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Our Favorite 33 Activities in Jasper +Places to Eat (2024)

Our Favorite 33 Activities in Jasper +Places to Eat (2024)

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Jasper is a small town located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies in Jasper National Park. With endless hiking trails, dozens of turquoise lakes, and one of Canada’s top-rated ski resorts, Jasper is an ideal destination for any outdoor enthusiast all year round.

But there is more to Jasper than that.

Jasper is a town rich in history, and that is apparent as soon as you see the historic train station and 100-year-old movie theatre (that’s still operating today!) On top of that, the town is super cute boasting plenty of boutique shops and lovely cafes and restaurants. Want to sit back and enjoy mountain views with a drink in hand? There’s a rooftop patio for that in Jasper!

I actually grew up in Edmonton, just a short 3-hour drive from Jasper, so I’ve visited Jasper more times than I can count over the years. Now, Daniel and I also make our way to Jasper a couple of times each year – we just love it that much!

For that reason, we’ve compiled this comprehensive list of what we think are the 33 absolute best things to do in Jasper, Alberta. The activities listed here are ones we personally love and lots are lesser-known attractions. We’ve also included a range of things to do both in the winter and the summer and top Jasper tours in all seasons so you’ll have lots of choices no matter when you visit! 

The BEST Things to do and see in Jasper

1. Ride the SkyTram

Bailey at the Sky Tram building at one of the viewpoints in Jasper National Park
What a view!
Bailey stands on one of the viewpoints on the hiking trails at the top of the Jasper SkyTram
Go for a short hike for even more views!

I had to start my blog with one of the most popular things to do in Jasper – the SkyTram! Riding the Jasper SkyTram has gained popularity simply because the views you get from the peak of Whistlers Mountain are unmatched by any other view.

The Jasper SkyTram is different than most of the other mountain gondolas we’ve seen around Western Canada. Instead of a small gondola cabin or chairlift, the SkyTram is actually a larger tram where up to 24 people stand in the tram. The tram then climbs Whistlers Mountain at a speed of 6 meters per second, all while your “flight attendant” tells you all about this historic tram and Jasper.  

At the end of your ride, you’ll reach a viewing platform complete with an indoor area, gift shop, and restaurant. There is also a 1.4-kilometer-long hike (0.9-mile) you can do to reach the summit of Whistlers Mountain. But honestly, you don’t have to hike to the summit to get the beautiful views, and right from where the tram drops you off you’ll have panoramic vistas.

When Dan and I recently rode the Jasper SkyTram we didn’t get the best weather and it was rainy, windy, and cloudy! But with that said, from up that high the views were still amazing and to me, it’s an activity well-worth doing in Jasper – even if it isn’t a bluebird day. 

The Jasper SkyTram is open from the end of March to October each year between the hours of 9 am and 5 pm. Because there are only two trams, they can only transport a limited number of people at one time. For this reason, you should book your SkyTram flight well in advance to secure your departure time slot.

View from above on the Jasper SkyTram looking down on the pine trees
Looking down from the SkyTram!

You can book your SkyTram flight on the Jasper SkyTram website directly, or use the popular booking website, Viator both are the same price once you add local taxes. Expect to pay $60 CAD per adult with discounts available for children as well as for early morning rides and sunset rides.

When you book, you will need to select the time you want to ride the tram up and back down. This is actually a new system this year, you used to just select your ride time for the way up and then catch any tram back down. But now you must actually book the return ride time too. This means you need to think about how long you should spend up there, which is a little annoying, but also ensures you don’t get stuck in a long line waiting for a tram back down.

If you just want to check out the view and snap a few photos, an hour should be enough time at the top. If you also want to eat or drink at the Summit Cafe, then allow for around 2 hours. If you want to do the hike to the top of Whistler’s Mountain, you should add an extra hour or so to your other plans. Of course, this all depends on how fast you move and how long you want to relax and enjoy the view.

2. Go whitewater rafting 

Daniel takes a selfie while white water rafting in Jasper, Canada
But first, le me take a selfie!
Bailey smiles while white water rafting in Jasper National Park, Canada

Whitewater rafting is often classified as an adventure activity for those who are looking for a thrilling ride. While this can be true, the great thing about going whitewater rafting in Jasper is that the different rivers around town offer many different rafting experiences!

That’s right, even small children or grandparents can go whitewater rafting in Jasper! 

The whitewater rafting trip we did was on the Athabasca River. It was the perfect mix of an exciting ride while still being scenic and chill. The rapids were Class 2, meaning there were some larger rapids at times but nothing too hectic. There was one younger kid on our boat who had a good time without being scared and nobody fell off or even got close – although a few of the kids (by “kids” I mean the actual child as well as Daniel) jumped off for a swim by choice! 

The whitewater rafting trip we did included transportation from Jasper, an experienced guide, and all safety gear. It costs $96 CAD per person and lasts for about 2 hours (1 hour on the water) so it’s the perfect half-day tour while you’re in Jasper. You must book your whitewater rafting tour in advance to secure your place, it is a very popular tour in the summer months and does fully book. You can book the same whitewater tour as us online here.

If you want the most extreme whitewater rafting tour available in Jasper, then we suggest that you book this extreme rafting tour! It will have you rafting over some Class 3 rapids, and the entire tour lasts for four hours, so it’s a longer experience than the one we did. You can book it online here.

On the other end of the spectrum, you can also choose to book this scenic float instead. This experience is more about just enjoying the views, and you’ll only get a couple of splashes along the way. It’s one of the more relaxing things to do in Jasper. You can book it online here!

The truth is though, that no matter what rafting experience you choose you’re going to have a great time! It’s such a beautiful place to raft and from out on the rivers you get views that many people miss. Not to mention, rafting is a blast!

3. Hike to the viewpoint of Edith Cavell Glacier

Daniel stands below Edith Cavell Glacier
This place is so underrated!
Mount Edith Cavell Glacier in Jasper National Park
The glacier!

Only a short drive from Jasper town takes you to one of the most breathtaking places you can visit in Canada. Edith Cavell Mountain stands tall above a small parking lot and from the parking lot, you can head off and explore a huge valley spotting avalanches as well as a glacier.

We only recently found out about Edith Cavell, and I am shocked that it’s not written about more – it’s such a spectacular place! We actually put together a complete guide on visiting Mount Edith Cavell if you’re planning on going!

The trail from the parking lot is called the Path of the Glacier Trail and it’s a 1.6-kilometer (1-mile) return paved trail to a viewpoint of the glacier. This part of the trail is easily accessible, but for those who want to take a closer look, you’ll need to scramble over rocks at the end. Be careful though, the area is prone to rockslides!

If you want to stretch your legs some more, you can also hike the Cavell Meadows Trail which is 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) return and takes around 3.5 hours. It’s a loop track that is easiest if you go clockwise. Along the way you’ll see glaciers, rockslides, and even cute little Pikas!

To reach Edith Cavell, head 7 km south of Jasper on Highway 93 and turn right onto Highway 93A. Then, after 5.4 km (3.4 mi) turn right onto Cavell Road. The 14-km (8.7 mi) road is narrow and has tight switchbacks that are unsuitable for trailers and large motorhomes. Trailers can be dropped at the entrance to Cavell Road in a designated area. The road is also only open seasonally from May to October, the exact dates are dependent on weather.

4. Visit Pyramid Lake and walk the boardwalk 

Bailey walks along the bridge to Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park, Canada
What a view!

