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13 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Athabasca Falls, Jasper

13 Things to KNOW Before Visiting Athabasca Falls, Jasper

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Fed by runoff from the Columbia Icefields, Athabasca Falls are incredibly strong and an impressive sight to see. You’ll hear this powerful waterfall thundering before you can even see it! 

We love visiting Athabasca Falls whenever we are in Jasper as it’s conveniently located along the Icefields Parkway. If we have time just for a quick stop, or long enough to hike the short trail that gives the best views, it’s worth a stop. Especially if you’re visiting in the winter, as the waterfall completely freezes! 

Before you go chasing waterfalls, we put together this guide on everything you should know before visiting Athabasca Falls, and other fun things to explore in the area!

1. About Athabasca Falls 

Mountain backdrop at Athabasca Falls, Jasper
It’s a stunning waterfall!
Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park

Athabasca Falls is a picturesque stop on the drive between Jasper and Banff. It’s well known not for its height, but for its extreme force. This 24-meter (79-foot) waterfall is categorized as a class five fall – which essentially means it’s crazy powerful! 

The large quantities of water come from the Athabasca Glacier, part of the Columbia Icefield. The powerful falls are part of the Athabasca River which is the biggest river in Jasper.

These majestic falls have carved out the cliffs around them creating gorgeous, rock formations over the years. You can see the falls from a few different angles with the short walk along a boardwalk to different viewpoints. With that mountain backdrop, I think Athabasca Falls is one photogenic waterfall!

2. Where is Athabasca Falls?

The rock in the middle of Athabasca Falls, Jasper
The iconic split in the falls!

Athabasca Falls is easily accessible from Jasper. If you’re spending a few days exploring Jasper National Park, Athabasca Falls must be added to your itinerary!

From Jasper, it’s only a quick 32-km (20-mile) drive down the Icefields Parkway that should take you under 30 minutes to reach the stunning Athabasca Falls. This is a great day trip, as there are lots of hiking options surrounding the falls!

While it is a little further, you can take a trip from Banff to see the falls. The 257-km (160-mile) drive from Banff should take around 3 hours and follows the Icefields Parkway nearly the entire way (Highway 93 will split off to Highway 1 to reach Banff). Having taken this drive multiple times, I can confidently say it is one of the most beautiful stretches of road I have ever driven and full of interesting stops, like this waterfall!

From Lake Louise, Athabasca Falls is about 200 km (125 miles) and follows the same beautiful drive for around 2 hours along the Icefields Parkway. There are lots of activities along this route from Lake Louise to Jasper, so you can make it a multi-day trip to see the beautiful sights before you reach Athabasca Falls. 

You can either rent a car and make the trip from wherever you’re staying or you can hop on one of the tours of the Icefields Parkway. We will go into more detail about later on in this blog!

Related Read: If you want to stay closer to the falls and other attractions on this scenic stretch of road, these are some great places to stay along the Icefields Parkway!

3. Is it free to visit Athabasca Falls? 

Athabasca Falls as seen from one of the viewpoints along the Icefields Parkway, Canada
Running water below Athabasca Falls

Yes, it is free to visit Athabasca Falls! However, you do need a Canada Parks Pass to drive on the Icefields Parkway and enter Jasper National Park. You can purchase these passes at any park gate or online ahead of time.

There are two types of park passes, the Daily Pass and the Discovery Pass. If you’re only exploring the area for a short time, the day pass might be a good option. It is $11 CAD per day, per adult, or $22 CAD per vehicle. 

If you’re going to be doing more exploring, I recommend getting the Discovery Pass which permits you to visit all of Canada’s National Parks. It is approximately $151.25 CAD per vehicle and is good for an entire year. 

4. Is there parking at Athabasca Falls?

Athabasca Falls from the side
Athabasca Falls from the side

There is a large parking lot at the falls. Unlike many of the other popular attractions in this area, Athabasca Falls has plenty of spots to park. The best part is that it’s totally free to park here! 

