AMAZING Kayaking Adventure in Jasper National Park Canada

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While visiting Jasper Alberta for a few days last summer my sister and I decided to do some kayaking. We lucked out and found a great kayaking rental shop in Jasper that delivered the kayaks to Pyramid Lake and picked them up when we finished an amazing half day of paddling around the lake with Rocky Mountain views.

And BONUS – there is a cute little beach that we had all to ourselves – a sandy BEACH – in Jasper Alberta!

Kayaking Jasper National Park Alberta Canada

While I haven’t done any multi-day kayaking trips, I have done quite a few 2 – 4 hour paddling trips.

So far, the most beautiful places to kayak were Blue Rocks Nova Scotia, Belfast Maine in the fall, and this trip to Jasper in July.

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Kayaking at Pyramid Lake in Jasper on a beautiful summer day

Kayaking at Pyramid Lake in Jasper on a beautiful summer day

Where is Jasper National Park?

Jasper National Park is in the Canadian Rockies, northwest of Banff National Park, in the western region of Alberta near the provincial border with British Columbia.

Distance to Jasper

  • 290 km (180 miles) northwest of Banff AB
  • 365 km (225 miles) west of Edmonton AB
  • 400 km (250 miles) northwest of Calgary AB
  • 800 km (500 miles) northeast of Vancouver AB

The drive from Lake Louise to Jasper along the famous Icefields Parkway takes about 3 hours without making any stops along the way.

A bear looks straight at you from this Jasper National Park wooden sign

Where to stay in Jasper

I’m going to give you my best tip for finding a place to stay in Jasper National Park. Accommodation in Jasper is scarce in summer – use the Stay in Jasper website to find local folks in Jasper renting their homes/rooms. These are approved Jasper lodgings (not Airbnb).

I like to stay in town but you may want to stay at one of the lakes in Jasper instead.

Check out hotel deals and rates in Jasper and reserve your room early!

There is a hotel at Pyramid Lake if you want to stay there. Check availability now for Pyramid Lake Resort in Jasper.

We were lucky with the timing of our Rocky Mountain mini-vacation. The weather in Jasper was perfect, and we found a room to rent for a great price even though it was kind of last minute.

Our drive from Calgary along the scenic Icefields Parkway was perfect – we stopped to hike Parker Ridge Trail on the way – and arrived in Jasper by late afternoon.

We enjoyed 3 nights in Jasper, the first full day we went hiking at Valley of the Five Lakes – stunning colors from emerald to turquoise lakes – 5 lakes in one hike! But the lakes are a bit too small for kayaking or canoeing unless you are fishing.

We had to find another lake and we also had to find a kayak rental in Jasper.

Kayaking in Jasper National Park in the summer

Visiting Jasper in summer is the perfect time to go kayaking in the Rockies

Canoe and Kayak Rentals in Jasper

You will find there are several types of (non-motorized) boat rentals in Jasper. Whether you want to do some serious fishing in Jasper or learn how to use a stand up paddleboard you will find what you need at the Jasper canoe and kayak rental shops.

Choose from these Jasper rentals:

  • Stand Up Paddleboards
  • Sea Kayaks – double or single
  • Fishing Kayaks
  • Open Kayaks (recreational kayaks)
  • Canoes

Initially we figured we would rent kayaks at the lake. After some research we found a cheaper boat rental option and they could deliver the kayaks to the lake for us – sweet!

Superb view of Pyramid Mountain from Pyramid Lake beach in Jasper National Park

Superb view of Pyramid Mountain from Pyramid Lake beach in Jasper


Jasper map of Lake Edith and Lake Annette

Map of Lake Edith and Lake Annette

Where to go Kayaking or Canoeing Jasper

There are several lakes in Jasper for canoeing and kayaking. Here is a list with approximate driving time from downtown Jasper to the lakes.

  • Lake Annette – 10 minutes from Jasper
  • Lake Edith – 10 minutes from Jasper
  • Maligne Lake – 1 hr from Jasper
  • Medicine Lake – 30 minutes from Jasper
  • Talbot Lake – 20 minutes from Jasper
  • Pyramid Lake – 10 minutes from Jasper
  • Patricia Lake – 10 minutes from Jasper

Signs for Lake Edith and Lake Annette at Jasper National Park

I’ve added this handy Google map so you can see where the lakes are in relation to the town of Jasper.

Fishing while Kayaking in Jasper

Fishing is popular in Alberta so you may want to give it a try on a few of the beautiful Jasper Lakes. You can buy your Alberta Fishing License online here.