Pyramid Lake is shaped like a kidney and covers an area of 1.2 square kilometers (0.46 square miles). It drains out through Pyramid Creek to the Athabasca River, and is overlooked by Pyramid Mountain, which you can see reflected on the water during the summertime. 

It is just one of the many amazing lakes near Jasper. Located only a 10-minute drive from Jasper town, making it easy to reach. There are two free parking lots close to the Lake. One is next to Pyramid Lake beach, but bear in mind that the road is only open from June – October. The other lot is next to the Pyramid Island bridge and is open all year round.

My favorite thing to do at Pyramid Lake is to walk the boardwalk out to Pyramid Island. From here, you get 360-degree views of the mountains! There is limited parking near the boardwalk, so it is best to come first thing in the morning or later in the evening to have a better chance of getting a spot.  

Just around the lake from the boardwalk there is also a beach area for swimming or renting kayaks or paddleboards as well as a restaurant and hotel. Pyramid Lake Resort would be an amazing place to stay if you want to spend lots of time at the lake, particularly when it is less busy at night and early morning.  

Two people canoe with mountain backdrop at Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park, Canada
The reflections are out of this world!

Canoeing is another great way to combine the beauty of Pyramid Lake with an active adventure! If you want to go independently, then you can rent a two-person canoe from the lodge for $80 CAD per hour, or you can join this guided 3 hour tour for $130 CAD per person. It departs from the lodge at either 8:30 am, 1 pm or 5 pm during the summer, and your guide will help you to spot wildlife along the shore as you go!

If you’re visiting in winter, there are also plenty of ways to enjoy Pyramid Lake. You can actually go ice skating on the lake, which is completely free if you have your own skates (otherwise, rent them from Pyramid Lake Resort.) There are also horse-drawn sleigh rides available, snowshoe tracks, cross-country skiing, and fat biking!

5. Go Skiing at Marmot Basin 

Close up of Bailey skiing down Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park
Go, Bailey!
Bailey skiing at Marmot Basin in Jasper National Park

Marmot Basin in Jasper is recognized as one of the best ski resorts in Canada! The cold weather in Jasper and tons of annual snowfall (over 400 cm/157 in on average) make it the perfect place for those looking to hit the slopes. In fact, at Marmot you’ll find 1,720 skiable acres (696 hectares), 91 different marked runs, and 7 lifts!

One of the things I love about Marmot is that there are plenty of runs for all levels. Even from the very top chairlift, you can find green (easy) runs to get you back to the bottom. This meant that when I was first learning, I could still ride the chairlift with my friends who were more advanced.

The other thing that sets Marmot apart from other ski resorts is their ski/out parking lot! You can park at one of 4 different parking lots that attach to a green (very flat) run. This means that you literally ski from your car to the base of the mountain – it’s pretty cool!

Marmot Basin is located about 30 minutes from Jasper town and is open annually during the winter months typically from mid-November until May (weather dependent, of course.) You can get daily lift passes or longer passes to suit those wanting to spend a couple of days. Expect to pay about $125 CAD a day, but the more days . It is also possible to take ski or snowboard lessons at Marmot as well as rent gear.

If you’re visiting Jasper in the winter then spending at least one day at Marmot is a must! 

6. Cruise on Maligne Lake and see Spirit Island 

A person canoes around Spirit Island on Maligne Lake, Canada
It’s the most famous place in Banff!
Bailey sits on a dock at Spirit Island, Canada

Spirit Island is likely the most photographed spot in all of Jasper National Park. In fact, you’ve probably seen a photo similar to the one above on postcards or plastered all over Instagram – it is simply stunning!

You can’t walk onto Spirit Island as it is a place of significance to the indigenous people. You can, however, walk on the mainland across from it where there is a viewing platform and trail.  

The only problem with visiting Spirit Island is getting there. The island is located 14 kilometers (7 miles) away from the nearest road and parking lot in Home Bay. For this reason, many people make use of the backcountry campsites along the way and turn it into a multi-day kayaking adventure.  

But there is one very easy way to get to Spirit Island that involves no paddling at all and that’s by taking the Maligne Lake Cruise

Going on the Maligne Lake Cruise is the fastest and easiest way to get to Spirit Island. The cruise departs right from the shore of Maligne Lake next to the parking lot and takes you all the way out to Spirit Island and then back again.  

But the cruise isn’t just about seeing Spirit Island, it is about enjoying the amazing scenery around Maligne Lake including towering mountains and glaciers. It’s a guided cruise, and your guide will provide tons of informative commentary along the way. When Dan and I were on the cruise, we found our guide to be really funny and he answered lots of questions we had! 

View of Spirit Island Maligne Lake on a sunny day in Jasper National Park, Canada
Spirit Island!

Cruises depart regularly between the months of June and October. It costs about $89 CAD. The cruise lasts 1.5 hours, with about 20 minutes of that time spent walking the viewpoint of Spirit Island.  

Cruises often book up in advance so it is best to secure a ticket in advance online here.

Before or after your cruise, be sure to explore some of the other epic things to do at Maligne Lake. There are lots of hikes, viewpoints, and even restaurants/cafes to enjoy!

Getting to Maligne Lake:

The cruise departs from the Maligne lake car parking lot which is about a 45-minute drive from Jasper town. The drive itself is absolutely stunning also one of the best things to do in Jasper on its own. My advice would be to give yourself some extra time to stop at viewpoints along the drive like Medicine Lake.

If you don’t have your own car or prefer not to drive, the only other way to get to Maligne Lake from Jasper is by joining an organized tour. This guided tour from Jasper visits both Maligne Lake and Medicine Lake! The tour runs from June through mid-October. The $75 CAD cost includes hotel pickup around 8:30 am and drop-off around 6 hours later. You’ll ride in an air-conditioned vehicle, and your guide will share lots of interesting information along the way. There are two options available, so be sure to choose the one that includes the boat tour to Spirit Island if that’s on your bucket-list. You can book it online here.

Related Read: See our top 5 tours to Maligne Lake in Jasper here!

7. Visit Maligne Canyon 

A bridge in Maligne Canyon over a waterfall during summer in Jasper
Cab you spot Bailey?
A waterfall rushes through Maligne Canyon in summer in Jasper
Summer!

Maligne Canyon is one of the most popular attractions in Jasper – and for good reason – it’s gorgeous! This 50-meter (165 ft) deep canyon features a waterfall and lush greenery.  The power of the Maligne River has created some very interesting erosion over the years and it’s really a special place to see for yourself.  

You explore the area via a walking trail crossing over the canyon on various bridges.  

The Maligne Canyon trail actually extends over 6 different bridges and the entire trail takes 2-3 hours to walk. However, the main bridge (bridge one) and viewpoint is very close to the parking lot, and many visitors only go that far.  

It’s 3.7 kilometers (2.3 miles) from the 1st to the 6th canyon bridge, so it takes 1-2 hours each way, depending on your pace and how often you stop to snap photos. If you walk the whole trail out and back you’ll be walking 7.4 kilometers (4.6 miles) in total, so budget around half a day for this.

You can also just do a certain section of the hike if you don’t want to tackle the whole thing in one go. Some visitors park at the main entrance and only go as far as the first bridge. The great thing about the Maligne Canyon Hike is that you can turn back at pretty much any point, so it really is up to you.

The first four bridges are fairly close together, and it only takes around 15-30 minutes to walk from the first to the fourth bridge, depending on how long you stop to soak in the views. The fifth bridge is another 15 minutes on, and then the sixth bridge is another 35 minutes away on foot.