The parking lot doesn’t get completely full very often, so you shouldn’t have an issue finding a spot. Having said that – it will be busier during the summer, especially on weekends.

Getting to the falls is a short walk from the parking lot along a boardwalk, so it is easily accessible for most people! 

5. When is the best time to visit Athabasca Falls? 

Athabasca Falls water rishing through the canyon

I typically try to visit the falls in the morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds. Because this is such an accessible and stunning sight, it is one of the most popular things to do in Jasper. But, if you can manage to get up early and beat the crowd or schedule your day a little later, you’ll have a nice and quiet visit!

It really doesn’t matter what time of year you visit Athabasca Falls. It is open year-round and uniquely beautiful in each season! Autumn is always my favorite time of year to visit, but spring is great because the falls are even more powerful with the fresh snowmelt. Regardless, it will be well worth a visit no matter when you’re in the Jasper area. 

6. Can you visit Athabasca Falls in winter? 

Blue and green water below Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park
It’s just as stunning in winter!
Athabasca Falls in winter 1

Yes, and we have! Visiting Athabasca Falls in winter is one of the prettiest times to see it, as the falls turn into a winter wonderland.

There’s something extra special if you’re visiting Jasper during the holidays too – it has that festive spirit about it that you’ll feel like you’re in a Hallmark Movie!

However, take caution driving on the Icefields Parkway in winter. From Jasper, this drive is certainly doable. If you’re traveling from Banff, keep in mind that the road can close over the pass which would cut off access to the falls. Check conditions before you go and be sure to keep your safety a priority.

7. How long is the hike to Athabasca Falls? 

Entrance to Athabasca Falls
Entrance to Athabasca Falls

To Athabasca Falls 

The hike to Athabasca Falls is relatively easy and has a huge payout when it comes to views (this is my favorite type of hike!). It’s a 1 km (0.6 mile) out-and-back trail and takes about 15 minutes to complete.

This short trail is very accessible with paved pathways leading to various overlook points of the falls and canyon. I will warn you that some of the viewing areas are small, so if you go during a busy time you may have to wait your turn to get up close to take some photos. That’s why we try to come early in the morning if we can!

The short trail is great for families or a beautiful stop to get out and stretch your legs while you’re road-tripping along the Icefields Parkway.

To Geraldine Lakes 

Okay, I can’t lie, I actually love more challenging hikes. So while the short trail to Athabasca Falls is certainly sweet, I truly enjoy the more challenging hike to Geraldine Lake!

This 5.1 km (3.2 miles) out-and-back trail is ranked as moderate to challenging and can take a few hours to complete. If you’re up for an adventure though, the path takes you through the forest and right beside lakes and waterfalls.

To find the Geraldine Lakes trailhead, you’ll drive past Athabasca Falls and find the Geraldine Fire Road, which is a dirt road. The trailhead is about 6 km (3.7 miles) down this road and there is generally ample parking available. However, this is a rough road to drive and might be a challenge if you’re in a smaller car.

This hike is really cool because if you want even more of a challenge, you can hike to a second lake for an 11.7 km (7.3 miles) trip. If you’re feeling really adventurous, there is also a third and fourth lake that you can hike to, but there is no trail and the route is difficult, so that’s only for advanced hikers.

Related Read: There are also some great hikes from the top of the Jasper SkyTram! Or you can stroll along the boardwalk and take in the view up there if hikes aren’t your thing.

8. What are the best tours that visit Athabasca Falls? 

Athabasca Falls as seen from the bridge at the attraction

From Jasper

Jasper to Lake Louise one-way tour

If you’re staying in Jasper but want to explore the Lake Louise area, then this one-way tour is a great way to get you there and see everything in between! I recommend this option for those who don’t have a rental car, or simply enjoy the luxuries of a tour – I know I certainly do!

There is truly so much to see along the Icefields Parkway, so having a guide to provide transportation and plan your agenda is a huge stress relief in my book. You can sit back and enjoy the views!

