Jasper, Alberta, Canada, is located within Jasper National Park and is known for its rural location, small-town feel and diversity of adventurous activities. The stunningly beautiful backdrop of the Canadian Rocky Mountains makes Jasper a popular destination for alpine outdoor activities any time of year. Summer months are popular for camping, trail and backwoods hiking, canoeing, kayaking, and white water rafting. Winter is the most splendid season, with snow-capped mountains, frozen waterways, and unlimited outdoor fun with activities like skiing, hiking, skating, ice climbing, and snowmobiling. Whether you visit in spring, summer, winter, or fall, Jasper National Park is a welcoming and engaging alpine community.

How to Get There

Jasper is a 4-hour (365 km) drive west of Edmonton on Highway 16. This scenic drive follows along the iconic Yellowhead highway, one of the main transportation routes of Western Canada and one of the catalysts for the settlement of the Jasper townsite. As you drive west towards Jasper National Park, the rolling hills of rich prairie farmland transition into large foothills until the jagged peaks of the Rocky Mountains come into view. Air travel can be arranged to arrive at the Edmonton International Airport, with car rental available from various dealers. Train travel from Edmonton to Jasper is also an option on the famous VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer rail journeys.

Sights and Adventures for Any Season

Summer is one of the most popular seasons in Jasper, with a variety of mountain biking trails, lakeside hikes, and a range of alpine wildlife and wildflowers. Maligne Lake is a popular destination for guided boat tours, glacier lake kayaking, and canoeing. Maligne Canyon, cut from the river that flows into the lake, is a popular destination for hiking in the warmer months and a choice location for ice climbing, backwoods skiing, and telemarking in the winter. Fall is the perfect season to view mountain wildlife, with mammals mating, gathering food, and preparing for hibernation until spring. The springtime is ideal for viewing newborn animals, but take caution on outdoor hikes and camping during spring because bears and other mammals are waking up from their winter slumber.


Without a doubt, hiking is the most popular outdoor activity in Jasper, and many of the trails are known for their ease and accessibility. Pyramid Lake is a 5.8 km loop hike to the Pyramid Overlook with views of the crystal-blue glacier lake and Pyramid Mountain. Athabasca Falls is another easy walk, with a 1.5 km trail along the Athabasca River. Visitors looking for a longer, more technically difficult hike can explore Verdant Pass, a 20 km route that skirts the base of Mount Edith Cavell. In the winter months, popular hikes in Jasper National Park include Lake Annette, a 2.7 km loop trail just north of the Jasper townsite, and Valley of the Five Lakes, a 4.6 km loop trail to the south of Jasper on the Icefields Parkway.

Downhill and Cross-Country Skiing

Jasper National Park and the Jasper townsite are renowned as idyllic alpine settings. Downhill skiing in Jasper has given the region an international reputation for deep powder, fresh snow, and incredible mountain views. Located 25 minutes south of the Jasper townsite, Marmot Basin is the only ski resort in the park. With 91 named runs spread over four mountain peaks, the ski season at Marmot runs from mid-November to early May. Cross-country skiing is also a popular outdoor activity in the winter, with several trails in and around the Jasper townsite. Easy cross-country trails include the Marmot Meadows Sparkle Loop (0.6 km) and Moab Lake Trail, a 7 km return loop. Skierslooking for more challenging cross-country routes can visit the Pyramid Fire Road, a 15 km route with steep climbs and downhill slopes, or the Leach Lake trail, a 7 km moderate-difficulty loop.

Historical Attractions

Founded in 1813, the Jasper townsite has a deep and storied history as a hub along the Canadian National Railway transportation route. Following the success of the Banff Springs Hotel to the south, the partners of the railway built the famous Jasper Park Lodge as a spectacular mountain destination for wealthy travellers and merchants. The lodge later gained international recognition for housing Marilyn Monroe and Robert Mitchum while filming “The River of No Return.” Jasper was designated as a national park in 1907, and details about the park’s storied history can be found at the Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives.

Indigenous Arts and Culture

Like many of Canada’s national parks, Jasper National Park is located on the traditional lands of the Stoney Nakoda, Dene-zaa, Anishinabe, Nêhiyawak, and Métis peoples. To experience this native culture firsthand, visit the Sawridge Inn and Conference Centre, which features Indigenous artwork by Isaac Bignell and Benjamin Chee Chee and architectural design that features the four elements of earth, wind, fire, and water. The Jasper Yellowhead Museum and Archives is an ideal choice for history buffs, with an extensive collection of First Nations artifacts, artwork, clothing, tools, and textiles.


Jasper Nation Park is known for its diversity of wildlife and is a popular destination for travellers seeking out native species, such as big-horned sheep, mountain goats, deer, elk, and bears. Smaller animals such as marmots, wolverines, badgers, and squirrels can also be viewed in the area, in addition to a wide variety of migratory birds. For your safety, it is recommended that you keep a safe distance from all wildlife and do not feed or touch them. Elk and deer are among the most common animals viewed by visitors to Jasper, and they are often seen within dense forests, along the river and creek beds, and even in the ditches along the highways. At the Jasper Park Lodge golf course, moose are occasionally viewed walking along the cart paths and munching on the fresh grass on the fairways. Jasper is also known as a premier viewing location for Canadian Geese and predatory birds like falcons, owls, eagles, and hawks. Colourful birds like blue jays, barn swallows, and pileated woodpeckers also frequent the region.

Connection to Banff National Park

Jasper National Park is within the same national parks system as the famed Banff National Park. The town of Banff is a 3 hr 24 min drive (287.9 km) from Jasper. Its location in the heart of Canada’s Rocky Mountains makes Banff a popular tourist destination. If you’re a fan of history and ghost stories, the famed Banff Springs Hotel is not to be missed. Other popular attractions include the Bow River Falls and the outdoor Banff Hot Springs. From hiking the mountain loop trails of Johnstone Canyon to playing a round of golf among the elk at the Banff Springs Golf Course, Banff is an Alberta mountain town worth travelling for.

Travel Jasper

Jasper National Park is a small township community in the northern portion of Canada’s majestic Rocky Mountains. This welcoming and friendly alpine destination is ideal for outdoor activities and cultural experiences. From hiking, skiing, and white water rafting, to tours of indigenous peoples’ arts and culture, Jasper National Park is an exciting and memorable destination for your next vacation.