You can also choose to join a guided tour at Maligne Canyon. The great thing about this tour is that it includes transport, so you only have to walk one way and the vehicle picks you up at the other end. This also means you’ll be hiking downhill the whole way without having to hike back up! Transport from Jasper town is also included and the tour costs $72 CAD per person. You can book it online here!

Bailey walking over the Maligne Canyon ice looking at a frozen waterfall
Winter!
Bailey walks past a frozen waterfall as she explores Maligne Canyon in Winter

Maligne Canyon is also one of the Jasper attractions that are open all year round. In the summer, expect a waterfall, and in the winter, a frozen paradise. If you are visiting in the winter, then you simply must do the Maligne Canyon icewalk – it’s incredible!

The Maligne Canyon Icewalk is such a unique experience. You’ll actually walk inside of Maligne Canyon which is full of frozen marvels like waterfalls, ice caves, and rock formations.

Unless you’re an ice walking pro, we definitely think it’s best to go on a guided ice walk in Maligne Canyon, and this tour is our top choice! We think that it’s great value for money at $74 CAD per person, and it also includes hotel pick up and drop off, your guide, and all of your safety equipment, including your boots. So if you don’t already have crampons, snow boots, and a helmet, then the tour is probably cheaper than buying them all anyway!

This is also a small group tour, so it’s a much more friendly and personal experience. Personally, we wouldn’t really want to head out onto the ice as part of a massive herd. You can check all details and book our recommended ice walk tour online here!

Alternatively, you can go on your own, but you need to make sure that you have the right equipment. If you don’t own ice cleats or crampons, make sure to rent some – along with a helmet and some good boots – at a store in town. Otherwise, you can buy cheap crampons that’ll do the trick on Amazon in advance.

To hike the canyon on your own simply park at the parking lot and walk down Maligne Canyon until you reach the entrance to the canyon (just walk until you see it.) From there, explore the canyon following the signage.

8. Enjoy a rooftop patio (with pizza and drinks!) 

Two pizza as Jasper Pizza Place, Jasper
Yum!
Jasper Pizza Place rooftop patio with mountain views
Photo credit: Jasper Pizza Place

Jasper Pizza Place has the best patio in town, and that’s because it is a rooftop patio! From their roof, you’ll have views of all of the surrounding mountains. At sunset, it is the perfect place to enjoy a drink, some really tasty pizza, and of course the sunset patio view! They even have heaters up there in case it’s a little chilly.

They have 24 different pizzas on offer, separated into two categories, deep dish and wood-fired. Their deep dish is the way to go if you’re feeling hungry, and my favorite is the Hidden Valley. This pizza comes with garlic, artichokes, goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, and pesto sauce.

As for drinks, be sure to try some of the local craft beer from Jasper Brewing Co. Or, if you’re a cocktail lover, try some of their signature drinks, such as the Spirit Island Ice Tea or Mexican Mule. With those mountain views, the cocktails are even more enjoyable!

Trust me, the view combined with the delicious food makes this one of those “must-visit” restaurants in Jasper

Jasper Pizza Place is located right in Jasper town on Connaught Drive and it is open daily from 11 am to 11 pm. Expect to pay about $5-8 CAD for a drink and around $20 for a large pizza.  

9. Relax at Miette Hot Springs 

woman stands in the miette hot springs with mountains behind her
Such a beautiful location! Photo Credit: Travel Alberta / Roth and Ramberg

After all that outdoor adventure, nothing will feel better than relaxing in one of Alberta’s best hot springs! Luckily, Miette Hot Springs are right in Jasper National Park.

Miette Hot Springs are actually the hottest hot springs in the Canadian Rockies. For $16.50 CAD per adult (or $53 CAD for a family) you can relax in this natural mineral water. It’s actually one of the cheapest activities in Jasper, which is great if you’re traveling on a tighter budget.

Miette Hot Springs are located about an hour-long drive from Jasper town, which tends to deter some people from visiting. With that being said, the drive out there is gorgeous, and in comparison to the Banff Upper Hot Springs, Miette is much less busy!

Miette Hot Springs are generally open every day from May until September. You can check their website for updated times and details. This year, 2023, Miette is scheduled to open on Friday, May 12.

Hot Tip: Heading to Edmonton? Miette Hot Springs are located along the road from Jasper to Edmonton, making it an easy stop on this road trip!

10. Spot wildlife 

A grizzly bear looks around in Jasper National Park
A young Grizzly Bear in Jasper!

Canadian wildlife is the best! I mean, who doesn’t want to see a grizzly in the wild?! Or, how about a moose, beaver, caribou, or even a fox?! Sure, some of these animals sound scary, but from the comfort of a vehicle or on a guided tour you’re sure to feel a lot safer around them.  

Daniel and I have spotted tons of wildlife around Jasper simply just by driving around and keeping our eyes peeled. But, this is over countless years of exploring the area. If you have limited time in Jasper and seeing some iconic Canadian wildlife is on your bucket list, then your best bet is to join one of the highly-rated wildlife tours available in Jasper.

First thing in the morning or later in the evening are the best times for spotting wildlife, which is why we recommend booking either a morning or evening tour.

This 3-hour morning wildlife tour will take you out nice and early to spot some of the best wildlife that Jasper has to offer. You’ll be picked up from your hotel in Jasper and head out with a fairly small group of no more than 22 others to marvel at the most iconic animals in the Canadian Rockies. 

This morning tour costs $85 CAD for adults and $64 CAD for kids aged 5-14, which we think is great value for money given the quality of this tour. Plus, many of the park’s most famous animals are most active in the early morning, so it’s an excellent time to head out. You can read about all of the details and book this morning tour online here.

The evening is also a great time of day to take a wildlife tour in Jasper. On this evening tour, you’ll head out in the late afternoon for a wildlife-spotting adventure that will last for around 3 hours. The tour is priced the same as the above and also includes hotel pick-up. You can check availability and book the evening tour online here.

11. Go stargazing & visit the Jasper Planetarium 

The milky way as seen from the dark sky preserve in Jasper National Park
The Milky Way over Jasper National Park.

The Royal Astronomical Society of Canada declared Jasper National Park a “Dark Sky Preserve” in 2011, meaning that there is little to no light pollution around making it perfect for stargazing! In fact, Jasper is one of only 17 Dark Sky Preserves in all of Canada!

So, while you’re visiting Jasper be sure to take some time to look up at the stars on a clear night. There are a few stargazing apps you can download that will help you identify constellations and planets, or, you can actually visit the Jasper Planetarium and join a star gazing tour to really learn and experience more! 

There are a couple of different experiences you can choose from at the Jasper Planetarium. The shortest tour involves enjoying a show in a dome theatre with astrology experts. This experience costs $29 CAD and lasts for 40 minutes.

If you’re more interested in looking at stars through a telescope, then you can join the Telescope Experience. You’ll get to see stars and planets through a huge telescope with a guide for 45 minutes. It costs $40 CAD per person.

Or, if you’re really keen, combine the above two experiences for a discounted rate of $65 CAD. You can learn about all of the tours at the Jasper planetarium on their website here.

There is also an annual dark-sky festival held in Jasper in October every year! 

12. Hike the Valley of the 5 Lakes

Two red chairs in the Valley of the 5 Lakes near Jasper, Canada
The Valley of the Five Lakes is so beautiful!
Bailey walks out onto a dock at the Valley of the 5 Lakes in Jasper
You can swim, but the water is freezing!