You’ll see all the top highlights including, of course, Athabasca Falls and some of my other favorite stops such as the Weeping Wall, Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, and more! The really exciting part is taking four hours to take part in both the Glacier Adventure Tour where you go right onto the Athabasca Glacier and the Glacier Skywalk experience overlooking the Sunwapta Valley. 

Walking on top of the Athabasca Glacier is one of the top Jasper experiences I’ve ever had, so I can’t recommend this tour enough!

This jam-packed day is a great way to see the area. Hotel pickup/dropoff, transportation, your guide, the Glacier Adventure combo, and a picnic lunch are all included in your $295 CAD adventure!

Canadian Rockies tour by chauffeured sidecar

Experience the Icefields Parkway from a totally different point of view by traveling in a sidecar! If motorcycling is something you’ve always wanted to try, taking this sidecar tour is a great first taste. The views you get from being on the open road are breathtaking. You’ll feel the wind in your hair and get a full 360-degree view of the incredible mountain scenery!

What I really love about this tour is that it’s customizable. Your Harley-Davidson driver will pick you and one other person up in Jasper, and you can decide the destination and stops along the way! You can choose a tour of 1-3 hours and have the potential to see Athabasca Falls, soak in natural hot springs, explore the iconic lakes, or just take a scenic drive. 

The driver, hotel pickup/dropoff, and sidecar are included. You can also choose to sit on the back of the motorcycle if the sidecar isn’t your style. This tour can be booked starting at $158 CAD per person. 

Jasper to Banff one-way tour

This tour is perfect for your itinerary to explore both Jasper and Banff National Parks. It’s also a convenient option if you need transportation to Banff – two birds, one stone!

Leaving from Jasper, this full-day tour takes you along the scenic Icefields Parkway. The drive takes you to see some of the most iconic stops along the parkway, such as Athabasca Falls, Crowfoot Glacier, and more!

The big adventure is exploring the Athabasca Glacier with an expert guide (and filling up your water bottle with fresh glacier water!) along with taking a walk on the Columbia Icefield Skywalk. The Skywalk looks 280 meters (918 feet) below at the glaciers, mountains, and waterfalls. If you’re not too afraid of heights, this really is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!

These two experiences are some of our all-time favorite tours in the Rockies!

This full day of adventure includes hotel pickup/dropoff, transportation, all admission fees, and a picnic lunch for $299 CAD.

Crowfoot Glacier Viewpoint on the Icefields Parkway in Canada
Crowfoot Glacier!

From Banff and Lake Louise

Banff to Jasper one-way tour

If you’re traveling in the opposite direction from Banff to Jasper, this one-way tour lets you see two of Canada’s most popular national parks in one day! 

This tour provides hotel pick up from Banff and drop off in Jasper. You’ll spend the day touring the Icefields Parkway and make stops at my favorite attractions – Bow Lake, Crowfoot Glacier, Athabasca Falls, Lake Louise, and the Weeping Wall. 

When you reach the Columbia Icefield, your guide will lead you on a hike to the Athabasca Glacier or take the Glacier Skywalk over the Sunwapta Valley. These are both essential Banff/Jasper activities if you ask me!

This tour is an excellent way to experience both parks! You’ll have hotel pickup/drop-off, transportation, entrance fees, and lunch included for $299 CAD. This is a seasonal tour available from May to October, so if you’re traveling during that time, make sure to book your dates beforehand.

Lake Louise to Jasper one-way tour

I highly recommend spending a night or two in the Lake Louise area. There is so much to explore and let’s be frank – it’s stunning! After you finish up at Lake Louise, I suggest traveling to Jasper on this tour from Lake Louise! Like the others we’ve mentioned, you’ll have a day of adventure as you are transported, too.

The tour will pick you up at your hotel near Lake Louise and drop you off in Jasper. The day is full of exploring, making stops at Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, the Weeping Wall, and Athabasca Falls, all of which are picturesque landscapes!

