Jump Into Jasper
Jasper will probably make you want to channel adventurer/survivalist/total nutter Bear Grylls, but it’s hard to imagine fashioning a sleeping bag out of a camel carcass or drinking your own wee in a place this idyllic. Snuggled in Canada’s Alberta Rockies, most of the massive glaciers, rocky valleys and foamy, tree-lined rivers surrounding Jasper are preserved by the country’s national parks system.
Trek around Cavell Meadows for a glimpse of gargantuan cliffs and the Angel Glacier, or make your way to Tonquin Valleyto strengthen up your noodle legs. Jasper is a hiker’s dream, with mountain sheep, bears, wolves, elk and mountain goats to feast your eyes on, although people-watching is limited to a few chill bars. You’ll want to spend every second in the wilderness anyway, so bring a sleeping bag with you if you’d prefer to sleep in more synthetic materials.
Jsper's Top 10
10. Sunwapta Falls There are actually two falls, so take the time to hike from the upper to the lower.
5. Columbia Ice Field You’ve never seen anything like this famous glacier – and we don’t care where you’ve been.
9. Whistlers Mountain Take the chair for the most spectacular views. Home of world-class snow resorts, but not to be confused with Whistler – what is the Canadian obsession with putting your lips together and blowing?
4. Athabasca Falls The sheer force of the raging torrents has smoothed the walls and created potholes in this gorge.
8. Mount Edith Cavell Pay your respects to its namesake or just gawk like a dope at the beautiful surroundings.
3. Maligne Canyon Walk on the canyon bottom to see masses of blue ice where waterfalls flow in warmer weather.
7. Lake Louise South of Jasper, this beautiful lake is famous for its breathtaking vistas.
2. Miette Hot Springs If your legs aren’t sore enough to deserve a bath in these springs, you’ve been doing something wrong.
6. Mount Robson Stunning mountains, valleys and waterways. Leave your fear of heights back at the hotel.
1. Maligne Lake Beautiful in itself, but it’s the journey there that earns this place the top spot.
- Jasper Information Centre Historic Site - The rustic architecture makes this 1914 structure the most influential landmark in the area.
- Jasper’s Pool Hall - During its heyday, this used to be where everyone basically got everything; there even was a barbershop here.
- Pocahontas – No, this is not the Disney Pocahontas. It was once an active coalmine.
- Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives - Learn about Jasper’s humble beginnings in this excellent museum.
- Anglican Church of St Mary & St George - A 14th-century gothic church that was built in 1927.
Jasper Art & Culture
- Our Native Land - A plethora of Indian and Inuit art, including porcupine baskets, moccasins and royal Canadian mint jewellery.
- Chaba Theatre - Built in Jasper in 1923, today you can still watch theatre shows with your family in this historical site.
- Rocky Mountain Photo Art - Displaying stunning photos of the Canadian Rockies and wildlife.
- Mountain Galleries - If you’re into Canadian art and paintings, then you shouldn’t miss this place.
- EA Studios - Admire the intricately sculpted Indian and Inuit art from whalebone, jade and soapstone.
- Connaught Dr. – It’s the major shopping district where you can find clothes, restaurants and specialty shops.
- Jasper Hawes - Here you can get toiletries and perfumes from international brands, as well as clothes and locally crafted jewellery.
- Tea Leaf Boutique - Unique gift items for everyone.
- Pine Cones & Pussy Willows - Has body care products alongside Canadian handicrafts and keepsakes.
- Happy Creek Pottery - Handmade pottery makes perfect gifts for your loved ones.
Gay & Lesbian Jasper
- International Day against Homophobia BBQ – A celebration of national coming-out day on May 17, also to educate people about sexuality and bullying.
- Jasper Winter Pride Weekend - On February 11 to 13, it promotes Jasper as a gay-friendly destination.
- Chateau Jasper - A gay- and lesbian-friendly hotel in Jasper.
- Nick's Bar - A small bar and a fine dining establishment. The crowd here is mostly gay.
- Phat Cat Party and Event Planners - For gay couples planning to get married in Jasper, this is the place to visit.
- Columbia Icefield - The largest icefield south of Alaska. You’ll feel like you’re travelling back through the ice age here.
- Miette Hot Springs - Don’t forget to pack your swimsuits for these natural springs.
- Malign Lake - The majestic lake is the second-largest glacier-fed lake on Earth.
- Whistler Mountain - Take the Jasper tram to Whistler Mountain for a bird’s-eye view of Jasper.
- Patricia and Pyramid Lake - The scenic view makes you feel like you’re looking at a postcard.
- Go white-water rafting, an adrenaline rush in the middle of Jasper Park.
- Go downhill snowboarding in the Rockies for an exhilarating experience.
- Experience what it is like to be a true Canadian by ice skating on a frozen lake.
- Try skiing and enjoy the beauty of Jasper even more at the Marmot Basin.
- Go for an exhilarating swim at the Jasper Aquatic Centre.
Jasper in January Festival kicks the year off with live entertainment, DJs, a street fair and a polar bear dip. The last is optional.
Held over three days in February is the Jasper Winter Pride Weekend. You’ll find live music, entertainment and awesome discounts on snow gear.
August brings the Jasper Heritage Rodeo into town. A tradition since 1926, you’ll see cowboys strutting their stuff over four days of celebration.
The Canadian Rockies play host to the Annual Jasper Motorcycle Run in September. Join 300 riders taking part in this prestigious event, or just sit back and watch.
When To Go
- Jasper temperatures average 25°C (77°F) in summer. August is the warmest month.
- If you can brave the chill, the sub-zero winters bring prime winter sport conditions.
- Spring and autumn don’t see as much snow, but you’ll still catch glacial views on mountain hikes.
- There is a distinct lack of public transport in Jasper. It’s all on you!
- You will find a few taxisand rental cars, but tour companies mostly include travel in their prices to major attractions.
- Walking is your best option. Jasper is small enough that you should be able to roam at your own pace and discover the town for yourself.
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