. Additional on-site amenities include three eateries for after you've worked up an appetite, plus a store in case you need last-minute gear.

    ...Read More »
  • #10
    Miette Hot Springs
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    #10 in Jasper National Park
    Hiking, Recreation, Spas
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Recreation, Spas
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    As the hottest mineral springs in the Canadian Rockies, Miette Hot Springs provides an excellent alternative to the otherwise physically demanding things to do in Jasper National Park. Water flows from the mountain at a piping 129 degrees Fahrenheit before being cooled to the much more manageable range of 98 to 104 degrees. When you're not soaking, you can take a walk along the easy Source of Springs trail or challenge yourself with the roughly 5-mile Sulphur Skyline trail. Also on-site: a gift shop and the Fiddle Valley Café, which serves a variety of meal options.

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  • Ice Climbing
    View all Photos
    Hiking, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Hiking, Tours
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Horseback Riding
    View all Photos
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • Canoe Tour
    View all Photos
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE
    Recreation, Sightseeing, Tours
    TYPE

    Read More »

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