Included in the tour is exploring the Athabasca Glacier and Sunwapta Valley Skywalk. We love this tour because it has a maximum of 15 guests, so the smaller group allows you to ask questions and get to know your guide. 

This tour provides hotel pickup and drop-off, lunch, entrance fees to parks, and your guide for $295 CAD.

Why We Book Tours with Viator

Viator is a trusted online booking system for tours around the world! We almost always book our tours using Viator for a couple of reasons:

  • Free cancellation on most tours – Most of the tours on Viator allow you to cancel and get a full refund up to 24 hours in advance. This is handy in case plans change, or if booking an outdoor activity, the weather forecast is looking grim.
  • Reserve now and pay later – You can secure your spot on some of the most popular tours well in advance and not pay until closer to the day of the tour.
  • Lowest price guarantee – If you happen to find the same tour at a lower price elsewhere, Viator will refund you the price difference.
  • Pay in your chosen currency – Avoid costly international transaction fees by choosing to pay in your home currency.
  • Peace of mind – When booking with tour operators you find in person on the street or in small booking offices, you are often promised one thing and given another. This online platform holds tour operators accountable with a written description of inclusions as well as the opportunity for customers to leave reviews.

Check out the Viator website here! Or, for more info, read our detailed review about Viator here.

9. Can you whitewater raft Athabasca Falls? 

Bailey smiles at the camera while white water rafting in Jasper
The whitewater rafting is done elsewhere!

Unfortunately, you can’t whitewater raft Athabasca Falls. The water is too high, powerful, and dangerous. Once you see it for yourself, you won’t want to raft down it! But you can take whitewater rafting tours in Jasper along the Athabasca River, which feeds the falls! So you can still experience this incredible sight but in a safe way.

My favorite way to whitewater raft is to book a tour. I love having the guides and they take care of all of the equipment, so I can just have fun! Plus, booking ahead of time lets me read all the reviews, so I know that I will remain safe and have a positive experience.

Keep in mind these tours are seasonal and typically run from late May/early June until the end of September.

Athabasca Falls run

For an afternoon of adventure and a great way to see the Athabasca area, this whitewater rafting tour is a must! We took this same tour and had a blast. The guides, the rapids, and the company all made for a memorable day!

No roads lead to the area of the river we floated down, so we got a look at the vast untouched wilderness while paddling down the glacier-melt river. 

We had the three-hour tour, which took us down two sets of Class II rapids. These are great for beginners and aren’t intense, but are still fun for those who have done it before. You’ll have stretches of calm water so you can take in the scenery and learn from your expert guide. I personally love rafting tours because they are exciting and a great way to get to know an area!

Keep in mind that this tour is 3 hours in total, including a 30-minute bus ride each way, and the time required to set up.

This tour leaves from Jasper and transports you right to the river where you’ll start at the base of Athabasca Falls. It includes all of your rafting equipment but be sure to wear a swimsuit – you’ll get wet! You can book this tour for $116 CAD.

Athabasca River easy scenic raft trip

For a more relaxed rafting experience where you’ll have more time to enjoy the view than worry about paddling, this scenic rafting trip is our pick. This two-hour tour is good for any age or skill level, so it’s a great fit for families or beginners.

During this rafting tour down the Athabasca River, we loved how our guide kept us entertained with stories about the area as we floated down the Athabasca River. They also point out any unique plants or animals and describe how fur traders also went down this same waterway.

We went through some Class II rapids, which are enough to make it fun, but not too challenging. The tour departs from Jasper and includes your transportation to the river. We saw lots of kids having a blast on this tour – you can book for any kids ages 6 and up.

This tour can be booked for $89 CAD for adults and $35 CAD for children. It is only available Monday through Friday from mid-May through September.

Athabasca Canyon run family rafting with rapids

For another family fun activity, this rafting tour kicks it up a notch! You’ll explore the Athabasca River and hear the thundering falls behind you as you whitewater raft through Class II rapids.