As one of the easiest and most beautiful hikes in Jasper, it should come as no surprise that hiking the Valley of the Five Lakes trail is one of the best outdoor activities in Jasper. This hiking trail is a fairly easy loop track that can be completed in around 2 hours. Along the way you’ll pass by, you guessed it, five stunning lakes! The lakes are bright green in color, and with the mountains as their background, it’s so picturesque!

When we last hiked this trail, there were a few families with younger children completing it too, so it’s a good family-friendly hike in Jasper. Also, you can swim in the lakes if you dare to brave the cold water.

The Valley of the Five Lakes is a very popular hike in summer, so I recommend arriving early to secure a parking spot and enjoy the hike without crowds. Before 9 am is ideal. Alternatively, hike later in the afternoon after 4 pm, it’s quiet then too.

The entire trail is 5 km/3 mi long, but you don’t have to complete the whole thing. Instead, you can always walk the short track to the first lake and then turn back after that. However, seeing the other lakes is fun too, and the trail only gains 160 meters/525 ft of elevation in total.

The lakes have the most color on a sunny day, so try and time your visit with the sun if possible.

If you’re visiting Jasper during the winter, don’t let the snow deter you! The Valley of the Five Lakes is a popular snowshoeing trail, too. You can easily rent snowshoes in town at Jasper Source for Sports for $15/day!

You’ll find the Valley of the Five Lakes trailhead and parking lot located about a 15-minute drive from Jasper town. The location can be found on Google Maps here.

13. Satisfy your sweet tooth

Bailey enjoys a bever Tail in Jasper
Beaver Tail!
A man makes candy at Candy Bear Lair in Jasper
Candy Bear Lair

I don’t know about you, but after a big day of hiking or skiing, all I want is to eat something sweet! Luckily, there are a couple places right in Jasper to get a sweet treat!

Right in Jasper town is a candy store called the Candy Bear Lair. What sets it apart from most candy stores is that they make lots of the sweets right there in the shop in front of you! The store offers all sorts of candies and chocolates – the caramel chocolates are my absolute favorite!

I must warn you, though, don’t visit unless you plan on buying something. Once you enter the store the smell of chocolate and candy-covered apples will have your mouth watering and I doubt you’ll be able to resist trying a few treats. 

On a hot summer day, the best treat is ice cream! My personal favorite ice cream shop in Jasper is a cute little place located on Connaught Drive called Grandma’s (you can’t miss it as the building is bright pink!) They have over 50 flavors to choose from as well as specialty milkshakes and sundaes on offer – yum!

Want to try something a little different? Well then, get yourself a Beaver Tail! If you’ve never heard of eating a “Beaver Tail” before you’re probably wondering why the heck I would suggest such a weird thing! Well, in the Canadian Rockies a Beaver Tail isn’t exactly what you’d expect.  

Bailey eats and ice cream from Grandma's in Jasper
Bailey doesn’t share!

It isn’t made from beaver at all, and is actually a sweet donut-like treat! It’s a flat pastry that is deep-fried and comes out in the shape of – you guessed it – a beaver tail! Then on top, you’ll get to choose between lots of different toppings with the most popular being peanut butter, Nutella, chocolate spread, candies, ice cream, caramel – truly anything you can think of! 

In Jasper, there is a place called Beaver Tails and here you can go and try one for yourself. Expect to pay about $7-10 CAD for one Beaver Tail but they are quite large and sweet so two people could easily share one.  

Note: There are Beaver Tail restaurants also in Banff and Canmore, so if you miss out in Jasper you can always try it at one of their other locations too! 

14. Go camping 

Bailey sits on the bench at our camsite in jasper while the fire burns
Our little home for a few nights!

Jasper National Park is one of the best places to camp in the great outdoors! Daniel and I love camping and with the expensive hotel prices in Jasper, we find it to be a great option for saving a few bucks during the summertime in Jasper National Park.

There are lots of different campsites around Jasper with the differences between them mostly being location and distance to Jasper town.  

Our personal favorite campsite near Jasper is Wapiti campsite as it is located only a 5-minute drive from Jasper town. However, if you want something a little more remote, consider Wabasso or Wilcox. All of these campsites are run by Parks Canada and must be booked well in advance on their website (normally, as soon as bookings open in March.) 

If you don’t manage to book one of the Parks Canada sites mentioned above, consider trying for one in Snaring that is a first-come-first-serve campsite. Alternatively, about an hour from Jasper is Willam A. Switzer Provincial Park which has loads of campsites to choose from! 

As for facilities, they differ between all of the campgrounds. Some are very basic with no power or flushing toilets, whereas others have fully hot showers and electricity! Of course, the fancier campgrounds are more expensive, but if you love your creature comforts, then it might be worth it to you.

Campgrounds are usually open from May to September annually with the busiest months being July and August. Some campsites are open in the winter, but the selection is limited.

15. Check out the local craft breweries

Bailey with her food and beer at Jasper Brewing Company
Yum!
Huge chicken burger at Jasper Brewing company
The chicken burger is huge!

There’s something about that crisp mountain air that just matches so well with a pint of cold, locally brewed beer. Maybe it’s the fresh mountain water that they use, but beers in the mountains just taste better!

You can’t come to Jasper and skip visiting the Jasper Brewing Company. First of all, they serve their amazing craft beer right on tap. Daniel and I love their Trail Sessions IPA!  Second, they have tasty food. The portions are huge and the prices are good too. The fried chicken burger is so good we get it every time we are in Jasper.  

Jasper Brewing has both indoor seating and an outdoor patio. They are open daily from 12 pm to late and offer a late-night happy hour after 9 pm. Expect to pay about $8.50 CAD for a pint of beer and about $17 for a meal such as a burger.  You’ll see the brewery in Jasper town right on Connaught Drive, you can’t miss it as it’s always buzzing with people. 

A lady drinks a bear at Folding Mountain Brewery and Taproom
Cheers to great craft beer!

If you don’t mind driving a little further, then Folding Mountain Brewing is a must-visit when you are in the area. It is about a 40-minute drive from Jasper. Folding Mountain has both a taproom and kitchen, so you can enjoy a ton of locally-inspired beer and food. Some highlights are the Folding Mountain Lager and the Alpine Cranberry Sour!

If you’re planning to drink a few beers, the Overlander Mountain Lodge is located right on-site and is a great little place to spend a night nestled in the mountains! Folding Brewing is also a good place to stay if you’re heading to Edmonton, as it’s just along Highway 16. 

Related Read: Heading to Edmonton? Read about all of the best things to do in West Edmonton Mall and around the city. Even in the winter in Edmonton there’s lots to see and do (trust me, I lived there for over 15 years!)

16. Drive the Icefields Parkway 

Scenic road down the Icefields Parkway in Canada
What a place!
Peyto Lake Viewpoint in Banff National Park on the Icefields Parkway, Canada
Peyto Lake!

Rated as one of the top 10 most scenic drives in the world by National Geographic, the Icefields Parkway is a 230-kilometer-long (142 miles) stretch of highway that connects Jasper and Lake Louise. Along this drive, you’ll be met with towering mountains, tons of waterfalls, and even the Columbia Icefield! 

Although the drive really should only take around 3 hours (one way from Jasper to Lake Louise), I would give yourself an entire day in order to stop as much as you’d like. Some of our favorite attractions on the Icefields Parkway include the Athabasca Glacier (more details about that next in this blog), Big Bend, Mistaya Canyon, Peyto Lake Viewpoint, and Bow Lake.

