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11 Fun Things to Do in Jasper National Park

Jasper National Park is an outdoor wonderland in Canada. Located north of Banff National Park and reached via the Icefields Parkway, Jasper will steal your heart.

Mountains, glaciers, stunning lakes, hot springs, canyons, forests, and beautiful night skies are yours to explore.

All 11,000 square kilometers.

If you are an outdoorsy person you should make a point of visiting Jasper National park. I’m dreaming of my next road trip to Jasper and thinking about all the amazing Rocky Mountain views.

Summer is gorgeous in Jasper Alberta. The long summer days finishing with dreamy sunsets over the Rockies make for a memorable vacation.

In this post I’m sharing 11 of the best things to do in Jasper National Park.

 

11 Amazing Things to Do Jasper National Park

 

Kayaking

Imagine sitting in a kayak with a view of the Rocky Mountains.

Kayaking in Jasper is especially enjoyable due to the crystal clear glacial fed lakes. You have several lakes to choose from for your kayaking adventure.

Get more info on places to go kayaking in Jasper here – including a kayak rental shop that will deliver a kayak to the lake for you!

Explore 15 beautiful lakes in Alberta for kayaking or simply enjoy outdoors with amazing views.

 

Rocky Mountains covered in snow offer panoramic views to kayakers at Maligne Lake Jasper Canada

 

Hiking

Since the town of Jasper is in the national park you can start exploring the hiking trails right from downtown Jasper.

Or take a short drive south of Jasper town to enjoy a beautiful and easy hike at Valley of Five Lakes. These stunning turquoise to aquamarine lakes shine like jewels.

 

Turquoise to aquamarine lakes in Jasper AB hiking trail Valley of 5 Lakes

Turquoise to aquamarine lakes in Jasper Alberta hike Valley of Five Lakes

 

Another hike that is a quick drive from Jasper is the amazing Maligne Canyon trail.

I recommend you go early in the day to avoid the tourist crowds.

I have more info on hiking Maligne Canyon to help you plan your day in Jasper.

 

A small waterfall spills from a pool of water at Maligne River in Jasper National Park Canada

A small waterfall spills from a pool of water at Maligne River in Jasper National Park Canada

 

One of the most epic hikes in the Canadian Rockies is the Edith Cavell Meadows trail, just south of Jasper. You get amazing views of Angel Glacier and Cavell Glacier plus beautiful meadows filled with wildflowers.

 

Scenic Drives

Explore the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Alberta on a scenic drive along Maligne Lake Road or take a tour on the spectacular Icefields Parkway.

Highlights of Maligne Lake Road are the Maligne Canyon, Medicine Lake, and Maligne Lake.

Take in the view at Medicine Lake and watch for bald eagles and bears in the area.

Continue to Maligne Lake for spectacular views of the Canadian Rockies, boat trips, hiking, and dining.

Now if you drive from Banff or Calgary to Jasper you will experience the scenic Icefields Parkway highway that takes you from Lake Louise to Jasper – get your Icefields Parkway itinerary here.

For a pleasant day trip from Jasper drive the Icefield Parkway to Athabasca Falls and Sunwapta Falls.

 

Tourists watch the Athabasca Falls - one of the popular things to do in Jasper National Park

 

Explore Downtown Jasper

I love walking around Jasper Alberta in the early morning or evening. If you are staying in downtown Jasper you won’t need your car to get around town because shops, restaurants, pubs, museums, and the train station are all easy walks from downtown.

Explore on foot or bicycle and get to know Jasper. Pay a visit to the train station on Connaught Drive where you’ll find the old steam engine on display outside.

 

CN steam locomotive 6015 engine in Jasper AB

 

 Things to See in Downtown Jasper

  • Two Brothers Totem
  • Jasper National Park Visitor Center
  • Jasper the Bear sculpture
  • Jasper VIA Rail Train Station
  • Steam Locomotive 6015 built in 1923
  • Outdoor gear stores and kayak rentals
  • Royal Canadian Legion branch #31 The Stand Easy
  • Restaurants and Pubs
  • Souvenir Shops

 

Jasper Two Brothers totem pole at sunset with Rocky Mountain view

 

Hang out at a Lake

You’ll find serene turquoise lakes in Jasper National Park. The color of most of the lakes is due to the fine particles known as rock flour or glacial flour.

How about paddle boarding on beautiful sunny day? Or paddle a canoe or kayak for a fun half-day out on the lake.

 

Puffy white clouds and Rocky Mountains reflection on Pyramid Lake Jasper AB

 

Beautiful Lakes in Jasper

  • Lake Edith
  • Lake Annette
  • Maligne Lake
  • Medicine Lake
  • Patricia Lake
  • Pyramid Lake
  • Talbot Lake

 

Glacial lake reflects the landscape of Jasper AB Canada

 

Here is a map for you to get familiar with Jasper’s lakes.

 

 

Pyramid Island Picnic and Sunset Viewing

My suggestion is to visit Pyramid Island at sunrise or sunset and take in the mesmerizing views of the mountains reflected on the water.

There is a wooden bridge to Pyramid Island and it’s a popular Instagram photo spot.

The parking area is close to the path to Pyramid Island so it’s a short walk to get there.

Tip: Bring bug spray especially if you visit the lake around dusk.

 

Wooden foot bridge leads to Pyramid Island in Jasper National Park

 

Glacier Skywalk

Walking the Glacier Skywalk gives you outstanding views of the Columbia Icefields at Jasper National Park.

You’ll find the Glacier Skywalk on Hwy 93, the famous Icefields Parkway that connects Jasper to Lake Louise.

 

Jasper Skytram

Want to get a bird’s eye view of Jasper? Hop on the Jasper Skytram for a ride across the sky with wonderful views of one of the most beautiful small towns in Canada.

 

Whitewater Rafting

Alberta has some cool whitewater rafting opportunities and Jasper is a great place to experience the rush of flying down the rapids.

The glacier fed rivers in Jasper feature class 2 and class 3+ rapids and a 360 view of the Rocky Mountains.

Whitewater rafting tours in Jasper National Park are superb! Most rafting tours take place on the Sunwapta and Athabasca rivers.

Whitewater rafting trips in Jasper are available in versions ranging from mild family friendly tours to heart pumping exhilarating rapids.

 

Climbing

Mountains and climbing go together like pancakes and maple syrup. The Canadian Rockies have some of the best rockclimbing in Canada.

The Parks Canada website is a good starting place to get basic information about climbing in Jasper National Park. And check out Gravity Gear downtown to rent climbing gear in Jasper.

 

Dark Skies

Did you know that Jasper National Park is the 2nd largest dark skies preserve in the World?

Jasper received the designation of Dark Sky Preserve by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in 2011.

Only a short drive from Jasper townsite you can view the Milky Way and experience the night sky. You have 11,000 square kilometers to enjoy the stars.

In October, each year there is a Dark Sky Festival in Jasper.

 

Milky Way Jasper Natonal Park Sunwapta Falls

 

I hope you enjoy visiting Jasper National Park in Alberta. If you have any questions or tips for visiting Jasper, please comment below.

 

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