Fishing season for Jasper Lakes is open from:

  • May 18 – Sept 2 at Pyramid Lake and Lakes 3, 4, and 5 at Valley of the 5 Lakes
  • May 18 to September 30 at Maligne Lake Jasper – Talbot Lake – Edna Lake
  • June 29 to October 31 (fly fishing only) at Medicine Lake

For more information you can also have a look at Parks Canada website for Jasper.

Stunningly beautiful Lake Annette and the Rocky Mountains in Jasper National Park

Stunningly beautiful Lake Annette in Jasper National Park

Jasper’s Maligne Lake is probably the most famous of the lakes, which also means it is usually the most crowded with tourists too. We did not visit Maligne, Medicine, or Talbot lakes. Instead we decided to kayak at Pyramid Lake. We also visited Patricia Lake, Lake Annette, and Lake Edith.

Related: Magical Medicine Lake Jasper National Park

A group learns how to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) at Lake Edith in Jasper

A group learns how to Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) at Lake Edith in Jasper

There was a group of people taking stand up paddleboard (SUP) lessons on Lake Edith on a windy day. It looked like fun! Lake Annette is a smaller lake and it’s a gorgeous turquoise color.

There are so many pretty glacier lakes in the Rockies and I never get tired of seeing them. Some of the best lakes in Alberta are in Jasper.

Annette lake is popular with families enjoying swimming, paddle boarding, and floating in rafts around the lake. It’s a beautiful place to spend a day in Jasper.

People enjoy swimming at Lake Annette in Jasper Alberta

Lakeside for the day at Lake Annette in Jasper

Pyramid Lake is a non glacial fed lake, so the color is like any regular lake but it’s way less crowded than Maligne Lake and there’s a lovely little sandy beach. We enjoyed a break from paddling to have a picnic lunch on our own little private beach along the lake.

My sister found the kayak rental place online, Pure Outdoors, and their pricing is very reasonable. They have a shop in downtown Jasper.

We paid $40 per kayak for 5 hours, and an additional $20 drop-off and pick-up fee, for a total of $100 for two people kayaking for 5 hours. It was so convenient to have them drop off the kayaks at the lake.

Pyramid Lake in Jasper is popular for canoeing, kayaking, and fishinge popular for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing

Pyramid Lake in Jasper is popular for canoeing, kayaking, and fishing

We reserved our kayaking time a couple of days beforehand, so all we had to do was show up at Pyramid lake in the morning. Pure Outdoors met us at the lake with the kayaks, life jackets, and paddles.

Getting out on the water in Jasper is an ideal way to let your mind rest and enjoy the outdoors, watching for wildlife or fishing. It was a serene morning of paddling and a decent upper body workout too.

When you visit Jasper make sure you take some time to get out on the water for fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or paddleboarding.

Maybe you are interested in some hiking around Jasper? Check out these posts for some beautiful hiking trails in Jasper:

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Where to Go Kayaking in Jasper

Where to go kayaking in Jasper National Park Canada

Jasper National Park Canada kayaking

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About the Author

Susan Moore spent 7 months traveling solo around Southeast Asia back in the 90's. Returning to Canada she found a job working on rotation in Siberia Russia. She later moved to Austin Texas where she started a bookkeeping business, allowing her to work remotely. Currently Susan is in year 5 of a solo road trip around the USA and Canada, living a nomadic life, and writing about her experiences with a focus on hiking and cultural encounters. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

4 Replies

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  1. Mallory says:

    National Parks are one of my favorite ways to travel! I’ve been ticking off a lot of National Parks off of my list in the United States…but I might need to head over to Canada to go to Jasper!

    • Mallory, Yes you should make some time to visit all of the national parks in Alberta! Jasper is a beautiful place to enjoy the mountains and do some hiking and kayaking. I hope you make it to Alberta!

  2. Kathi says:

    This looks like such a cool adventure! I wish I would have thought of that when I went to Jasper in 2012… I’ve never tried a sit-on-top – does it feel quite wobbly?

    • Kathi, That means you have a good excuse to return to Jasper :)
      I didn’t find the sit-on-top kayak particularly wobbly, I think a sea kayak feels more wobbly. The sit-on-top kayak was really comfortable, we took one break at the beach during our 5 hours hours on the water. And 5 hrs was about perfect to go all around Pyramid Lake, spending some time close to shore as well as out in the middle of the lake, wonderful views of Pyramid mountain.

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