Since the Icefields Parkway connects Jasper and Banff National Parks, most people visit all of the attractions on a road trip from one destination to the next. But if Banff isn;t part of your itinerary, you can always drive to a few of the closer attractions from Jasper and return to Jasper on the same day.

Be sure to get gas before you leave Jasper because there is only one very overpriced gas station along the drive. Also, bring some snacks and water as the facilities are very limited. In the winter, your car must be equipped with winter tires. Read our complete guide to driving from Jasper to Banff for all the details you should know before you go!

Alternatively, you can join one of these Icefields Parkway tours to see the highlights along this stretch of road. This one-way tour will take you from Jasper to Banff stopping at all the best attractions along the way. Or, you can book this Jasper to Lake Louise one way tour that also stops at attractions on the Icefield Parkway.

Read More: If you’re heading to Banff, be sure to check out our blog on the best things to do in Banff as well as our guide to planning a romantic holiday or epic honeymoon in Banff.

17. Walk on the Athabasca Glacier

Daniel hangs out the door of an Ice Explorer all-terrain vehicle on the Athabasca Glacier in the Columbia Icefield, Canada
On the Athabasca Glacier!

About a 1.5-hour drive along the Icefields Parkway from Jasper is the amazing Athabasca Glacier! This huge chunk of ice is only a small fraction of the glaciers that make up the Columbia Icefield (Canada’s largest!) so exploring it is a must-do!

There are a few different ways you can explore the Athabasca Glacier, with the most popular being this tour where you actually drive up onto the glacier in a specialized vehicle. Then, you’ll have the chance to actually walk on the glacier! Although very touristy, Daniel and I did this last year and had a great time. It was neat driving on the glacier in the huge red bus and then even better walking on the glacier. We even filled our water bottles up with pure glacier water!

After you’re done on the glacier, the bus takes to the Glacier Skywalk, which is a huge glass overhanging platform. The platform hangs weightlessly 300 meters above the ground, offering a view of the valley unlike any other.

This is one of the most popular tours in the Rockies and it’s only available during the summer months. The tour departs from the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, so you’ll need to get yourself there. The tour costs just over $100 CAD per person and includes both the glacier and Skywalk experiences. Be sure to book the tour in advance here to avoid missing out – it is super popular and walk-in bookings are not always available.

An Ice Explorer all-terrain vehicle parked on the Athabasca Glacier during a tour
The Ice Explorers are so cool!

If you’re into hiking, then consider booking this half-day glacier hiking tour on Athabasca Glacier instead. On this tour, you’ll actually spend a couple of hours hiking on the glacier with an expert guide (as opposed to the above tour where you’ll only get to spend a few minutes standing and walking on the glacier.)

The tour lasts for about 3 hours and you’ll walk a total of 5 km (3 miles) in that time. You’ll also be in a small group and all gear, including crampons, are provided. You’ll see many crevasses, waterfalls into the ice, and even streams from melting glacier water. The tour costs $130 CAD per person and must be booked online in advance here.

You are only allowed to walk on the glacier with a guide, so booking a tour is what most people decide to do. However, if you prefer not to do a tour or are visiting Jasper in the winter (when the tours aren’t operating), you can hike up to the edge of the glacier on your own. The hike is only a couple of hundred meters long, and along the way, you will see signs posted about how big the glacier used to be and you can see how much it has receded in recent times.  

Hot tip: The Skywalk is also located just down the road from the Athabasca Glacier and this is another really neat experience where you walk out onto a glass-floored platform suspended nearly 300 meters in the air! Booking the Ice Explorer with the Skywalk online in advance will get you the best deal!

18. Experience the Skywalk

Columbia Icefield Skywalk
Columbia Icefield Skywalk
Jasper Skywalk along the Icefields Parkway
If you don’t like heights, don’t look down!

As we’ve already briefly mentioned, just down the road from the Athabasca Glacier and the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre is the Skywalk. The Skywalk is pretty hard to miss considering it is a massive man-made structure that hangs off the edge of a mountain almost like a weightless bridge. 

In fact, this glass-floored structure is believed to be so strong that it would hold the weight of a 747 airplane!

If you’re afraid of heights, you will find it very nerve-wracking walking along the glass floor. I’m not afraid of heights, and even I was a little fearful. But the views are well worth it, I promise!

To visit the Skywalk you must go to the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre. From here you will be taken via bus to the SkyWalk because there is no parking available there. You’ll be provided with headphones for the informative audio tour. There’s no time limit, but I recommend allowing 45 minutes, and when you’re done the bus will take you back to the Discovery Centre so that you can continue on your drive back to Jasper. You should book the Skywalk in advance here to avoid missing out!

You can book a combined ticket to do both Skywalk and Athabasca Glacier tour in advance online here. I strongly recommend booking in advance. The last time we visited we made the mistake of just booking when we arrived, and we had to wait a few hours until they could get us on a tour! It was a huge waste of time, so don’t make the same mistake as us!

19. Chase waterfalls

Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park
Athabasca Falls in Jasper National Park

There are a couple of stunning waterfalls in Jasper that you just have to visit while you’re visiting! Not only are they beautiful, but they are easy to access and open all year round (just be sure to have winter tires if you’re going in the winter!)

Sunwapta Falls is located only 40 minutes from Jasper town along the Icefields Parkway. It is only a short walk from the parking lot to the falls and there are a couple of trails to explore surrounding the falls.  

Although only a quick attraction, you could turn this into a longer experience by staying overnight at the Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge. It’s a really highly rated and comfortable wilderness stay away from the hustle and bustle of town. It’s also one of the best places to stay on the Icefields Parkway.

If you’re going to visit only one waterfall in Jasper, then make it Athabasca Falls! To me, Athabasca Falls is actually more impressive than Sunwapta and well-worth checking out.  Plus, it’s also a little closer to Jasper at only a 30-minute drive from town.

This waterfall is large and super powerful! You’re sure to be impressed once you see it for yourself. In winter, it is a frozen winter wonderland!

The walk to the falls is very short and suitable for all fitness levels. There is also a huge parking lot where you shouldn’t have trouble getting a space.

20. Go mountain biking

three people cycling along a remote road in Jasper National Park
Such a beautiful place!

One of the best things to do in Jasper in the summer is bike riding! With tons of trails to explore you can definitely cover more ground on a bike than on foot.  

There are some flatter trails suitable for a nice ride, or if you’re into it, there are some great downhill mountain biking trails too. Some of the most popular mountain biking trails in Jasper include:

  • North Boundary/Snake Indian Falls – Although a green (easy) trail it does have some steep climbs. The trail is 26km/16.2mi. It starts at a parking lot about a 15-minute drive from Jasper.
  • Celestine Lake Trail – This trail is short at under 2 km (1.2 mi) long, however, it is considered more technical with some sections being pretty muddy. It starts from the same parking lot as Snake Indian Falls.
  • Lake Edith Shoreline Loop – This is a nice flat, family-friendly trail located at Lake Edith just on the outskirts of Jasper town. It is 4.4 km (2.7 mi) long, and if you want you can stop along the way and go for a swim since it follows the shoreline the entire way!

The truth is that Jasper has tons of bike trails, too many to list here, so you can download bicycle guides online here.

You can rent bicycles from various shops right in Jasper including The Bench Bike Shop, Source for Sports, and Vicious Cycle. Expect to pay about $15 CAD per hour and about $40 CAD for a whole day.