This tour is longer and slightly more adventurous than the previous tours. You’ll start at the base of Athabasca Falls and float down a 12-kilometer (7.5-mile) stretch of river. This has a good balance of Class II rapids and calm sections and you’re on the water for around an hour and a half. 

This excursion runs for 3.5 hours and can be booked for a morning or afternoon departure time. Families are welcome with an age minimum of five years old. 

If you’re a family of adventurers, I can’t think of a better way to experience the Athabasca Valley! All rafting equipment, transportation to the river, and your guide are included in this tour. You can book this tour for $118 CAD for adults and $64 CAD for children. 

Related Read: If you’re looking for more epic rafting adventures, read our entire guide to whitewater rafting in Jasper or find some fun rafting tours in Banff!

10. Is Athabasca Falls wheelchair friendly? 

Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park

The main trail leading to the lookout of Athabasca Falls is paved and wheelchair friendly! This path leads directly from the parking lot and is relatively short. You’ll be able to access various lookout points on the way to the falls, as well as the main overlook.

11. What facilities will you find at Athabasca Falls? 

Athabasca Falls along the Icefields Parkway, Banff
Athabasca Falls with mountains in the background

The facilities at Athabasca Falls are nice and well-maintained. The parking lot is big and you never really have to worry about running out of spots (which is rare in the Jasper area).

There are dry toilets in the parking lot, but none by the falls. Since the walk to the falls is pretty short, it’s not really an issue! 

There are also picnic tables and a day-use area – I love bringing lunch and enjoying the scenery here. The path to the falls is paved and short, so it’s accessible for most travelers. 

12. What are other places to visit near Athabasca Falls? 

The Goats and Glacier Viewpoint, Canada, Icefields Parkway
We saw no goats but the views are breathtaking!

Goats and Glacier Lookout

Only 5 minutes from Athabasca Falls is the Goats and Glacier Lookout, or what many call the “Goat Lick.” The name comes from the fact that mountain goats like to hang around here and lick the minerals on the cliffs.

The last time Daniel and I stopped in here we didn’t see any goats, but the view was still worth the drive! You’ll find a small parking lot on the side of the road with this viewpoint near the edge. It’s a quick stop, but worth it to snap some great photos and see if you can spot any goats!

Athabasca Pass Lookout

If you’re driving from Jasper to Athabasca Falls, you’ll pass by Athabasca Pass Lookout, so why not stop in on the way? It’s on the west side of the park about 26 kilometers (16 miles) south of Jasper and only a 5-minute drive north of Athabasca Falls. 

This historic lookout point gives breathtaking views of the mountain range and the Athabasca River below. The scenic spot has information plaques to give some history of the area and point out what mountains you are looking at! It’s a good rest point as you’re exploring the Icefields Parkway, or if you simply want to soak in all you can of the Athabasca Valley!

Sunwapta Falls

If you can’t get enough waterfalls (like me!), then you can see another amazing waterfall in Jasper National Park with a visit to Sunwapta Falls. This is another powerful waterfall located on the Icefields Parkway – about a 15-20 minute drive from Athabasca Falls.

There’s a big parking lot here where you can park almost next to the falls, so there’s not a lot of walking involved to see it. Saying that there are a couple of nice trails around the falls so you can take in some different viewpoints. If you don’t have a ton of time to spend here, take the easy walk (800 meters/0.5 miles) to the Upper Falls. If you have a bit more time, then keep walking a further 2 km/1.2 miles to the Lower Falls.

This is another waterfall that’s open in all different seasons. We like coming in May or June when the water flow is at its peak for all the waterfalls in the park, but this is another cool waterfall to see when it’s iced over in the winter.

13. Is visiting Athabasca Falls worth it? 

Athabasca River runs into Athabasca Falls
Yes!

Yes, Athabasca Falls is certainly worth a visit! It is one of the most famous waterfalls in the Canadian Rockies and honestly one of the most beautiful waterfalls I’ve ever seen. The sheer power of the falls is seriously impressive!

