Nestled in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains lies the wonderful mountain town of Jasper. This picturesque town is the perfect base for exploring the Rockies and National Parks, so make sure it is on your itinerary during your holiday to Canada.
Originally built around an historic railway station, the train is a great way to get to Jasper and you could even take a trip on the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer train, departing from or arriving into the historic station. The town sits in the majestic setting of Jasper National Park where you can walk, hike, canoe, mountain bike and so much more in this adventure playground.
There is no better feeling than arriving in Jasper and finding yourself surrounded by Rocky Mountains as far as you can see. The National Park is known for its breathtaking vistas, jagged mountain peaks and deep, peaceful lakes. One of the most beautiful spots is Maligne Canyon, a scenic limestone canyon with waterfalls and walking trails of picture-postcard perfection.
We recommend taking a trip on the Jasper tramway whilst visiting. The views from this sightseeing tramway are sure to leave you breathless. On a clear day you may even catch a glimpse of the Columbia Icefield – located 75km to the south of the town and a wonderful day trip as you drive south down the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most scenic highways – which is an unforgettable experience in itself!
During the winter, Jasper is an ideal destination for those who are looking for a quieter experience compared to some of the larger and busier ski resorts on their Canadian ski holiday. The area is full of open ski hills and with fewer crowds so skiers can avoid long queuing times. The magic of the town is due to its small community; you feel a part of it - especially when you spend your evenings in one of the friendly and atmospheric local bars and restaurants.
Marmot Basin is only a 20 minute transfer from the town and has 86 marked trails, so definitely something for all levels. If you are more of an expert skier then Jasper is the place to be, with over 40% of runs being classed as black or double black. Similarly the resort is ideal for families with a great selection of laidback runs and a warm, family-friendly atmosphere.
Jasper is a small yet vibrant and incredibly friendly community, with the locals always happy to give advice and tips on what to do and where to go during your stay. You might travel onto visit other Canadian destinations on your holiday to Canada, but this will definitely be one to remember – it’s the magic of Jasper!
Things to do
Popular things to do in Jasper
The experience of being gently transported into Jasper National Park’s alpine tundra will captivate all ages and is merely the beginning of an experience the whole family will cherish. Jasper SkyTram is the longest and highest guided aerial tramway in Canada and the only guided aerial ropeway in the Canadian Rockies. Providing visitors with unprecedented views of six mountain ranges, glacial fed lakes, the Athabasca River (Alberta’s longest) and the scenic mountain town-site of Jasper. Enjoy the views from the interpretive boardwalks at an elevation of 7,500 feet or venture out onto the Summit Trail to explore the unique alpine plants and wildlife at an elevation of 8,100 feet above sea level! The Treeline Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner items and is a great way to relax and enjoy the views with a full meal or just a drink and a snack. Visitors should allow 1-3 hours for this activity.
Departures: Daily May 1 to Oct 12, 2015
Independently travel into the Rocky Mountains and along one of the world's most spectacular journeys to the Columbia Icefield. At the Athabasca Glacier, Brewster's all terrain Ice Explorers will take you on a 90-minute ice age adventure to experience ancient ice and a moving glacier.
Departures: Daily Apr 19 to Oct 19, 2015
Duration: 1.5 hours
This one way excursion offers one of the most spectacular journeys in the world with mountains, lakes and wildlife. The Icefields Parkway is one of the few places in the world where features of the ice age still exist, and is home to bears, elk, moose, mountain goats, and sheep. The Columbia Icefield is its crown jewel, where modern day explorers can take an Ice Explorer out on to the surface of the Athabasca Glacier for a spectacular ice age adventure. Also included within this tour is the Glacier Skywalk, a 277m high glass platform overlooking the Sunwapta Valley with amazing views. The Ice Explorer ride, Glacier Skywalk and lunch are included within this tour.
Departures: Daily May 3 to Oct 18, 2015
Duration: 8.5 hours
Enjoy a cruise on one of the Rockies most picturesque lakes. This tour is operated in a glass enclosed, heated cruise boat and is fully narrated by a coastguard licensed crew. Midway through there’s a photo stop at Spirit Island where passengers disembark for a short walk to the lookout point, a wonderful photo opportunity not to be missed!
Departures: Daily Jun 4 to Oct 6, 2015
Duration: 1.5 hours
This trip is an excellent introduction to white water rafting. Travelling approximately 9-kilometres, you will encounter many Class 2 white water rapids. Commentary on the human and natural history will be provided during the calm stretches. In rain or shine, people from ages 6 to 90 have greatly enjoyed this memorable experience. Join the fun and incomparable views of Jasper National Park with your National Park licensed guide on the Athabasca River. Wet suits, neoprene booties and life jackets will be provided.
Departures: Daily May 7 to Sep 21, 2015
Duration: 2.5 hours
Top tips for visiting Jasper
Top Tip 1
• Take a drive. This is a fantastic way to arrive in Jasper – try it in the early morning as the sun is coming up over the snow peaked mountains for a fantastic view.
Top Tip 2
• Stop off at the Columbia Icefield. Located at the Southern tip of Jasper National Park, this stunning icefield is home to eight glaciers and some of the highest mountains in the Canadian Rockies.
Top Tip 3
• Brave the awesome Glacier Skywalk. This brand new experience is one of Jasper’s most exciting – only a glass platform separates you from the beautiful glacier-formed Sunwapta Valley, a massive 918 foot drop below. Absorb the beautiful waterfalls and wildlife along with dramatic views of alpine and glacial vistas.
Top Tip 4
• Be awestruck by nature. When you arrive in Jasper the 360 degree view of the spectacular Canadian Rockies is breath-taking. Take a moment to really take in your surroundings – you’ll feel so small compared to this amazing natural landscape.
Top Tip 5
• Breathe in the fresh air. There are many outdoor activities to enjoy on a holiday to Jasper, including hiking and walking trails, kayaking on the blue lakes, and even skating at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge in the winter.
Top Tip 6
• Spot local wildlife. There’s nothing better than opening your curtains in the morning and seeing a deer grazing outside your window! There is so much wildlife in Jasper, keep your eyes peeled for Canada’s Big 5.
Top Tip 7
• Get in with the locals. The people of Jasper are incredibly friendly and knowledgeable about the local area. Ask them for their top tips for the best hiking trails and ultimate photo opportunities.
Top Tip 8
• Sleep under the stars. For an authentic First Nation’s experience, take a short drive outside of Jasper and stay in traditional log cabins, we recommend the Pocahontas cabins.
If you’d like more information about booking your holiday to Jasper call one of our dedicated team who will help you plan the trip of a lifetime!