If you’re not an experienced mountain biker, consider this private guided mountain bike tour. With a guide, you’ll cycle the Jasper Discovery Trail for about 1.5 hours. Your expert guide will also help you fine-tune your skills with tips and tricks for mountain biking. The tour costs $133 CAD and can be booked online here.

If you are looking for more of a leisurely ride, consider getting an e-bike instead. There is also this new e-bike tour available in Jasper that combines a bike tour with a food tour – how cool. We’ve provided all the details about the tour in the next section in this blog.

Of course, in the winter, biking looks a little different and you’ll have to do fat biking instead. Fat bikes are also available to rent in town, and there are dedicated winter fat biking trails around.

21. Join a food tour!

Elk Steak at Syrahs of jasper
The elk steak is amazing!

Jasper may not have an international reputation for great cuisine, but it should! There are actually a couple of different food tours you can choose from in Jasper.

This 3-hour culture food tour will take you through historic Jasper to visit four incredible restaurants. At each stop, you’ll try some delicious, local food that is paired with a boozy drink (sorry, no kids on this one!) You’ll also hear some of the wild and mysterious stories about Jasper’s colorful and fun history. The cost is $134 CAD and includes an expert guide and all food and drinks. You can book your spot on this food tour online here.

For something a little more adventurous, consider this e-bike and food tour. You’ll get to explore some of the lesser-known places around Jasper on a bike, with very little effort since it’s an electric bike! You’ll stop at restaurants that are in the wilderness and check out some scenic spots along the way. You might even see wildlife! The tour costs $256 CAd per person and is 4 hours long. You can check availability and book it online here!

Related Read: One of the best places to do a food tour is in Vancouver, BC!

22. Relax lakeside

Bailey stands on the edge of the lake with stunning reflections at Pyramid Lake in Jasper National Park, Canada
Pyramid Lake!

Maligne Lake, Pyramid Lake, and now more lakes?! That’s right! There are plenty of lakes to enjoy near Jasper, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that one of the best things to do is to simply relax at a lake!

We’ve already told you about Pyramid Lake and Maligne Lake, but there is another large lake called Medicine Lake. Medicine Lake is located about a 30-minute drive from Jasper town along the road to Maligne Lake. Medicine Lake is breathtaking, and although just a quick stop along the drive out Maligne, to me, it’s well worth a mention.  

There is a small parking lot as well as a staircase leading down to the lake. It is more about enjoying the view than anything here, but it would also make a lovely picnic spot!  

Visiting what the locals refer to as “the beach” is one of the best lakes neat town. The beach is a nice sandy area on the edge of Lake Annette, only a couple of minutes from Jasper town. Locals commonly visit to hang out with friends, have a BBQ, and even brave the cold water with a swim. 

But the beach isn’t just for locals, and if you’re looking for a nice place to hang out for a few hours then this is a great choice. There are also a couple of nice hiking trails in the area and the neighboring lake, Lake Edith, is also well worth a visit! 

23. Enjoy Connaught Drive (the main street in town)

Bailey shops on Connaught Street in Jasper
The old train on Connaught Street in Jasper

Connaught Drive is Jasper’s most busy street, and chances are it is the first place you’ll visit when you arrive in Jasper town. Along this straight stretch of road, you’ll find most of the restaurants I’ve mentioned above, along with tons of little shops and even a few historic attractions! 

From unique sports shops to those filled with funny souvenirs, there is a ton of shopping to be done! If you need to pick up a gift for anyone back home or even yourself, this is the place to do it! 

Also on Connaught Drive is an old-school movie theatre that has been around for almost 100 years! I know that most people visit Jasper for its range of amazing things to do outdoors, but if you do get stuck with some terrible weather or just need a rest one evening after a day of exploring, then the Chaba Theatre could be your best bet! 

The movies and times of showing change daily, so be sure to check their Facebook page for the latest schedule, or, just drop by the theatre itself at 604 Connaught Drive.  

And last but certainly not least, while on Connaught Drive you just definitely stop by the historic train station (which is still in use today!)The train station was built in 1925. Back then, Jasper was a main hub simply due to the train passing through.

Today, the station is still used for people traveling by train. But if you’re not traveling by train, then you can still stop by and check out the building and read a little bit about its history on the information boards. Oh, and don’t forget to get your picture taken with the iconic Jasper train!

24. Conquer the Skyline Trail

Epic views along the Skyline Trail in Jasper
Summer views along the Skyline Trail!

The Skyline Trail is the most popular multi-day hike around Jasper. Stretching over 44 kilometers (27 miles) this difficult hike takes most people 2-4 days with spending the nights in backcountry campsites.

The trail gets in name from the fact that the majority of it is above the tree line offering amazing views to those who are willing to tackle the challenge! If you hike this trail, you’ll get to enjoy 360-degree views most of the way.

Some people do choose to hike the entire trail in one day but be warned, this is a difficult trail that will take most people around 10-12 hours. Also, it is a point-to-point trail meaning you’ll need to have transport organized at the place where you’ll complete the trail.

The majority of hikers complete the trail in about 3 days. You must book campsites in advance as they fully book months in advance.

It can be pretty windy above the treeline, so be prepared. Also, on a hot summers’ day, be sure to pack enough water and sunscreen as there’s no shade above the treeline. Bug repellent is a must for the campsites, and of course, be sure you’re prepared with bear spray.

Start the trail on the Southern End near Maligne Lake and end at Maligne Canyon, this way you have less of an uphill climb. Also, the final 8.5 km of the trail is along a gravel road which is nice and easy. Worth noting is there are several stream crossings on this trail so wear appropriate footwear.

Important to note – park your car at the North Skyline / Signal Mountain Trailhead which will be where you finish your hike. There’s a shuttle service that will collect you from here and take you to Maligne Lake where you can begin your hike. This way, your car will then be waiting at the finish point when you’re done.

25. Spoil yourself at Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge 

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.

This is one of the things to do in Jasper that is best suited for luxury travelers or those who aren’t too concerned about their budget. The reason is that the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is Jasper’s most luxurious resort sitting on a 700-acre property just outside of Jasper town.

If you can, I highly recommend booking a night or two at the Fairmont – it is, after all, one of the best hotels in all of Jasper. Not only will you enjoy a beautiful cabin, but you can take advantage of all of the onsite amenities and events. At the Fairmont, you’ll find a beautiful outdoor pool, on-site luxury spa, salon, golf course, restaurant, as well as a cafe.

In the winter, you can skate on the lake and in the summer you can canoe. Go hiking as well as cross-country skiing right on the property!

 For those on a honeymoon in Jasper, this is the most romantic place to stay and well worth the splurge! 

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is easily the most popular hotel in Jasper, and as such, it often is fully booked months in advance. You can check availability and book online here.

26. Canoe or SUP

Two people canoe on Pyramid Lake, Jasper
Can you imagine anything more spectacular!

Canoeing is such a fun summer activity, and Jasper is one of the best places to go for it! There are a lot of different lakes in the area that are perfect for exploring by canoe. Maligne Lake is the most popular spot, and here you can rent 2-person canoes for $205 CAD/day or $80 CAD/hour. Many people rent canoes here for multi-day trips out to Spirit Island and back.

Pyramid Lake is also a popular spot for getting out on the water, and you can rent canoes or kayaks from Pyramid Lake Resort located right at the lake. A double canoe will set you back $80 CAD/hour, and a double kayak is the same price, whereas a single kayak is $45 CAD/hour.

