7 Jasper experiences for outdoor lovers
If you chose to come to Jasper National Park, you probably like the outdoors. So, in order to get the most out of your time in Jasper, there are a few things to experience.
The best way to get close to nature is by hiking. Wether you like easy short strolls, like the valley of the five lakes or the Mary Schaffer loop on Maligne lake or harder challenges like Parker Ridge, Jasper offers it all. To chose hikes, I like to use the app All Trails or local guide books.
Sure, you can book a wildlife tour with an agency. But I have seen so much wildlife just driving around that just renting a car will probably give you similar chances. This summer I have seen elk, moose, deer, grizzly bears, black bears, eagles, bighorn sheep and mountain goats near the roads around Jasper. Have you camera charged and ready!
Jasper National Park is full of rivers, lakes, canyons and waterfalls. Maligne canyon offers a nice little hike along some rapidly moving water. Medicine lake is great photo stop for the bald eagles nest alone. Maligne lake is packed with activities: hikes, canoe rentals, picnic tables, lake cruises to the famous spirit island. Sunwapta Falls and Athabasca Falls are impressive waterfalls along the Icefield Pakway. If you are driving on that road check out my article on 5 places to stop along the Icefield Parkway.
If you don’t go to the Banff Hot Springs or Radium, then the Miette Hot Springs are worth it. Just an hour drive from Jasper, the last bit is very windy up and down the mountains. This drive is worth it for the wildlife sightings along as you pass by a cliff that is known for bighorn sheep and mountain goats. The hot springs themselves…. well, let’s not expect Roman Baths. It’s four outdoor pools, 2 hot, 2 cold that you cal alternate between. Nice for an hour or so, then you’ll have seen it. They are open late in summers, so this can be a neat after-dinner activity. But be aware, it’s very popular, you won’t be the only guest there.
If you are an outdoor lover in for a little more adrenaline you can go wild water rafting on the Athabasca River. They offer grade 2 and grade 3 rafting, which is a happy medium and makes it suitable for first time rafters.
And then of course there is the town of Jasper itself! There is a sky tram that can take you up the mountain if you’re not a hiker. The visitor center is a National Historic site because of its Rocky Mountain style architecture. And downtown Jasper is packed with restaurants, shops, breweries and bars. Just a few blocks away is the Jasper Museum.
For outdoor lovers who are also night owls: Jasper is a dark sky reserve. So if the weather while you are there, make sure to get out at night and look at the stars!
If you are in the area, you may also want to look into walking on the Athabasca Glacier.
Let me know if you have any questions or comments!