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Top things to do in Jasper National Park

See all 30 things to do in Jasper National Park

Things To Do in Jasper National Park

Spanning out over more than 4,200 square miles (10,878 sq km), Jasper National Park is the largest park in the Canadian Rockies—nearly twice the size of nearby Banff National Park. Located less than 4 hours from the metropolis of Edmonton, the park offers city dwellers access to a vast expanse of mountains, forests, waterfalls, lakes, and glaciers. Jasper National Park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elk and grizzlies, while the tiny town of Jasper boasts rustic lodges, diverse eateries, and casual brewpubs. Whether you want to explore the famous icefields, go rafting on the river, or head out in search of wildlife, there are countless things to do for lovers of the outdoors.

Areas & Neighborhoods

Jasper — The quaint city of Jasper, with a permanent population of less than 5,000 people, is the commercial hub of Jasper National Park. Sitting along the Athabasca River amid spectacular alpine scenery, the city serves as a lovely and convenient place to stay when visiting the park. Along the main street of Connaught Drive, find homey hotels, charming souvenir shops, and restaurants with a range of cuisine from pizza and burgers to Indian and Chinese. Just outside the center of town, visitors can find incredible sights like Pyramid Mountain, Medicine Lake, and the Maligne Canyon Trailhead. Of Jasper’s attractions, the SkyTram is undoubtedly the favorite. Hop in the cable car for a ride high up into the Canadian Rockies.

Maligne Lake — Roughly an hour south of Jasper, Maligne Lake is a picturesque spot with 3 glaciers that are visible from the water. Here, at the second-largest glacier-fed lake in the world, you can rent a kayak at the boathouse, explore the wilderness on a cruise, or go hiking on any of the trails that begin near the lake. Once you’ve worked up an appetite, head back to the Maligne Lake Lodge for a hearty meal overlooking the water.

Marmot Basin — Just south of town, the Marmot Basin ski resort is an ideal spot to hit the slopes. Operating from early November to the beginning of May, the resort covers 1,675 acres (678 ha), with 86 runs, 7 chairlifts, and an expertly designed terrain park. Day lodges—1 at the base and 2 at the middle of Marmot Mountain—feature dining rooms, lounges, and sundecks.

Miette Hot Springs — An hour to the northeast of Jasper, the Miette Hot Springs provide the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate sore muscles. Flowing from springs at more than 396 gallons (1,500 liters) per minute, these mineral-rich waters are kept between 98 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit (37–40 C) to ensure a comfortable and relaxing dip. Set outdoors amid the Fiddle River Valley, the pool offers sweeping views of the verdant forests and towering mountains.

Mount Edith Cavell — Of all the mountains in Jasper National Park, Mount Edith Cavell—40 minutes south of the city—is by far the most renowned. From the trailhead, embark on a short hike through beautiful forests to the Cavell Meadows, where you’re met with stunning views of the surrounding mountains and the Angel Glacier flowing down the face.

What to See in Jasper National Park

Scope out the most majestic views of the Canadian Rockies from the top of Whistlers Peak. From the base station of the Jasper SkyTram, board a cable car for a sensational ride through the clouds to the top of the mountain. The tram—the longest and highest aerial tramway in Canada—takes you to an altitude of 7,470 feet (2,277 m). Upon reaching the top, bask in the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, with views that include 6 mountain ranges, winding rivers, and the town of Jasper beneath your feet.

For even more incredible sights, head to the Glacier Skywalk at the south end of the park. This glass-floor platform takes you literally over the edge on walkway that juts 100 feet (30 m) from the side of a cliff. As you stand 918 feet (280 m) above the floor of the valley, gaze out upon views of the dramatic waterfalls and glaciers that make up the region.

Things to Do, Landmarks & Attractions

There’s no end to the outdoor adventure to be found in Jasper National Park. On a full-day tour, explore the frozen expanse of the Columbia Icefield as you learn all about the erosive legacy of the Crowfoot Glacier. For fans of animals, an evening tour takes you on a search to see elk, bear, moose, and deer, while a visit to Jasper’s Wildlife Museum recreates other animals that are native to the park.

Thrill-seekers of all ages will love a whitewater rafting excursion on the Athabasca River, but if you prefer something calmer, a cruise on Maligne Lake is an ideal way to spend a serene afternoon. In the winter, powder-hounds are sure to love the snowy terrain at Marmot Basin, where 86 runs of various levels are just waiting to be discovered.

And of course, you can’t be in the alpine landscape of Jasper without embarking on a hike or two. With a certified guide leading the way, explore the craggy trails of the Maligne Canyon, trekking over rivers, waterfalls, and centuries-old rocks.