If you aren’t confident to canoe by yourself, you can join a guided tour such as this one at Pyramid Lake. The tour costs $130 CAD and includes hotel pick-up, all equipment, a local guide, and some baked goods and beverages for a treat! The tour is about three hours long and will take you around the stunning, calm waters of Pyramid Lake. You can check availability and book online here.

If paddling in a canoe isn’t challenging enough for you, why not try stand-up paddleboarding, also known as SUP.

In Jasper, the calm lakes make for the perfect place to test your balance and skills on a SUP. You’ll have extra motivation not to fall in because, trust me, the water is really cold!

Some of the best places to go stand-up paddleboarding in Jasper include Lake Edith, Lake Annette, Pyramid Lake, Patricia Lake, the lake at the Jasper Park Lodge, Talbot Lake, Leech Lake, Maligne Lake, as well as Medicine Lake. For the calmest water, head to Lake Edith or Lake Annette. For the most challenging, head to Maligne Lake. All of the others are rated as “intermediate” by Parks Canada.

If you don’t have your own SUP, you can rent them at The Boathouse at the Jasper Park Lodge and book online in advance. Or, go on a guided SUP tour/lesson such as this one with Translucid Adventures where they will teach you some skills on Lake Edith.

27. Go horseback riding

Horseback riding in Jasper, Canada
It’s such a fun way to explore Jasper National Park!

Don’t feel like hiking but want to get out in nature surrounded by mountains? Well, a horseback riding tour in Jasper is the perfect way to do this. Guided on a horse, there is no walking required and you can take in some of Jasper’s most magnificent vistas.

Jasper Riding Stables offers 1,2, and 3 -hour rides ranging in price from $86 CAD+. They have stables both at Pyramid Lake and Jasper Park Lodge. This company has rave reviews and really takes care of their horses.

Horseback riding tours typically begin operation each year in May and end in October (weather dependent.) If you’re visiting Jasper outside of these months, consider going on a horse-drawn sleigh ride instead which is available at Pyramid Lake.

Jasper Park Stables is located at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge as well as at Pyramid Lake. You must book your tour in advance to avoid missing out, as numbers are limited.

Related Read: If you’re going to be exploring Banff, there are some great horseback riding tours in Banff that are good for the whole family – including a covered wagon option!

28. Visit Mount Robson Provincial Park

View from the helicopter of Mount Robson in Mount Robson Provincial Park, Canada
Scenic flight over View from the helicopter of Mount Robson in Mount Robson Provincial Park, Canada
Emperor falls in Mount Robson Provincial Park, Canada
Emperor falls in Mount Robson Provincial Park, Canada

If you are ready for the most EPIC views in the world, you need to visit Mount Robson Provincial Park. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site located about 90km/56mi away from Jasper.

The drive is approximately one hour long through the most stunning mountain scenery. Make sure you have your camera because you’ll definitely want to get a good picture of Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rocky Mountains – over 3,900 meters tall!

Once in the park, there are a lot of fun ways to spend the day. Of course, hiking the Berg Lake Trail is the most popular. This epic 44-kilometer (27-mile) out-and-back trail takes around most people a couple of days to complete and visits the famous Berg Lake as well as other stunning places such as Emperor Falls and the Valley of a Thousand Waterfalls. Bookings for camping on the trail need to be made well in advance.

If you can’t get bookings then you can still hike parts of the trail such as to Kinney Lake or even White Falls. Another option is to use a helicopter to drop you at the end of the trail and hike back in one day. I myself did this and loved it. Although a long day, you get to see all the highlights without needing to secure campsite bookings.

2023 Update: Berg Lake Trail is currently closed due to flooding that damaged the trail in 2021. A portion of the trail to the Kinney Lake Campground will reopen in 2023. Check for updates here before you go!

Related Read: For an off-the-beaten-path destination, continue past Mt Robson to the cute town of Valemount. There are lots of fun things to do in Valemount and it is even closer to Mt Robson than Jasper!

29. Ride in a helicopter

Flying above Berg Lake and Berg Glacier on a scenic flight
That’s Berg Lake and Berg Glacier!

Hiking, biking, road tripping – all great ways to see the scenic Rocky Mountains around Jasper. But nothing will beat seeing them by helicopter!

As you can see from the photo above, we took a flight in Mt Robson Provincial Park to Berg Lake and hiked back. I certainly recommend this option, however, this exact flight route with the option to hike is no longer offered, but there are similar helicopter tours in the Rockies that you can consider.

This helicopter ride is a private experience for you and up to five other people. You can choose between 30-minute and 60-minute experiences, both offering incredible views from above! Prices start from $167 CAD per person and the flight departs from the Jasper-Hinton Airport, about a 50-minute drive from downtown Jasper.

This particular tour takes you high up above the mountains for the most memorable experience and scenic aerial views of the mountains in a helicopter. The flight begins at Cline River Heliport, which is about a 2-hour drive from Jasper, but conveniently located close to Abraham Lake. So, if you are already planning to visit this area, a scenic flight is a great add-on to your trip!

You can choose between a 20, 30, or 55-minute tour up over the Rockies. Your expert guide will point out landmarks such as Purple Mountain, Abraham Lake, and Cline Pass (all dependent on the length of your tour). The cost for this tour starts at $253 CAD – worth a splurge for this once-in-a-lifetime activity! You can check availability, tour details, and book online here!

30. Go rock climbing or ice climbing

A man rock climbs in Canada

You might be getting the hint that visiting Jasper is a great place to try some new outdoor activities, and rock climbing is no different! If you are an experienced rock climber then all you have to do is choose one of the many great areas to climb around Jasper. And if you’re new to the sport, then a guided tour is the best option.

This tour will teach you the ropes (pun intended!) and teach you to rock climb like a pro. The tour will provide all the necessary equipment, teach you about safety and technique, and give you a thrilling experience you won’t soon forget! The cost is about $145 CAD and is suited to all ages and skill levels.

You will rock climb along the shoreline of the Athabasca River, so not only is it a fun activity, but it’s another great way to immerse yourself in the beautiful surrounding nature. You can book this rock climbing tour online here!

person climbing a frozen waterfall with two people watching from the bottom and feeding a rope in Jasper National Park
Climbing a frozen waterfall is a unique experience you can do in Jasper.

Of course, if you’re looking for a Jasper tour in the winter months then rock climbing won’t be available. Don’t worry though, you can do something which is, in my opinion, even more extreme – ice climbing! Just imagine, using crampons (spikes) and axes to climb up a frozen waterfall – such an adrenaline rush and so very cool!

If this sounds like fun to you then you’re in luck because you can book this ice climbing experience right in Jasper! This tour is 6 hours long and includes all of your equipment as well as an expert guide. You’ll learn basic skills before heading to climb a frozen waterfall. They teach you everything, so even if you’re a complete beginner, you can join this tour!

This is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many and one I’m sure you won’t forget if you happen to visit Jasper in the colder months (typically December to March.) You can book your ice climbing tour online here!

31. Golf

Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course

Whether you are an avid golfer or a first-timer, you will love spending a day at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge Golf Course. It has won a ton of awards, including Canada’s #1 Golf Resort Course! Each of the 18 holes provides a new challenge and a beautiful view of the surrounding area.

The golf course is open from the end of May to the beginning of October. Rates range from $175-$255 CAD depending on the time of year you visit. There are also discounts available for Alberta residents.

Once you’re done golfing, make sure to visit the on-site restaurant for a meal and something to eat. Thompson’s Terrace has a large outdoor patio, so you can enjoy the scenery while re-fueling!