Being right off the Icefields Parkway makes visiting Athabasca Falls a breeze. You can make a day of it by taking a hike or visiting some of the lookout points to soak in the beauty of the falls, the river, and the entire valley. It is also close to many other attractions, so it can easily be a stop on a road trip through Jasper! 

Regardless, I think visiting Athabasca Falls needs to be added to everyone’s Jasper or Banff itinerary! 

Other Activities to do While You’re in Jasper

Maligne Canyon Icewalk in Jasper National Park
The Maligne Canyon icewalk!
A person canoes around Spirit Island on Maligne Lake, Canada
Take a cruise on Maligne Lake to see this famous spot!

Jasper National Park is just filled with fun things to do and see! So besides visiting Maligne Lake, there are a few other activities that we recommend that you check off your to-do list. They are:

  • Spirit Island – Maligne Lake is arguably the most famous lake in Jasper National Park. At Maligne Lake, you can hike, canoe on the lake, or eat at a lakeside restaurant. However, the best activity at the lake is this scenic Maligne Lake Cruise which takes you out on the water for the best vantage point. The cruise also takes you to the famous Spirit Island, which is so picture-perfect that you’ve likely seen it on Instagram before.
  • Spot wildlife – Jasper National Park is a fantastic place to look for animals in the Rocky Mountains! While you’re sure to spot a few while driving or walking around, the best way to guarantee you’ll see some is on a wildlife tour in Jasper. This morning wildlife tour even has a 95% success rate of seeing animals!
  • Explore Maligne Canyon – Located on the edge of Jasper town is the beautiful Maligne Canyon, where you can hike alongside and peer down into the deep canyon. There are also a few bridges you can walk on to really take in the views. In the winter, we highly recommend doing an icewalk in the canyon where you put on ice cleats and explore frozen waterfalls, ice caves, and walk in the middle of the frozen canyon!
  • Visit Pyramid LakePyramid Lake is a calm lake that offers reflections of the surrounding mountains including the symmetrical Pyramid Mountain. In the summer, you can swim, hike, canoe, and SUP on the lake. In winter, go ice skating or ride in a horse-drawn sleigh. For an extra special treat, spend the night lakeside at the Pyramid Lake Resort.

Where to Stay in Jasper

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge on a winter day covered in snow
Easily one of the most stunning places to stay in Jasper. Photo credit: Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge.

Visiting Athabasca Falls is easiest from Jasper, so the best place to stay is obviously in town! However, accommodation in Jasper is limited, so it’s important to book your stay as far in advance as possible.

Here, I’ve handpicked some of my personal favorite hotels in Jasper suitable for any type of traveler whether you’re on a budget or splurging while on vacation. If you need even more options, check out our full guide to the best hotels in Jasper National Park.

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – $$$

Rated as a 4-star property, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge offers a luxurious accommodation experience in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. I personally like this resort as it has an award-winning golf course, eight on-site restaurants, and a 10,000-square-foot spa.

But what I love the most about Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is its location. It isn’t walking distance from downtown, but only a very short drive which makes it a quiet nature escape still within close proximity to the amenities of town. The best of both worlds!

With prices starting at $239 CAD (expect higher prices in the summer), it’s the only luxury option in Jasper and is the perfect choice if you’re planning a romantic occasion or honeymoon in Jasper! So book a room online and enjoy a taste of luxury in Jasper.

Jasper Inn & Suites – $$

Jasper Inn & Suites is one of the best Jasper hotels because it’s located in the heart of Jasper. Well-furnished, each room comes with a fan, a flat-screen TV, tea and coffee-making facilities, and a fridge. Additionally, free Wi-Fi access is available in all accommodations. You can book a double room here starting from approximately $154 CAD a night, although prices do fluctuate seasonally.

