Is Jasper National Park in Canada Worth Visiting?

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View of Jasper National park

Jasper National Park often gets overlooked by many adventurers visiting Canada. Ironically, the park is home to many of the same breathtaking landscapes and features as the more frequently-visited parks nearby.

Unfortunately, most people visiting the area are on a tight schedule and don’t want to waste a second. So is Canada’s Jasper National Park worth visiting?

Today, we’ll share our recent experience at the park to help answer this question. Let’s get started!

About Jasper National Park in Canada

At over 4,200 square miles, Jasper National Park is the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. It’s full of opportunities for adventure and is practically an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. 

Visitors can spot glaciers, waterfalls, and hot springs and stroll through fields of beautiful wildflowers. However, the park is more than just natural beauty.

Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy various recreational activities. Many enjoy hiking, kayaking, and rock climbing in the warm weather. The extreme winters also allow skiing, snowboarding, ice climbing, and ice skating.

The Stoney Nakoda, Tsuut’ina, Blackfoot, and Ktunaxa Nations inhabited the lands for thousands of years. Once Europeans began exploring the area, it became a significant part of the fur trading that occurred in the early 1800s.

Jasper became the fifth Canadian national park to protect the land and its natural resources. It was established in 1907 as Jasper Forest Park but was later renamed Jasper National Park in 1930 after expanding its borders.

View of a river in Jasper National Park

When Is the Best Time to Visit Jasper National Park?

No matter when you visit Jasper National Park in Canada, you’re in for a great time. However, the best time is between late May and early October.

Visiting during this time allows you to enjoy all the park offers without battling the extreme winter. Unfortunately, this is the park’s busiest time of the year, so you’ll likely have to fight increased crowds.

Summer provides some of the best weather for exploring. Whether hiking a trail or hopping in a boat, you’ll appreciate the warmer temperatures. On the other hand, if you can only squeeze in a visit during the winter, you can still have an incredible experience.

The large amounts of snow blanket the landscape, making the park a winter wonderland. Many enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and ice climbing. Unfortunately, temperatures typically range between 5 to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, so you’ll want to pack plenty of warm clothes.

Are There Grizzly Bears in Jasper National Park?

Jasper National Park is home to a healthy population of several types of bears, including grizzly bears and black bears. Sightings are common as they roam freely throughout the park. As a result, you must practice bear safety no matter what activities you enjoy.

The park has implemented strict rules and regulations to help protect guests and wildlife. You must familiarize yourself with the rules and educate yourself on bear-safe practices. Doing so can help ensure you and your group have a safe trip exploring this incredible national park.

A black bear walking in Jasper National Park

Things to Do in Jasper National Park

There’s plenty to see and do in Jasper National Park in Alberta, Canada. No matter how long you visit, you’ll have no trouble filling your schedule and making unforgettable memories.

Explore Maligne Lake

Maligne Lake is one incredible experience that you don’t want to miss. It’s 14 miles long and reaches a depth of over 300 feet. The majestic mountains and pristine waters make this an ideal place for various activities.

Photographers often come to capture the stunning landscapes and wildlife that call it home. However, pictures don’t do the lake justice, and it’s so much better to see it for yourself in person. Kayaking, Fishing, and hiking are some of the most popular ways to spend time in and around Maligne Lake.

Visit Athabasca Falls

If you want to experience the power of rushing water, you must visit Athabasca Falls. Water from the Athabasca River gains momentum as it travels through a narrow canyon.

This results in an incredible natural waterfall viewable from several viewpoints and trails in the area. This is a fantastic spot to picnic and soak in the views. 

While exploring the falls, take the time to read the various interpretive information on display. This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the falls’ history, geology, and importance.

It may surprise you how much of an impact the geological forces have on the landscape throughout Jasper National Park and Canada.

Keep in Mind: Mossbrae Falls is illegal to hike to, but it doesn’t stop people from doing it anyway! See why it’s illegal and if it’s worth the risk.

View of the Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park

Hike the Skyline Trail

At approximately 27 miles, the Skyline Trail isn’t a leisurely walk in the park. Hiking the entire trail takes most people two or three days. However, you can pick a section or two to conquer if you’re not ready for the experience.

Be warned; this is a strenuous trail with some very challenging sections, which feature steep ascents and loose rocks. You should not take any part of this trail lightly. Assess your overall health and physical condition before lacing up your hiking boots.

Relax at Miette Hot Springs

If you want a more relaxing experience or the opportunity to soak your aching muscles, visit Miette Hot Springs.

Here you can soak in pools of natural mineral waters heated by underground geological features. Many believe the waters contain healing properties that have various health benefits.

The beauty of the surrounding area makes it easy to relax as you soak in the waters. In addition, you can enjoy several hiking opportunities near the springs. This tranquil experience is open year-round and can be incredible no matter when you visit.

Keep in Mind: Why Does Canada Have Two Official Languages? Let’s find out!

Drive the Icefields Parkway

The Icefields Parkway is a 144-mile scenic drive that connects Jasper National Park with Banff’s Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada. Visitors can experience the spectacular scenery of the Canadian Rockies. The views have towering peaks, cascading waterfalls, and rugged glaciers. The view constantly changes around every turn.

A trip on the parkway provides opportunities to enjoy several of the activities on our list. Just be sure to keep your eyes open for wildlife. Bears, elk, mountain goats, and bighorn sheep frequent the area. 

Do yourself a favor and take your time while navigating the parkway. Take advantage of opportunities to pull off and enjoy the view. It’s not a race, so take your time.

Explore the Columbia Icefield

The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest icefields in North America. One of the most popular stops in the icefield is Athabasca Glacier. You must take a guided tour to get up close to the glacier. However, it’s an excellent opportunity to witness how geology has shaped the landscape.

While visiting Athabasca Glacier, you’ll have the opportunity to walk on the Glacier Skywalk. However, while we weren’t a big fan of the skywalk, we can understand why many people enjoy the experience. We found visiting the glacier to be an incredible opportunity, but the skywalk was underwhelming.

View of the Columbia Icefield near Jasper National Park

Should You Visit Jasper National Park?

If a trip across the border into Alberta, Canada, is in your future, Jasper National Park is a must-see.

Despite its massive size, it typically experiences roughly half the amount of visitors as its neighbor, Banff National Park. We had an incredible time exploring Jasper and would do it all again if given the opportunity.

What do you most want to do while in Jasper?

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