32. Go wild ice skating

Bailey wild ice skating in Jasper National Park

Ice skating on a frozen lake is an epic winter experience in Jasper! There are a couple of groomed lakes around Jasper including Pyramid Lake and Lake Mildred. Lake Mildred is the closest to Jasper town at the Fairmont Park Lodge. Here, you’ll find a 1-km oval as well as hockey rinks.

You can rent skates at both Mildred and Pyramid Lakes too, in case you didn’t bring your own.

If you’re up for an adventure, drive to Abraham Lake (2.5 hours away) and skate on the ice bubbles. Although a bit far, the ice bubbles are so cool and the ice on Abraham lake is so smooth thanks to the strong winds that frequently blow in the area.

33. Hike Bald Hills

View from the top of the Bald Hills Trail
This is an epic hike!

If you want to enjoy one of the best views of Maligne Lake then Bald Hills Trail is a must. This 10-kilometer/6.2-mile return trail takes you high above the valley only to stare down at Maligne Lake and the mountains around you.

The trail is very popular and is considered one of the best in the area. Although the trail follows the old fire road, which isn’t that scenic, there is a short cut, although much steeper, is much more spectacular.

To find the shortcut keep an eye out around 2 kilometers in for a sign. This indicates the hiking route. In wet weather or when hiking with children, it would be best to take the old fire road for safety reasons.

There are options to continue hiking further, but Bailey and I were satisfied with the views without hiking on. Although reasonably short, I’d allow 4 to 5 hours depending on your fitness level to complete the trail. 

Where to Eat in Jasper

Bear Paw Bakery

display window full of delicious baked goods at the Bear Paw Bakery in Jasper
This is easily the best place for baked goods in Jasper! Photo Credit: Bear Paw Bakery

Daniel and I love a great cafe and we found one right in Jasper town. My sister actually recommended the Bear Paw Bakery to us before our latest trip to Jasper, so we decided to check it out for ourselves.  

The Bear Paw Bakery offers tons of delicious baked goods as well as freshly brewed coffee. If you want a nice breakfast one morning while in Jasper then this is your place. I personally recommend their raspberry white chocolate scones – so tasty! 

There are actually two Bear Paw Bakeries in Jasper. Typically, this one is less busy, so try going there if you can. 

Spice Joint

Bailey poses with her grilled cheese in front of the Spice joint, Jasper
Te Spice joint is sooo good!

I know what you’re thinking – jerk chicken in the mountains?! This is one of those “local secrets” I was talking about at the beginning of this blog, and it’s a place you cannot miss if you want a great lunch.  

The Spice Joint is a small café located in the heart of Jasper town. They specialize in Jamaican food, and you guessed it, jerk chicken! Daniel and I were recommended this place by some friends and ever since trying it we have been back every time we visit (or even pass through) Jasper.

Our personal favorites are the crab grilled cheese and the jerk chicken grilled cheese. However, they also serve lots of sandwiches, wraps, salads, and more! 

The Spice Joint is open every day except for Wednesdays from 11 am until 5 pm, except on Fridays and Saturdays when they close at 7 pm. Expect to pay about $15 CAD for a dish.  

Fiddle River Restaurant

Seafood at Fiddle River Restaurant in Jasper, Alberta
The best seafood in Jasper is found here! Photo credit: Fiddle River Restaurant

So far in this blog, I’ve already mentioned a few awesome places to eat in Jasper. But I have yet to tell you about a fine-dining experience that is definitely worthwhile.

Fiddle River Restaurant in Jasper town is easily one of the top-rated restaurants around. Opened in 1993, Fiddle River Restaurant started with a mission of being the top choice for seafood in Jasper. Since then, they have expanded to include tons of variety.

Expect to be tempted by Canadian-to-the-core appetizers like Earl Grey Candied Salmon or Bison Meatballs & Fried Bannock and mains like Filo Yukon Arctic Char and Alberta Elk Stroganoff. Seafood lovers can indulge in dishes like Salt Spring Island Mussels and Pacific Rim Ceviche, all of which round out the fresh and local theme perfectly. 

This second-floor restaurant also boasts the best restaurant mountain views. Enjoy a cocktail with a view here paired with a delicious meal. It’s the perfect place for couples to enjoy a romantic dinner in Jasper.

Where to Stay in Jasper, Canada

The spa at the Whistler Inn in jasper
What a view! This photo is taken from the gorgeous Whistlers Inn.

When compared to Banff (and the dozens of hotels in Banff), there actually aren’t that many to choose from in Jasper. That’s right, accommodation in Jasper is limited, and therefore 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 with any type of budget!

Jasper Downtown Hostel (Budget Backpackers) – $

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 place to stay. They offer budget dorm beds as well as affordable private rooms.

You can book Jasper Downtown Hostel on either Booking.com here or Hostelworld here.

Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge (Moderate Budget) – $$

Sunwapta Falls Rocky Mountain Lodge is the perfect place to stay for a wilderness escape in Jasper National Park. It’s remote location about 40 minutes from Jasper town along the Icefields Parkway means you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet and have a better chance at spotting waterfalls. The lodge is also located right across the road from Sunwapta Falls, a spectacular waterfall you’ll love!

You can check prices and availability for Sunwapta Lodge online here.

Whistlers Inn (Moderate to High Budget) – $$

Whistlers Inn is the perfect place to stay if you are looking for a nice escape right in town and only a short walk from popular bars, restaurants, and attractions in Jasper. They also have a rooftop hot tub (pictured above) – need I say more?

You can check prices and availability online here.

Pyramid Lake Resort (Luxury) – $$$

Pyramid Lake Resort is beautiful, and it is set in an even more beautiful location! Pyramid Lake is the perfect place for hiking, swimming, kayaking, or even skating in the winter. Pyramid Lake Resort doesn’t cut any corners and it’s a highly rated hotel. It’s also a popular place to stay for those visiting Jasper on a honeymoon!

You can check availability and book online here.

For more detailed info on the best hotels and areas to stay in Jasper, read our blog!

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.

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!

Before you go…

Bailey and Daniel take a selfie after white water rafting in Jasper, Canada
Thanks for reading!

With this list of 50 fun and exciting things to do in Jasper, I’m sure you’re going to have a great time! I hope my blog has helped you plan your trip and given you some great ideas for amazing ways to enjoy Jasper National Park.

Don’t hesitate to comment below with any questions, and if you liked this blog, be sure to browse our other Canada blogs or some of our personal favorite articles below!

Complete Banff Itinerary (1-5 Days)

22 BEST Places to Visit in Alberta

25 Things to do in Saskatoon, Canada

Terri

Sunday 29th of January 2023

I’m so glad you mentioned the pizza place. It has been around FOREVER. I was born in Jasper and lived there until I was 6. But we made frequent trips back and the pizza place was always the place to go. Especially for poutine! I’m 41 now and it was around way before me. Thanks for the great description of such a beautiful town. I’m hoping to bring my kiddos there this year to show them my old stomping grounds 🥰

Lauren

Sunday 15th of May 2022

Thank you so much for writing and sharing this blog! So much great information, we are planning a road trip and have used this to help plan our journey! Thank you :-)

Satwant

Tuesday 20th of July 2021

Hi Bailey, how many days do you recommend that we need to spend in jasper and banff?

destinationlesstravel

Thursday 22nd of July 2021

Hey Satwant,

I would say at least 2 days in each place. If you have 5 days, spend 3 in Banff and 2 in Jasper. Of course, more time is better and the ideal time would be 3 days in each town.

Hope this helps Bailey