Jasper, Canada

Maligne Lake

Jasper National Park, Canada

Summer or winter, Jasper National Park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is spectacular and dramatic.

Last winter we drove from Edmonton, Alberta to Jasper National Park for a weekend holiday. What a treat to cross country ski in such incredible surroundings. We headed for frozen Pyramid Lake, just a few minutes drive from the town of Jasper and skied on set tracks around the entire lake in about 25 minutes. It was lonely, wild and beautiful, a perfect trail for a beginner skier, too.

Ski or skate at Pyramid Lake

The Park has numerous hiking trails, some easy and others more challenging. You can walk or hike around the town of Jasper, or drive out to the more remote trails. Maligne Canyon (below), Edith Cavelle Glacier, and Athabasca Falls are popular.

Hike near Maligne Canyon

Campground at Wapiti
We tent camp in Jasper Park campgrounds in summer, usually at Wapiti, on the banks of the Athabasca River. When you are outdoors all the time, in the fresh mountain air, it's relaxing yet envigorating at the same time. Jasper National Park has amongst the best camp sites in the world. At Wapiti, it is not uncommon for herds of elk to pass through the campgrounds, within a few feet of the tent.

In summer the Miette Hot Springs, on the east side of the Park, are open. These very hot pools are craddled amongst the mountains. We've seen bears and foxes on the winding mountain road up to Miette. A soak in the hot waters after a few hours of hiking, then back to the campsite for dinner cooked over the fire...and out come the stars with the stillness of the night, it's magical. 

I count myself lucky every time I visit Jasper National Park. The mountain scenery and dramatic wilderness are inspiring, but there is also so much to do. Tour Maligne Canyon, visit the Columbia Icefields or the Athabasca Falls. Walk, hike or bike, go fishing, canoe or kayak, soak or swim or just spend a few hours in the friendly town of Jasper.

With timeless, sacred beauty, Jasper National Park is a treasure.
Rent a canoe on Maligne Lake. There is also a tour boat.

On the mighty Athabasca River, view from Wapitii campground

At the beach, the water is clear and cold
Athabasca Falls
Glaciers, Edith Cavelle

Tips for tent camping in Jasper National Park:

-put all food and cooking equipment away in a fully closed vehicle
-only have food out when you are cooking or eating
-no food, cosmetics or soaps in the tent ever
-be sure your tent is protected from rain with a full tent fly
-nights are cool, so have warm sleeping gear

Elk pass through the campground in the late afternoon.