What makes this hotel one of my favorites is its facilities such as a sauna, steam room, indoor pool, hot tub, ski lockers, ski wax room, and free parking space. It even offers on-site dining and guests can fuel up with authentic Canadian cuisine. During the summer season, guests can relax on the outdoor terrace. Check availability and book a room here online.

Jasper Downtown Hostel – $

Jasper Downtown Hostel is the best place to stay for those on a tight budget. The central location shared facilities, and friendly atmosphere makes it a great option. They offer budget dorm beds starting at $40 CAD as well as affordable private rooms from $95 CAD per night.

While staying at this budget-friendly hostel, you can freely relax in the lounge or use the laundry facilities and a shared kitchen. Free parking is also available on-site. Other than that, free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property.

You can easily book a stay on either Hostelworld.com or Booking.com.

Parks Canada Pass Quick Info

If you plan on spending time in Canada’s national parks (including Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Mount Revelstoke, Glacier, Kootenay, and more) then you’re going to have to pay for a Parks Pass.

Single Daily Admission:

This type of pass is valid for one person for one day. It is ONLY the best value if you are traveling alone and only plan to visit a national park for a couple of days.

  • Adult (ages 18-64) is $11 CAD
  • Senior (65+) is $9.50 CAD
  • Youth/Child (17 or younger) is FREE

Group Daily Admission:

If you’re traveling in a group or with family, you can buy a single-day admission for your entire vehicle (up to 7 people in one vehicle.)

  • $22.00 CAD gets your entire vehicle entry for one full day

Parks Canada Discovery Pass

The “Discovery Pass” is what Parks Canada calls their year-long (365 days from the purchase date), multi-park entry pass. This pass will give 365 days of access to all participating national parks in Canada. This includes the most popular parks like Banff, Jasper, Yoho, Kootenay, Glacier, Mount Revelstoke, and so much more.

  • Adult (age 18-64) – $75.25 CAD
  • Senior (65+) – $64.50 CAD
  • Group/Family (up to 7 people in one vehicle) – $151.25 CAD

Hot Tip: Although more expensive up front, if you plan on spending more than 7 days in different parks in Canada within a 12-month period, then the Discovery Pass is actually the better deal!

Parks Canada Passes can be bought online here or at one of the Visitor Centers or booths at the entrance to many national parks.

Renting a Car in Alberta

A car drives along the Icefields Parkway
The drive is mesmerizing!

If you’re arriving in Alberta via plane then I can’t recommend getting a rental car enough. Canada is a large country and traveling between cities and even just getting out to some of the best places to visit in Alberta requires transport. Although you can use public transport, on some occasions, it means your trip will not only require more time but more planning.

Renting a car will definitely make exploring all of the fun things to see and do in Alberta easier.

Car rental in Canada isn’t super cheap, but it isn’t overly expensive either, especially if you get a budget car. The cheapest car with pickup and drop-off in different locations is around $100 CAD per day. The price does vary though depending on the time of year and the type of car that you rent. For car rentals, I use the website DiscoverCars.com. It’s a search engine with lots of deals with good customer service. In fact, I’ve used them all over the world including in Chile, New Zealand, and Australia. Read our honest review of Discover Cars here for more details!

Another popular option is to rent a campervan or motorhome (only for the brave in winter.) Using Motorhome Republic you can search hundreds of deals across multiple companies to pick a great vehicle and the cheapest price. Having a motorhome is a stunning way to see Canada, and using crown land and campsites, you can often camp for free or very cheap in the most beautiful places imaginable!

Thanks for reading!

Bailey stands on the bridge over Athabasca Falls in winter
Thanks for reading!

I think no visit to Jasper, Alberta is complete without a stop at Athabasca Falls! I’ve been here more times than I can count and it’s still just as impressive every time I visit – even in the winter.

I hope this guide has given you lots of tips for visiting Athabasca Falls and the Jasper area. If you’re looking for even more ideas for your upcoming trip, have a look at our other Jasper or Banff blogs. We hope you have an amazing time in the Rockies!

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